DO YOU LOVE EXCELLENCE?
So … A little background on this lovely hotel before “the story”. This fabulous spot gained world attention when the Olympics were held in Rio.
This is excerpted from a Hyatt News Release:
Grand Hyatt Rio de Janeiro combines the brand’s effortless luxury experience with a Brazilian design and hospitality in an urban resort setting. Guests can enjoy its prime beachfront location in the exclusive Barra da Tijuca neighborhood and access to world-class shopping, dining, cultural and outdoor activities.
As the second Grand Hyatt hotel in Brazil, Grand Hyatt Rio de Janeiro is a significant addition to Hyatt’s existing portfolio in South America and the growing brand portfolio. The hotel is meticulously designed to exemplify the Grand Hyatt brand’s signature level of grandeur with an abundance of options for creating spectacular experiences. Every aspect of the hotel, from simple delights to elaborate gatherings, embodies the brand mantra of Living Grand, an expression of the ways in which Grand Hyatt hotels deliver extraordinary experiences and infuse care into every encounter.
Designed by internationally acclaimed interior designer Yabu Pushelberg and with the local assistance of Brazilian designer firm Anastassiadis Arquitetos, the hotel provides a relaxed, carefree coastal living experience with large balconies and floor-to-ceiling windows, along with stones and fabrics authentic to Brazil. The 436 guestrooms include 40 suites, two 1,561 square foot Presidential Suites, and one 2,100 square foot Penthouse Suite with a 1,248 square feet terrace including a lounge area and a plunge pool. A special private elevator provides the Penthouse and Presidential Suites direct access from the garage. The stunning beachfront location affords all of the guestrooms views of the blue-green Atlantic Ocean or the magnificent Marapendi Lagoon that surrounds the hotel. Among the special local touches, each guestroom has Brazilian flip-flop sandals, and in the botanical tradition of Brazil’s oldest pharmacy, Granado bath amenities.
A Grand Lounge, with ocean and lagoon views, offers a private reception space for Grand Club floor guests. Featuring separate adult and family areas, the Grand Club offers all day tea and coffee service, complimentary breakfast and evening cocktails. Grand Hyatt Rio de Janeiro also has a hospitality area due to the destination’s late airport departures and early arrivals; Marapendi Lounge welcomes early check-in and late check-out guests with shower and changing room facilities.
Now for the story ….
We flew into the airport in Rio de Janeiro and landed about 12:45 am. The sound of people shouting at you trying to get you into their cars was shocking. But, our hotel had arranged for a car to meet us .. so, we felt we could keep moving and get through it.
After 40 minutes of walking around looking for our driver, we came to the realization that we had NO driver. We had been warned about the airport and were being careful with whom we chatted. While The Good Doctor looked for another driver …. I was assailed by an endless number of male types asking if I was American AND, if I’d like to get into their car.
Finally, a new driver!!! We got into the car and began our trip to the Grand Hyatt. Given the time of night / morning, there was no traffic. We arrive at the hotel front door and it’s locked! No one around….it’s now after 1:30 am. Finally, I was in …. I shared our experience with the front desk and his night manager came out to assist. We were NOT happy campers!
The mood shifted as we entered our ocean-front suite…the sound of the waves and enormous bathroom lifted my mood:) Don’t remember collapsing but …..
By the time we ordered coffee the next morning, news of our unfortunate experience had spread. I cannot possibly share the extraordinary generosity shown by every.single.staff. member.in.the.hotel. Warm and chatty, they really changed our initial opinion of this hotel.
Of course, I was in Rio to speak and as such had a black tie and a speaking event to attend. My hair needed some TLC. Our Concierge sprang into action and scheduled both appointments. Since I do not speak Portuguese, he did all of the translating and fussing.
We travel ALOT. And, we tend to stay in some pretty incredible spots. Sometimes things go perfectly … sometimes not … but the staff will usually try to make an effort to apologize and improve the situation.
THIS time a different experience. A visit from the GM, Christophe Lorvo to personally chat about the awful entry into his hotel. He sat, listened and extended his contact information. Not only concerned about his own hotel, but for any of the hotels we might visit in the future. He’s been in the industry quietly opening fabulous, upscale sites for over 30 years. He was unassuming, kind, thoughtful and above all LISTENED. Not a surprise his hotel was chosen to host guests and athletes for the Rio Olympics.
BOTTOM LINE: Do I recommend this hotel? ABSOLUTELY YES. I am already looking at the calendar for the next visit to Rio….
If you get a chance, stay at the Grand Hyatt … ask to meet Christophe. His children speak 5 languages!!! An amazing man with an equally amazing family.
Obrigado! And…thank you SO very much for the amazing hotel experience Grand Hyatt!!!