Oct 27, 2009

Iguazu Falls now have a classy hotel, courtesy of Orient-Express

Great news in the Brazil hotel front: at long last, there's a classy place to stay at Iguazu Falls, or, as we call them, Cataratas do Iguaçu. Orient-Express hotels bought the tired old Hotel das Cataratas and is giving it a great facelift, as they did with the glamorous Copacabana Palace in the eighties. Great timing: as I mentioned in the post below, the falls were just named world's # 1 tourist attraction by the readers of UK's The Guardian newspaper!

Here are excerpts from the press release:

"First opened as a hotel in 1958, Hotel das Cataratas is an elegant two storey Portuguese colonial style building. It has one of the most impressive and enviable locations in South America, with the world famous Iguassu Falls just a two minute stroll from the property, and is surrounded by almost 1,850km² of national park. As the only hotel within the national park, Hotel das Cataratas has an unbeatable location, allowing guests to enjoy exclusive access to the falls each morning, before the park opens at 9am.

The 193 guest rooms, including 15 suites, have been decorated in line with the Portuguese style and feature paintings of the local flora and fauna by well known Brazilian artist, Ludmilla de Montes. Traditional Azulejos painted tiles, specially designed for Hotel das Cataratas, have also been used throughout the property, further enhancing the Portuguese history of the hotel. Many of the 16 Cataratas Deluxe Rooms boast lovely views of the falls, as do the Tower and Cataratas Suites.

A new spa opening at the end of November will offer an array of treatments from the Brazilian brand, Natura, which uses tropical fruits from the area, as well as ingredients sourced from the Amazon. There will be five treatment rooms with ipod docks, so guests can choose to listen to their own music if they wish, as well as a relaxation room and a sauna.

Hotel das Cataratas has two restaurants; the Restaurante Itaipu, serving a blend of Brazilian and international cuisine at breakfast, lunch and dinner, located on the ground floor of the main building, with a veranda for al fresco dining. The Ipê Grill by the main pool, is named after a local wood and serves light snacks throughout the day and a churrascaria (South American style meat barbecue) with live music for dinner. The terraces surrounding the hotel have been extended, allowing guests to dine al fresco.

On the hotel’s grounds is the Belvedere Look-out Point, which offers unparalleled views of the falls and a perfect photo opportunity.

In 1986, UNESCO listed Iguassu National Park as a 'Natural Heritage of Humanity' area. The park, home to the Iguassu waterfalls (or cataratas), comprises 1,850km² of forest reserve and preserved to maintain the area for future generations.
The Iguassu Falls are a spectacular collection of 275 waterfalls extending over a length of almost five kilometres in an enormous canyon on the Iguassu River. There are 19 big waterfalls, the largest of which is the 'Devil's Throat', the drop of which is over 90 metres. Only three of the falls, Floriano, Deodoro and Benjamin Constant are located on the Brazilian side with the majority located on the Argentinean side facing Brazil, therefore affording the Brazilian side the better view.

Local activities which can be organised through the hotel include helicopter tours over the falls, boat rides through the rapids, four-wheel drive jungle adventures, bird park and nature walks within the national park.

A double room at Hotel das Cataratas starts from US$375 (approx. £231*) per room per night including breakfast."

Hotel Das Cataratas, Iguaçu National Park, Paraná, Brazil
Tel: (55) 45 2102-7000 Toll free USA: 800-837-9051

Iguazu Falls named top tourist attraction in the world by The Guardian

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