“River, sky, sea. Endless beach. Rio, you were made for me”. The verses of the song “Samba do Avião”, by Tom Jobim, convey the feeling of being in the Hotel Arpoador. Standing on the sand, he is in front of the quiet Arpoador Beach, stronghold of surfers and popular for having one of the most beautiful views of the sunset in the Rio de Janeiro.
The entrance is on Rua Francisco Otaviano, continuation of Avenida Vieira Souto, an important street in Ipanema. But its charm lies on the seafront on Francisco Bhering stone street, whose neighboring buildings are mostly large residential apartments – synonymous with calm in one of the busiest addresses in the city.
It’s there, facing the Atlantic Ocean, that the hotel imprints all its bossa on the guests and transmits a carefree carioca lifestyle, without barriers or tethers.
This aspect is noticed right at the reception: when passing through the heavy wooden door of its tiny façade, there is an extensive continuous lobby without partitions bathed in natural light. Reception, kitchen, bar, tables and a view of the sea come together in a pleasant design punctuated by light wood tones.
With only 49 rooms and six floors, an intimacy is immediately perceived, in which the guest feels free both in the feeling and in the perception of the construction. On the higher floors, the corridors of the accommodations have round windows that perfectly frame the Two Brothers Hill.
Whoever enters Arpoador today may think that it is recent, such a freshness that it exudes – including the smell of the bed linen. Formerly named Arpoador Inn, it opened in 1974 and underwent a major overhaul for two years until it reopened in the summer of 2019 with a new title and sensations without exaggeration.
Reopened again in September of last year after being closed for six months due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the hotel is back to its laid-back lifestyle. In addition to the breeze coming through the rooms, now the tables and chairs in the Arp beach bar on the boardwalk they return to accommodate customers.
Common areas and bedrooms
Inspired by the beach climate of Rio and Arpoador, the idea was to make an allusion to the deck of a boat, referring to nautical practicalities. That’s why we chose wooden floors, round windows and some furniture in the rooms, which have a practical design with versatile pieces that fit together.
Light materials such as straw, fibers, linen and cotton are present in common areas and bedrooms, which may have views of the sea, the internal courtyard or the city.
The larger ones have a clean, direct view of the ocean, which lies between the islands of Cagarra, Palmas and Comprida – the rooms at the end of the corridor, which end in even numbers, have a balcony that invites you to rest with its white hammock.
Following the standard, white mixed with straw and wood tones predominate in the rooms, with soft beds, duck feather pillows and bold and practical furniture, which were designed especially for the hotel. The lighting is not direct, coming from spots on the ceiling and floor, with yellow lights that are pleasant and not harmful to the eyes.
The charm of the suites, in addition to the luxury amenities, is also a bathroom with bathtub and integrated into the bedroom with glass and curtain, leaving the environment unobstructed and overlooking the sea.
On the sixth and top floor, the terrace features a small triangular infinity pool and warm water. Just behind, a bar serves guests with cold drinks. On sunny days, chairs and umbrellas are dotted around the place, which ensures a breathtaking view of the beach in front and the imposing Morro Dois Irmãos on the right.
The sauna is on the same floor, but facing the city side. Dry and glazed, it has an internal shower and ensures relaxing moments in the wellness and massage room.
Arp beach bar
Integrated into the lobby patio, open to the street and featuring a terrace – a set of outdoor tables on the sidewalk -, the Arp beach bar has arrived as a new point in the city, also open to non-guests.
Here there is food for all hours. Breakfast, lunch, brunch, dinner – meals leave the kitchen, partially visible to those passing through the lobby. Fresh, seasonal ingredients from local producers make up the creations.
Coffee is best enjoyed at tables on the terrace just a few steps from the sand – who can resist eating in such a landscape? There is no buffet on the menu: you can choose the “arp breakfast”, which includes drinks, bread, cheese, eggs, fruit, yogurt and grocery store of the day – also available in a vegan version.
Apart from the complete item, other breakfasts can also be ordered separately, such as a hot mix with brioche, tapioca, açaí from the Amazon and avocado on toast, the latter with hummus, poached egg and fresh herbs.
From 1pm onwards, the afternoon and dinner menu will come into play. Some hermanas inspirations from Argentine chef Alejandra Maidana, who is also in charge of the Quiteria, in Ipanema, are among the options, such as empanadas (meat, canasta cheese with onions or shrimp with peach palm) and chorizo steak with mushrooms.
At nightfall, the lights are dim and candles are lit on the tables. The atmosphere takes on an even more intimate feel, well accompanied by the exquisite tuna tartar, a starter that comes with fresh citrus tuna over a rice mandiopan.
Among the main ones, dishes made with charcoal gain prominence. Sea rice with shrimp, cavaquinha, octopus, mussels and fish; seafood linguine with smoked tomato sauce; and octopus and chorizo steak with mushrooms are some of the examples. Traditional opera and banoffee pie look great at the end.
The drinks menu was developed by mixologist Néli Pereira, who features classics and authorships. The latter are more refreshing, such as Caipi Arp, which includes vodka, Sicilian lemon, basil and sugar; the Amazonian Infusion, with vodka infused with aridan bean, mint, lemon and cumaru; and the Ponche Celebra jar, with sparkling wine, gin, açaí liqueur, orange juice and hibiscus syrup.
Interestingly, in addition to the Brazilian and Argentine accents on the menu, other pronunciations can be heard literally from the mouths of other people who frequent the environment, such as French and English – for the most attentive ears.
Amenities and Experiences
the lifestyle sweet doing nothing it is also reflected in the amenities available to those who visit Arpoador. There are bicycles available for guests to enjoy a peaceful ride along the edge of Ipanema, as well as tents and beach towels for those who want to enjoy Rio directly on the sand.
Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday there are yoga classes led by Gustavo Dale, the hotel’s wellness curator. Free for guests, the experience begins at 8 am on the terrace, lulled by a soothing soundtrack.
Part of the Arpoador group, which still has in the portfolio of projects in the city the Ipanema Inn, the hotel works with the City & Sea, experience and objects sales system – also available to non-guests. Dining with an ocean view, stand-up paddle lessons or a yoga class package can be purchased using this method.
Towels, perfumes, glasses, books, hats and ceramics, which are scattered throughout the hotel, can be purchased or on one of the reception walls, which have the products on shelves. A menu with all the presents is on the bedside cabinet of the rooms.
But perhaps the greatest luxury is not in the products or in the experiences, but in the well-deserved break that transforms Arpoador into a hotel-boutique cozy. Among the sounds of Rio, the only one that passes through the windows of the rooms is the coming and going of the sea – an ideal soundtrack for restful days and nights.
Rua Francisco Otaviano, 177 – Arpoador, Rio de Janeiro – RJ Reservations Hotels
Reservations: (21) 2529-1000 or (21) 96748-0155 (WhatsApp)
Reference: CNN Brasil