Help! Rio hotel at Carnival

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#1
Palm Springs, CA
660 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
We are finishing our cruise with 2 nights on the ship in Rio. Friends we are traveling with booked flights that leave on Wednesday of Carnival, and are finding it nearly impossible to find a room in Rio for one night.

Any ideas?
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Azamara Quest - British Isles and The Open at St. Andrews - 7/4/2015
Azamara Quest - Buenos Aires to Rio for Carnival! - 1/31/2013
Celebrity Silhouette - Caribbean Family Christmas - 12/23/2012
Azamara Quest - Athens-Venice- 9/17/2011 B2B Venice-Rome - 9/24/2011
Azamara Journey - Western Europe - 8/29/2010
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#2
107 Posts
Joined Oct 2011
Most hotels have not yet even posted rates for Carnaval of 2013 (Friday February 8th to Tuesday February 12th), I suspect. Most start booking heavily in July. Booking sites sometimes show the dates available at a 'regular' high season rate, but later the accomodation may not honor the booking, so do be careful. When the hotels book, they book multi-night packages (usually 5 to 7 nights in Rio). Carnaval is the time when most accomodations make the major part of their yearly revenue. Demand is such that most hotels will not make compromises on this until the very last minute (if at all), when they may understand that they will not be fully booked. Usually the hotels that are forced to do this are located in less convenient or safe areas of the city or are of less desirable quality.

Also bear in mind that the parades of the top level samba schools in the Sambodromo, the iconic event of Rio Carnaval and a hotly contested competition with the most invested in spectacular costumes and floats, will be on Sunday February 10 and Monday February 11, 2013. For a tourist, without an emotional investment in one of the samba schools, either night would do equally well.
Other than that, there are street parades daily in many neighborhoods, some ticketed balls, the 'usual' tourist sights, and a winners' parade (reprise of the winning schools from Sunday/Monday) in the Sambodromo on Saturday the 16th.

Perhaps you could think of staying outside the city, in historic Petropolis (a short busride away int he mountains) or Buzios (whch has a shuttle direct to the airport, but may also be heavily booked for multi-night packages), after spending Sunday night at the Sambodromo. You could also look at hotels in Niteroi, a 12 minute ferry ride (or bus/taxi via bridge) across the harbor.

Hope you have fun !
#3
Palm Springs, CA
660 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
Thanks for your thoughts. We will be on the ship for 12 nights, and Buzios is our stop before we get to Rio Sunday morning, February 10. We will bw going to the Sambodroma on Sunday, and are staying on the ship in Rio Sunday and Monday, debarking Tuesday morning, which is proving a challenge for them. I'm glad our flight home is the 12th, and will suggest Petropolis and Niteroi.
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Azamara Quest - British Isles and The Open at St. Andrews - 7/4/2015
Azamara Quest - Buenos Aires to Rio for Carnival! - 1/31/2013
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Azamara Quest - Athens-Venice- 9/17/2011 B2B Venice-Rome - 9/24/2011
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#4
Palm Springs, CA
660 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
Sorry, duplicate post!
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Azamara Quest - Buenos Aires to Rio for Carnival! - 1/31/2013
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#5
Vancouver
2,040 Posts
Joined May 2008
We ended up using a booking agency through our TA to get our hotel in Rio. We arrived just at the end of Carnivale and it was still difficult to get a hotel room. Yes, we know we probably paid a bit more, but at least we had a room to sleep in. If I remember correctly, we got our reservation in July.
#6
Fortaleza, Brazil
1,560 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
Really high rates, and minimum stay requirements, are the general rule in Rio for both Carnaval and New Year's Eve.

They're already booked and paid for their flights? Sounds like a lot of hassle and expense for one night. Have they looked innto paying a fee to change and fly out with you? Or even fly out from Sao Paulo? Are they staying an extra day to see Carnaval parades in the Samboadrome, or did it just work out that way for them? I gather you're already there for two nights, on the ship, so could see parades then. I have never stayed in Nitteroi, in fact only been there in the evening once (many years ago), and it would be far from my first choice for an area to stay in, but there may be some decent hotels there now. Petropolis is a decent area, with historic interest, and many peope stay there and work in Rio (a friend of mine lived in Petropolis), but it'd be a bit far from Rio to visit for a parade and return late at night, IMHO. But close enough to Rio they could get there at least during the day (but also close enough that Rio's high Carnaval rates, and possibly minimum stay requirements, would apply).

There is a hotel, the Luxor, inside the airport terminal. Wouldn't be the best place in Rio to stay, especially for the price, and it may well be packed, but perhaps it wouldn't have the minimum stay requirements of most hotels. Rates at most hotels won't be a bit above usual-- they'll be considerably above (plenty of peple willing to pay it).
#7
Palm Springs, CA
660 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
Thanks, Fattony. They've used airmiles for the flight, and it was tough getting out on the day we get off the ship. I agree with you, though, and I'd be doing what I could to change the tickets.
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#8
107 Posts
Joined Oct 2011
@Fattony and OP--
As explained above, there are no parades on Tuesday. So leaving the larger luggage at the "guarda volumes" at the intown Santos Dumont airport and staying overnight Tuesday out of Rio to tour in Petropolis would be an option, since it's only a short (1 hour) bus ride away. The friends could get back into the city, pick up the left luggage, take the shuttle bus from Santos Dumont to GIG, all in good time for an international flight home (which are usually at night) on Wednesday.

Niteroi is a very pleasant "neighborhood" of the city of Rio (really a separate city, but close enough to be a neighborhood and closer to the center than some actual Rio neighborhoods). Many residents commute into Rio every day for work (think Staten Island and Manhattan, for example). The ferry runs every 15 minutes (starts very very early in the morning and runs until quite late at night), a lovely ride with great views back to Rio, from Praca XV which is a couple of minutes walk from Santos Dumont airport. There are also buses that run regularly over the bridge and the option of a taxi. There are couple of basic hotels within blocks of the dock, and others not too far. http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotels-g3...ro-Hotels.html
Niteroi has some great beaches to visit, like Itacoatiara, an interesting fish market for lunch, and also the famous Neimeyer designed MAC "space ship" art museum.
#9
Fortaleza, Brazil
1,560 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
Originally posted by Menininha82
@Fattony and OP--
As explained above, there are no parades on Tuesday. So leaving the larger luggage at the "guarda volumes" at the intown Santos Dumont airport and staying overnight Tuesday out of Rio to tour in Petropolis would be an option, since it's only a short (1 hour) bus ride away. The friends could get back into the city, pick up the left luggage, take the shuttle bus from Santos Dumont to GIG, all in good time for an international flight home (which are usually at night) on Wednesday.

Niteroi is a very pleasant "neighborhood" of the city of Rio (really a separate city, but close enough to be a neighborhood and closer to the center than some actual Rio neighborhoods). Many residents commute into Rio every day for work (think Staten Island and Manhattan, for example). The ferry runs every 15 minutes (starts very very early in the morning and runs until quite late at night), a lovely ride with great views back to Rio, from Praca XV which is a couple of minutes walk from Santos Dumont airport. There are also buses that run regularly over the bridge and the option of a taxi. There are couple of basic hotels within blocks of the dock, and others not too far. http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotels-g3...ro-Hotels.html
Niteroi has some great beaches to visit, like Itacoatiara, an interesting fish market for lunch, and also the famous Neimeyer designed MAC "space ship" art museum.
If they can get a place for one night, parade or not, they'll be doing well. Petropolis a more pleasant alternative to Rio, IMHO, but if the hotel in Nitteroi is close to the ferry, fine. In any location, availability and rates will determine a lot. I didn't think that the parades in the Samboadrome would be the only reason to go into Rio from, say, Petropolis at night. But if they've already see Rio's nightlife by then or don't care about missing it that night (may prefer a quiet night), no problem.

If you can walk from Praca XIV to Santos Dumong airport (to pick up checked bags and then head to GIG) in a couple of minutes, you're in much better shape than I am (not that that says much). When I took the interesting tour at Ilha Fiscal, near Praça XV on a Saturday afternoon, and the guides advised me against walking to the nearest Metro stop (I still did it and survived, sticking to the busier streets). Anyway, beggars can't be choosers, so OP's friends would be wise to explore all options for that one night's hotel. The hotel in the airport would not be very interesting (and the pousada in the airport's basement definitely a place to avoid, my wife advised me based on her experience).
#10
United Kingdom
170 Posts
Joined Jun 2012
Originally posted by Menininha82
Most hotels have not yet even posted rates for Carnaval of 2013 (Friday February 8th to Tuesday February 12th), I suspect. Most start booking heavily in July. Booking sites sometimes show the dates available at a 'regular' high season rate, but later the accomodation may not honor the booking, so do be careful. When the hotels book, they book multi-night packages (usually 5 to 7 nights in Rio). Carnaval is the time when most accomodations make the major part of their yearly revenue. Demand is such that most hotels will not make compromises on this until the very last minute (if at all), when they may understand that they will not be fully booked. Usually the hotels that are forced to do this are located in less convenient or safe areas of the city or are of less desirable quality.

Also bear in mind that the parades of the top level samba schools in the Sambodromo, the iconic event of Rio Carnaval and a hotly contested competition with the most invested in spectacular costumes and floats, will be on Sunday February 10 and Monday February 11, 2013. For a tourist, without an emotional investment in one of the samba schools, either night would do equally well.
Other than that, there are street parades daily in many neighborhoods, some ticketed balls, the 'usual' tourist sights, and a winners' parade (reprise of the winning schools from Sunday/Monday) in the Sambodromo on Saturday the 16th.

Perhaps you could think of staying outside the city, in historic Petropolis (a short busride away int he mountains) or Buzios (whch has a shuttle direct to the airport, but may also be heavily booked for multi-night packages), after spending Sunday night at the Sambodromo. You could also look at hotels in Niteroi, a 12 minute ferry ride (or bus/taxi via bridge) across the harbor.

Hope you have fun !
We found it almost impossible to find hotels when we booked in February we had to rearrange our trip to go to Iguazu so that we only had one night in Rio on the 8th prior to getting on Adonia on the 9th Feb - good luck!!!!