The Sheraton Barra in Rio is very dissapointing, which is a real pity as it is by a really fabulous beach.
The hotel is not in the main part of Rio, and is away from the action so not the best for new tourist visitors to Rio. It took almost 2 hours on a Friday evening to get there by car from the airport, although this was a holiday weekend and roadworks so probably an exception. It took about an hour going back. I was there for work, but if there as a tourist, I would be disappointed on the location as it is so far from the hot spots like Impanema/ Copacabana and the tourist attractions.
But then the hotel makes it worse!
The hotel clearly is very busy due to its location near a very nice and popular beach, and so is busy with holiday makers, wedding parties (zillions of them) and conference visitors. The hotel decor is dated and shabby, stuck in the 1980s with little of the flair and passion one expects (and gets) usually in Brazil.
The staff are also disinterested, off hand and lack the usual Brazilian warmth. This is true across all departments, including most of reception. I am used to friendly, welcoming and up-beat people in Brazil. This seems to have been sucked out of the staff here.
They also are awful with details and bookings. I have read in other reviews of this. On checking in, despite having a printed voucher from the hotel with my 2 nights booking, they said I had a booking for one night starting the next day. Luckily the hotel had space (unlike the next night). I had booked a 2nd night as I had a very late night flight and wanted to have the room. They then kept phoning asking when I was checking out, as they had then not got the 2nd night despite telling them on checking in and signing and checking the form I signed.
There was no hot water in the morning. Again something many complain about.
The basins had no plugs.
The air con only worked in loud blasts, and so despite the hot Rio nights best to sleep with it off.
The windows were very dirty, and hard to see out. The bath was stained and in desperate need of replacement. Lampshades were all lopsided from half hearted cleaning.
Check out was surly and he did not give me the bill to look at, just barked out the amount due. And grumpily printed it out for me to review when I insisted.
Anything good? The breakfast spread was good The beach opposite the hotel is great. Really great. I had a great time in the sea there. Sheraton contacted me via Twitter when I posted on leaving the hotel about my stay. The pool is big but is dated
But my advice is to avoid this hotel. Shabby, dated, uncaring and weak on handling basic room care and check in and out accuracy.