Originally opened in 1972, and empty for over a decade, Rio's iconic 34-floor Hotel Nacional has recently re-opened as the Gran Meliá. Designed by Oscar Niemeyer, much of the original details have been preserved in the renovation: including the lobby with a Pedro Corrêa de Araújo chandelier, staircases, sinuous ramps and Carybé’s 45m-long concrete installation, Alfredo Ceschiatti’s original Mermaid, which holds court over the hotel’s swimming pool; and modernist landscaper Roberto Burle Marx’s original gardens, home to 46 species of native Brazilian plants.
Over 400 rooms and suites which give wraparound views of Rio, São Conrado Bay, Ipanema and Copacabana and come with Trussardi linens, LED TVs, minibars, safes, docking stations and pillow menus. Guests can also find two restaurants, a rooftop bar and helipad, and Latin America’s first Clarins spa. São Conrado beach, with its celeb-favoured shops, restaurants and bars is just steps away.
• 413 rooms
• Hotel opened: 2016
• Architecture: Oscar Niemeyer
• Interiors: Deborah Aguiar