Safe but advises needed A review of Hotel Marina Palace
In general I was very pleased with my stay at Marina Palace. I agree with most of the reviews: safe area, nice staff, great breakfast with a nice view of the beach.
I will therefore try to comment of the area surrounding the hotel.
* Dont take the hotels advice on going to the Christo statue. There is no reason to use 4 hours in a crowded bus when you for R$ 20 can take a cab enjoing the lake of Lagoa to the train station that brings you directly to charming train that climbs the mountain up to the Christo statue. The train costs R$30 and if you are more than 1 person then you save not only time but also money.
* The hotel is located just after beach tower number 11 (the beachtowers starts at number 1 at Cocabana and ends around number 12 at Leblon). The best place at the Ipanema beach is however at number 9 (where all the locals hang out). Finding a hotel ... i.e. Inpanema Beach Hotel will save you a 2km walk each day.
* The roof terace is beeing renovated these days. So dont get your expectations high if you wanna enjoy the view I never enjoyed.
* Make sure to check your bill when you leave. I spend 2 min adjusting it from R$ 469 to R$ 355. Worth a little effort.
* The hotel offers a great magazine called 'MyRio' free of charge. My advice is to read it when you arrive. It contains some great advice and also descriptions about the different areas of Rio. Especially the recommendations about dining and clubs are really good. But dont ask in the reception. They will send you to the most expensive restaurants in Rio. And being in Rio there is not any reasons for going to such places. Staying at the hotel my two favourite places were 'Guanabara' and 'Jobi'.
* Ask for a east-faced room (looking towards Ipanema/Cocabana). It gives you not only a view to the beach but also to the Christo statue ... and a stunning sunrise each morning.