Very Nice Place to stay A review of Hotel Marina Palace
Just left Rio having spent 6 nights at Marina Palace. It's a very nice hotel, and as many have already said, the breakfast is outsanding, with a great view of the beach to boot!
On the first day I arrived I also sampled a buffet lunch which was spectacular.
The room was not particularly up to date but was spacious, comfortable, and had all the necessary amenities (although the safe costs an extra 3 reals per day).
The third elevator is STILL out of action and I expect it probably will be for eternity. I'd recommend requesting a low floor and just use the stairs to get to and from your room (they are marked 'staff only' but using them saved me several long waits for the two working elevators).
The roof top pool and gym are also being refurbished and were out of use but I was able to use the gym and rooftop pool at the Marina All Suites which is right next door. The gym there is reasonably well equipped, but small. There's also a Sauna, and the pool is tiny...but what a view!
The reception staff were very helpful and friendly and spoke excellent english. Vitoria recommended a company called New Rio Hiking for a 2 day trip to Ilha Grande, which was extremely good fun (although it rained both days!). It's a pricy trip compared with some others around but the Poussada that they use...''Porto Girassol" is absolutely fantastic, and run by the world's sweetest lady.
The only negative aspect that I encountered at the hotel was the rather unsavoury tactic of the bellboys quoting ridiculous rates for taxi rides to Copacabana. Luckily I had already taken plenty of yellow cabs and knew the correct rates (between 8 and 15 reals to Copacabana dependent upon traffic). Another guest at the hotel was quoted 50 reals for a trip to the Copacabana Palace! Myself and the other (american) guest pointed this out to the manager and he promised to address the issue. If you are going to use the 'hotel' taxis, I'd recommend asking at reception first and getting them to give you the fixed rates which are actually quite reasonable. But I'd also say that you shouldn't worry about using the yellow cabs.
All in all I would highly recommend staying here.