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In the heart of Rio de Janeiro, where the rhythm of samba dances through the air and the waves of the Atlantic kiss golden sands, stands an icon of timeless elegance: the Copacabana Palace, A Belmond Hotel. As it celebrates its centennial anniversary, this architectural marvel continues to play an integral role in the vibrant tapestry of Rio’s cultural landscape.
Copacabana Palace’s Legacy: From Hollywood’s Gilded Age to Iconic Rio Events
The very mention of ‘Copacabana Palace’ evokes a cascade of emotions and memories. It’s a name that resonates with the spirit of the exotic, a symphony of music, glamour, and grandeur. It’s a name that conjures images of Hollywood’s gilded age, where stars would descend to revel in its opulence. It’s a name synonymous with Rio’s most iconic events, from the riotous colours of the Carnival balls in February to the grand celebrations that usher in every New Year.
For a century, this hotel has stood as a beacon of old-world elegance juxtaposed with contemporary flamboyance. From its extraordinary inception in 1923, Copacabana Palace has witnessed Rio’s evolution, transforming from a quaint coastal town to the stylish global destination it is today.
The grandeur of its 1920s art deco façade, which proudly overlooks the world-renowned Copacabana Beach, is a testament to its enduring charm. Who could forget the free concert by the Rolling Stones in 2006, where the beachfront, under the watchful eyes of the hotel, was swarmed by over 1.5 million ecstatic fans? Indeed, Copacabana Palace has not just witnessed history; it has been an intrinsic part of it, epitomizing the essence of luxury travel.
Elevating Luxury Travel: Copacabana’s 2023 Cultural and Gastronomic Extravaganza
As the hotel ushers in its 100th year, it’s not just about looking back but also forging ahead. 2023 will see the launch of an extraordinary annual arts, gastronomy, and cultural program. This series of curated events is designed to captivate guests, showcasing the enduring spirit of the Copacabana Palace. At the heart of this celebration is the iconic swimming pool area, which has undergone an elegant transformation. Meticulously redesigned by the renowned carioca architect, Ivan Rezende, this glamorous hotspot now exudes a renewed allure. With delightful parasols, luxurious sun loungers, and bespoke fabrics, every detail pays homage to the hotel’s golden age.
Drawing from the hotel’s illustrious archives, the reimagined poolside design is a blend of nostalgia and the vivacious spirit of Rio de Janeiro. Striped parasols, tropical-patterned linings crafted exclusively for the hotel, and fringe details reminiscent of playful pompoms create a visual spectacle. The chosen hues of green and orange further enhance the ambience, forging a harmonious connection between the historical vibrancy of the hotel and the carioca spirit of the city.
But the celebrations don’t end there. Come December 2023, the world will be treated to a visual feast with the release of the beautifully illustrated book, “COPACABANA PALACE, WHERE RIO STARTS,” published by Vendome. This tome promises to be a journey through time, capturing the essence of a hotel that has, for a century, been at the heart of Rio’s cultural and social scene.
The Copa is more than just a place to stay. It’s a symbol of Rio de Janeiro’s rich history, a testament to timeless elegance, and a beacon of cultural legacy. As it steps into its next century, one can only anticipate the new memories it will create, the new stories it will tell, and the continued role it will play in the ever-evolving narrative of Rio de Janeiro. ◼
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© This article was first published online in Sept 2023 – World Travel Magazine.