Best of Brazil: Hotel Emiliano
We spoke to the contemporary lifestyle hotel’s CEO, Gustavo Filgueiras, about the hotel’s extensive services and distinctive design.

‘Best of Brazil’ is a series in celebration of the country’s rich and varied cultural tapestry. From architectural design to wellness retreats and art galleries, Brazil is home to some of the most innovative and inspiring creations, and we are shining a spotlight on them.

If you take a leisurely stroll along Copacabana beach your eyes will be drawn to a multitude of natures creations like the iconic Sugarloaf Mountain and Forte Duque de Caxias. However, for the man-crafted, one of Copacabana’s most attractive entities is the Hotel Emiliano.
Gleaming under the Brazilian sun, the distinctive white façade is a fine example of contemporary Brazilian architecture; sculptural, innovative and complementary to its environment, whilst the holistic approach to hospitality is reflective of the Brazilian spirit.

The sister hotel to the Emiliano São Paulo (which opened in 2001), the Emiliano Rio was launched for the Rio Olympics in 2016 and has become a hotspot for refined international travelers and locals alike. We spoke to the hotel’s CEO, Gustavo Filgueiras to uncover all that it has to offer.

Filgueiras starts with an eloquent and concise summary of the hotel, stating,

“It celebrates the sophistication, service, privacy, and comfort from the Emiliano São Paulo, with the casual feeling and experience of a beach resort, at the historic and privileged location at the famed Copacabana Beach. The Emiliano Rio is a true oasis at the fervent city of Rio de Janeiro.”

The Emiliano Hotel has become a prominent figure of the Copacabana promenade, and this is partially due to the innovative exterior mentioned previously. Filgueiras expresses that this unique façade is a result of the Brazilian Contemporary Project, which,

“Restores the golden years from the city of Rio de Janeiro, through elements like the original furniture from the 1950s, the loose elements of the façade, or the Burle Marx panel at the hotel reception. Naturally, the project has benefitted from the city’s abundance of sunlight, designating features such as the reflective white facade and allowing for the creation of bright spaces, juxtaposing vibrant colours with an extensive use of wood.”

The architect behind the design is Arthur de Mattos Casas, whom Filgueiras expresses,

“Celebrates Brazilian modernism, which is reflected in the hotel’s dynamic perforated facade. Accordion-style balcony panels fold back to reveal unobstructed ocean views and creates an ever-changing view of the hotel’s exterior.
Intricate surfaces named ‘cobogó’ were specially designed to improve the experience of light and landscape and to create privacy. Elements lining the building were made entirely for the hotel, and seek to break the continuity of the concrete blocks of buildings on the waterfront. The idea was to create a façade that was alive in its organic design so that it would be ever-changing along with the preferences of each guest.”

The guest of the Emiliano Hotel come from countries across the globe and get a chance to truly experience the Carioca spirit through the hotel’s hospitality and staff.

“Rio de Janeiro is a city that invites you to explore the outdoors in many ways, like doing sports, exploring nature (beaches and landscapes), flying (hand-glider) through the sea, or even experiencing the fervent city through gastronomy and nightlife. For active travelers who wish to explore the hotel’s prime beachfront location, our wellness ambassadors are pleased to set up stand-up paddleboarding sessions or, a relaxing session of stand-up yoga.
A throwback to 1950’s Copacabana, the hotel is designed with Brazil’s golden age in mind. The Emiliano Rio reflects the modernism from Rio’s best years through the architecture, the warm Brazilian attitude from our staff, the endless pool as an extension of Copacabana beach, our bars offers the best authorial Brazilian cocktails, while the Emile restaurant offers one of the best seafood of the city and our wellness ambassadors are ready to make your experience even more customised. We are located at Posto 6, the best area for water sports like stand-up paddle-boarding, rowing, swimming in the sea or even a yoga class by the sea.”

This considered and tailored Carioca experience that guests are provided with comes down to the hotel’s abundance of services and ethos.

“The services we offer are a direct reflection of our Brazilian culture and people. We call it ‘Alegria’. Although hard to directly translate, Alegria is the loving light-headedness that is at the soul of all Brazilians.
The culture of the company is very strong in the sense of serving. We encourage all kinds of staff attitudes related to the extraordinary and personalised. The service has to be very genuine, caring and efficient, understanding and anticipating all guest needs, as well as always using their name during all interactions.”

One of the hotel’s facilities that offers and an array of services is the Santapele Spa.
Filgueiras explains why the spa is an important asset to the hotel,

“Well-being is curated by combining accommodation with exclusive treatments and customised programs outside. Therefore, we’ve designed multi-sensorial programs to promote rebalancing through three pillars: detox, energising and relaxing. Everything joins up with nature.
The Santapele Spa creates a connection between the hotel rooftop and guestrooms. It was designed to integrate the wet areas of the hotel, such as the experience showers, dry sauna and steam room with the pool and treatment area. A state of the art gym, all equipped with Technogym, has one of the best views of the hotel.
The two spa suites are the perfect place for couples to explore, with privacy, a deepen well-being experience, by offering aromatic baths (oversize baths), specific nutritious menus, as well as other amenities to enhance mind and spirit.
The Santapele Spa’s philosophy is to provide a balanced and healthy lifestyle as an extension of the guest’s home.”

The spa and its services are part of the hotel’s holistic experience with gastronomy and extraordinary occasions attempting to balance to the body and soul; enriching the stay of its guests.

Accordion-style balcony panels fold back to reveal unobstructed ocean views and creates an ever-changing view of the hotel’s exterior.

“An example is the full moon program that happens when the lunar energy becomes stronger. Taking advantage of this moment, the spa offers an experience that includes an aromatic bath with the full moon light and a yoga class at the sunrise.
The gastronomic offer of this program is to explore the rooftop, with an amazing exclusive chef menu and a stunning view of the moon right above the ocean.”

On the subject of gastronomy, Hotel Emiliano’s two restaurants and a singular bar offer a plethora of fine cuisine.

“The Emile (restaurant from the Emiliano at the ground level) offers the Rio de Janeiro’s premier intimate dining experience that celebrates the natural local abundance of the Guanabara Bay Coastline. The chef’s contemporary menu has a great emphasis on the relationship with small producers and local fishermen; who supply the most fresh and exclusive ingredients in the city.
The Rooftop Restaurant, situated in an extraordinary exclusive rooftop garden environment overlooking the beautiful beaches of Rio de Janeiro, is the support for all activities at the pool and features fresh, light, healthy, small plates of internationally inspired seafood and organic recipes – created using the finest local seasonal ingredients. The rooftop is exclusive for the hotel guests.”

Overlooking the city’s most iconic beach from the Copacabana Fort to the Sugarloaf Mountain, it must be said that another aspect of the Emiliano Hotel’s holistic take on hospitality is it’s optimal location, of which Gustavo Filgueiras explores,

“The Emiliano Rio is located in the best spot of one of the most renown beaches in the world, the Copacabana Beach. The location is one of the few places where you may see the entire beach, with the amazing view of Niterói in the Horizon. The sea right in front of the hotel, protected by the Copacabana fort has calm waters, where the cariocas already do rowing and swimming. It’s a meeting point from the athletes.
The place is very central. A few minutes from the restaurants from Ipanema or Botafogo, as well as being very close to the airports. You can reach anywhere in the city in a short period of time.”

The contemporary, yet warm architecture and interiors, central location, cool rooftop pool, restaurants, spa, and extended amenities are collectively behind the Emiliano Hotel’s abrupt ascent to becoming one of Rio’s most highly rated locations, and why we can assertively claim it as a best of Brazil.

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