I am nine and I stayed at the Sheraton near Leblon at Christmas with my parents and my little sister who is five. It was the first time that any of us had been to Rio or even to Brazil. I thought that I would write a review of the hotel so it’s easier to see what it’s like for kids. Right now there are not that many hotels or resorts in Rio that are really good for children. That might change a bit when they finish building lots of new hotels for the Olympics in 2016.
When we arrived at the hotel really late the entrance was really pretty with a HUGE Christmas tree outside and a big lobby. The hotel didn’t get really busy until Christmas Eve and a lot of people just come to Rio for New Year. At New Year everybody goes to the beach and dresses all in white. There is a huge fireworks display that goes on for ages. I already knew about this from the beginning of the movie Rio 2. It was nice that at first in the middle of December the hotel was quiet.
Our room was big with a really nice view of the hotel beach, Ipanema, Leblon and the ocean. We could see the pool down below with lots of fairy lights. Sometimes the ocean waves were really big and rough but there were always still some crazy people surfing.
There are three restaurants and a bar. The breakfast was OK but expensive. There was cereal and pastries and some hot stuff. There was a little pizza restaurant near the pool that was a bit weird and a grown up new bar near the pool. They didn’t seem to mind children being in that bar though. The best restaurant was the outside one that did incredibly tasty buffets. The Brazilian barbeques were amazing for kids with lots of different grilled meats and tons of salads, breads and puddings.
We really loved the pool. It’s big, and split into two sides. The shallow side has the animation team from kids’ club in it doing games. My little sister was always playing in that. There was also a paddling pool for really small children. There was lots of loungers so you could always get a seat and they always gave you lots of towels.
There was also another pool that we called the “secret pool” because not that many people seemed to notice it near the tennis courts. That pool also had really pretty day beds next to it with white curtains where you could lie and look at the sea while you had a mocktail. Normally there would be people on these because they were so cool so you had to keep a look-out and grab them when you could.
For some reason we didn’t even walk down the steps to the hotel beach for the first few days but when we did we discovered that it was one of the nicest things about the whole hotel! The sea was a bit cold for swimming which was surprising since the weather in Rio at Christmas was BOILING sometimes 40 degrees or something?? There were some really big rocks and lots of teenagers would jump off the rocks into the sea. No way was I doing that though.
Three things that I didn’t like so much
- It was kind of a long walk to the beach along a busy road and when we were there, there was some road work going on that you had to walk around. My little sister complained about the walk A LOT.
- The people in the kids’ club were really nice but I think they are re-doing the kids’ club so right now it’s in a small, dark room. They sometimes play games outside though like bingo and stuff. Like I said, the kids’ club people were really good at pool games.
- We couldn’t really find a shop in the hotel that sold anything useful so we had to go out to buy stuff. Leblon has some really nice shopping malls though.
Top five best things for kids
- I just mentioned the shopping malls and one of them is just called Shopping Leblon. It has a great kids’ club with a toy town and video games where you can be left on your own for a while. It only took about ten minutes in a taxi from the hotel to get there.
- It didn’t take long in a taxi to get from the hotel to the Sugarloaf Mountain Cable Car and the Botanical Gardens which were both really good.
- The hotel pool was very nice for kids and there were lots of other friendly kids to play with.
- The hotel beach was amazing and it was fun to play in the sea there. It was also nice to walk up and down Ipanema Beach.
- I would definitely recommend this hotel for kids and it is one of the best hotels in Rio to stay at with children, lots of other families at the hotel told us that too.