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Oscar Niemeyer's Hotel Nacional in Rio reborn as Gran Melia flagship

by Rebecca Barnes | 16 Mar 2017

Situated in an iconic building originally designed by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer and recognised as a national heritage site, the flagship Gran Melia Nacional Rio De Janeiro is now open.

The tubular skyscraper property which is located on the beachfront in Sao Conrado bay, has been extensively renovated to create 413 hotel rooms, including two presidential and 10 executive suites set over 34 floors, and features the only Clarins spa in Latin America.

Renowned Brazilian interior designer, Debora Aguiar, has designed all of the hotel’s communal areas including the rooftop, while US-based Studio VOA renovated the bedrooms.

The spa features four massage rooms, two Jacuzzis, a sauna, hydro massage bathtubs, Turkish bath and relaxation room. The hotel site also has two restaurants, a swimming pool, a terrace overlooking the sea and a gym. Its garden, containing 46 species of native Brazilian plants, was originally designed by famous landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx.

Originally opened in 1972, when it was a popular hangout for celebrities such as James Brown and Liza Minnelli, Niemeyer's famous ‘Hotel Nacional’ was abandoned over two decades ago. Gran Meliá decided to acquire the property and renovate it as their flagship in the country. Many of the original architectural details have been retained.

Another one of Niemeyer's abandoned Brazilian buildings – the Tangará Ranch, with another Burle Marx garden – has also recently been renovated as a flagship hotel, in this case for Oetker Collection.

Rio  hotel  Gran Melia  Gran Melia Nacional  Debora Aguiar  Oscar Niemeyer  spa  luxury  Studio VOA 
Situated in an iconic building originally designed by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer and recognised as a national heritage site, the flagship Gran Melia Nacional Rio De Janeiro is now open. The tubular skyscraper property which is located on the beachfront in Sao Conrado bay, has been extensively renovated to create 413 hotel rooms, including two presidential and 10 executive suites set over 34 floors, and features the only Clarins spa
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During its heyday, in the 70s and 80s, the Hotel Nacional was renowned as a celebrity hot-spot / Gran Melia
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