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Will the Classic Hotel Glória In Rio Become a Four Seasons?

January 13, 2014 at 9:31 AM | by | ()

Brazil has a few big years coming up, hosting the FIFA World Cup this summer and the Olympic Games in 2016. That can only mean two things: lots of new hotels and lots of high, high rates.

We’d heard already that Four Seasons Hotels was moving in on the burgeoning market, but more details on what that might look like are starting to appear: Bloomberg is reporting that the Canadian group is looking at up to five properties: two in Sao Paulo, one in capital Brasilia and a resort in Pernambuco (more on that later), and in Rio de Janeiro possibly in the classic Hotel Glória, built in 1922 for the International Exhibition and being sold by embattled billionaire Eike Batista.

Closed since late 2008, the renovation of the hotel is part of an overall revival of the Glória neighborhood, once called the ”Paris of Rio” for its beautiful architecture. Bloomberg has Alinio Azevedo, Development Director Latin America and Caribbean for Four Seasons, saying that the group will probably buy an existing asset, while also pointing to the potential sale of the hotel to a Swiss-based investment fund. We’d expect that Four Seasons itself won’t be buying anything, but rather look to acquire the management contract, as they usually do.

Several renderings can be found here, which show the vast neoclassical structure facing Guanabara Bay, complete with rooftop terrace with double pools. We’d hesitate to take the interior shots as anything definitive; if the Glória does become a Four Seasons, the below suite feels a bit fussier than we'd expect for an FS. Through various extensions over the years, the Glória had over 500 rooms; a count we’d think would go down in its new lease on life. No matter what happens, opening is likely to take place after the FIFA World Cup.

While we wait for that bit of hotel gossip to be confirmed, construction on a Four Seasons hotel in Sao Paulo and a resort at Reserva do Paiva in the north-eastern state of Pernambuco should start this year.

Opening in 2016, the beachfront resort is located on a peninsula just south of the city of Recife, with 153 rooms and 100 residences. A giant lagoon meanders through the sprawling grounds in the above rendering, and there will be a Greg Norman designed golf course. All the other amenities you’d expect – restaurants, bars, spa, fitness, conference facilities – will be available.

Details on Four Seasons Sao Paulo are a little scarce; one distant rendering of a glassy tower was all we could unearth so far. We’ll keep you posted as we find out more.

[Rendering Hotel Gloria: GoBrazil / EBX, Rendering Pernambuco: EDSA Marketing]

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