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“Luxury in the jungle has its price”

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Belmond Hotel das Cataratas
Ranked #1 of 79 Hotels in Foz do Iguacu
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 23 March 2012

We were looking for a luxury escape in the jungle. We were prepared for higher than average prices for excellent accommodation, service, and food -- if you are looking for a bargain don't stay in this hotel. We didn't expect nature to stop at the boundary of a hotel in the middle of the jungle -- if you can't stand tiny ants don't visit the jungle, do not even come to Brazil, at least not in the spring or summer time.

Having set expectations right, the Hotel das Cateratas fulfilled all of our desires, from arrival to departure. Many of the concerns and claims that I came across in the reviews before booking the hotel are just because some people apparently do not read. For example, you pay the entrance fee for the park only once. When re-entering you just need to show your room card. Upon arrival, I'd recommend you take the separate entrance for hotel guests and park workers, that's it. Advise your taxi driver if you don't prefer to be picked up and brought by a comfortable hotel car, which clearly is a bit more costly than a cab.

After check in, the receptionist guided us through the hotel, explaining all of its services, to our room in the garden wing. We booked a superior room, actually the lowest available category of rooms and suites available, but higher category rooms don't really add much value. It was beautiful decorated, colonial style, with lovely details. And calm. No noise from the outside, no noise from the room above, no noise from the air-conditioning. If you are only used to US American hotel chains you would most likely consider room sizes small, but it was spacious enough for the three of us.

As a nice detail, the hotel offers free Havaianas in each room, hence we had to check out the pool right after unpacking. A servant immediately placed bath towels on the sunloungers of our choice. The kids pool was just perfect for our 3 toddler. Pool service was excellent, executed orders promptly, offered cool towels and fruits once in a while.

In terms of food, you have the choice between two restaurants. One at the pool side that offers an a la carte menu or buffet, the other one with a view at the falls and a nice terrace, offering an a la carte menu only. We chose the buffet that varies daily but comes with a churrasco that includes various delicious cuts. Prices are a little bit higher than a Fogo de Chao, so not really exceptional if you compare it to top quality churrascarias in Brazil. Afterwards, you can have your sundowner either at the pool or on the terrace of the bar.

Breakfast is served in the restaurant at the pool side and starts with champagne. It is very rich in choice but if there is anything you miss, plenty of helpful waiters are around, trying to fulfill your wishes.

Unfortunately we had to leave after 3 nights. Checkout was super fast, uncomplicated and friendly. Try to get on top of the tower if you haven't already done so during the earlier days, to catch some of the beautiful views of the falls and the hotel resort that makes the good-bye even harder. And if you have a little bit of time left and booked the transfer to the airport through the hotel, the driver would drive you for a final view of the falls.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Ickinho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CataratasManagement, Rooms Division Manager at Belmond Hotel das Cataratas, responded to this reviewResponded 21 May 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your kind review on the Hotel das Cataratas.

Our main goal is to provide our guests with the highest level of service and a unique experience whilst staying with us.

Your review made us feel that we are on the right way to achieve that.

I have forwarded your review to all of our staff members, and all are very pleased to hear that you felt well looked after during your stay.

We are all looking forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Sincerely yours,

Stephan Hauser Ferreira
Rooms Division Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,146 - 2,150 of 3,922 reviews

Reviewed 21 March 2012

Wonderful location and if you make the trek to Iguazu I think this is the only place to stay. Definitely don't bother upgrading rooms, the standard ones are fine and the better ones are not close to being cvalue for money. Views of the waterfalls form the windows are limited at best.

Breakfast and dinner at the buffet area near the pool is very good. The a la carte restaurant tries to be something but fails miserably. I would avoid it. The tourist centre that arrange s trips is excellent and arranged our pick up and drop off at the airport. Well worth doing this, much easier, and rental car not needed while staying here.

Pool area is great and service is good here. Don't get up too late or you won't find a sunlounger!

Room Tip: don't waste money on rooms with views as they are limited at best. Standard rooms are best value
  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
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Thank Suanderez07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CataratasManagement, Rooms Division Manager at Belmond Hotel das Cataratas, responded to this reviewResponded 21 May 2012

Dear Guest,

First of all let me thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us and other Trip Advisor readers.

We are very pleased to hear that you did enjoy your time with us and that you took advantage of the hotel's location to visit the Falls.

Your comment on the Itaipu Restaurant has been forwarded to our Food & Beverage Manager and he and his team are looking into it.

We look forward to welcoming you back at the Hotel das Cataratas in the near future.

Sincerely yours,

Stephan Hauser Ferreira
Rooms Division Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 March 2012

The hotel was wonderful, a real oasis in a tropical setting. Being able to view the falls in the evening after all the tourists have gone home - priceless. It was a truly magical place. The only issue with the hotel rooms was the really noisy air conditioning units that clunked off and on at all hours of the day and night. It would wake the dead from a sound sleep. But other than that, the food, the pool the view, all excellent.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank ROmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CataratasManagement, Rooms Division Manager at Belmond Hotel das Cataratas, responded to this reviewResponded 21 May 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your kind review on the Hotel das Cataratas.

We are very pleased to hear that you did enjoy your stay and our services.

Your comment on the air conditioning has been forwarded to our Engineering Department and measures are being taken to correct this

We would be most pleased to have you back at the Hotel das Cataratas during your next trip to South America.

Sincerely yours,

Stephan Hauser Ferreira
Rooms Division Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2012

If your wallet of reais (or dollars) is no option, then this is the place to stay when visiting the Brazilian side of the falls. Should you rent a car? We paid $R45 (~$US28) for cab from airport to hotel. Must stop at park to buy admission ticket for one day before entering park; cab driver didn't know this, and didn't understand my pidgin Portuguese when I tried to explain. It all worked out in the end. Hotel a la carte restaurant was a bummer because its terrace overlooks the falls, but it didn't open until 7:30 (about 60-75 minutes after sunset). Hotel guests cannot sit and have a drink while overlooking the falls and sunset from that terrace. Instead, must sit at bar terrace, which has limited view of the falls (although sunsets are great). Dog in the manger problem, with restaurant staff who set the tables, put on the tablecloths and laying out the sliver having the best views that the hotel guests should be having. (Hotel should open a la carte restaurant terrace to its guests, and allow them to buy drinks and tapas during sunset views of that part of the falls. Duh.) Room 3222 was water-noisy at night; otherwise ok, small, but tres cher even so. Don't accept it. Request a different room. It's either a water pump or possibly a jacuzzi pump in another room that makes the noise right between 10:30 PM and midnight when we were trying to sleep so as to get an early start on the trails to the falls. Bummer. Check-in desk clerk noticed air conditioner noise when we checked in, commented upon it, but did not volunteer to move us. I wish I had insisted. Also, no comfortable chairs in a very expensive room. Sad state of affairs, but we spent little time in the room (possibly because there was nowhere comfortable to sit), and it all worked out. As such, the end-recommendation is quite positive, but I think I'd advise the following if you can afford it: (1) go to the Sheraton in Argentina the first night (rental car or $US65 cab fare one way), and enjoy yourself in a slightly shabby but upscale Sheraton that will calibrate your sense of quality, and bring you up close and personal to the falls in a spectacular Eastward-viewing location where you can ask for a 'falls view' room available to you 24/7 at a fraction of the cost of this hotel's falls overlook rooms. (2) Make sure you get out to the Devils Throat (Garganta) on the Argentina park train and walkway well before the last train at mid-afternoon. Be there at the train stop no later than 3:00 PM (3) For Brazil side, pay 1.5-2.0 times more for the Hotel das Cataratas only if you are an early riser, or are happy to explore the trails to the falls after dark. Otherwise, it might make more sense to stay at a great place outside the park, and then go the park entrance and take the frequent park buses into the park. This hotel is best for those who have the argenta to (1) stay close to the falls, book a room with a balcony that overlooks the falls, and watch it from the luxury hotel, paying premium prices all along the way, or (2) insist on seeing the falls without others, as in the hours from 6 PM to 9 AM. Otherwise, stop here for a drink from the terrace, and climb the hotel tower for some fab photos, but no need to stay here. It's over-priced and not as special as it makes out. (I have no real complaints. We (idosos) got what we paid for, given the circumstances. But we've had bigger and better hotel rooms in a $250/night NYC Times Square hotel, and slept better because we weren't bothered by the water pump noise as we were trying to fall asleep. The water pump noisome environment plus the absence of a comfortable place to sit in the room made us feel as if we got suckered into a bad deal. And then there was the discovery that the best terrace views of the falls, from the restaurant, were not open to anyone until 60+ minutes AFTER sunset. Inept hotel management for the vast majority of guests who do not have rooms with balconies overlooking the falls. I'll repeat myself: Inept hotel management, and readily fixable via opening up the restaurant terrace so that hotel guests can make use of that terrace. At present, the ones who now see the falls at sunset from that terrace are the members of the restaurant staff who now are setting the tables during each glorious sunset.) Go figure.

Room Tip: Avoid 3222-type rooms due to water pump noise between 10:30 PM and midnight.
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Senor_Wences
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CataratasManagement, Rooms Division Manager at Belmond Hotel das Cataratas, responded to this reviewResponded 21 May 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for sharing your experience with us and other readres.

We, at the Hotel das Cataratas are highly committed to delivering the highest level of service and a unique experience to our guests.

I am very disappointed to hear that you left us feeling that you where not well looked after whilst staying with us.

In deed, there is no point in renting a car whilst staying at the Hotel das Cataratas once the Park Authorities do not allow private cars to enter the Iguassu National Park. Should a guest however arrive in his own car, we do provide him with complimentary transfers from the hotel to the car.

Once all major atractions are inside the park, and can all be accessed either by park buses or transfers organized by our own tour operator, the rented car would not be of great help inside the park.

Your comments on the opening hours of the Itaipu Restaurant have been forwarded to our Food & Beverage Manager and General Manager which are looking into you suggestions.

There was in deed a technical problem close to your room, which has been reverted now. Of course, the Front Desk staff should not have checked you in to that room once they noticed the noise. I do apologise for this. I have personally instructed them in order to prevent this kind of situation to happen again in the future.

We would like to invite you to return to the Hotel das Cataratas in the near future, to have the opportunity to reverse this bad impression you left us with.

Should you wish to book your stay with us, please feel free to contact me directly under:

stephan.ferreira@hoteldascataratas.com

Sincerely yours,

Stephan Hauser Ferreira
Rooms Division Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2012

I stayed at the Hotel das Cataratas for 2 nights as part of a Luxurylink deal and found the entire experience enjoyable.
The hotel facilities were very clean, the rooms were very well-kept and beautifully decorated (I stayed in the Junior suite), the spa treatment (Cataratas facial) was very relaxing, and most importantly the staff was extremely accommodating and friendly. One of the biggest advantages was that most of the staff spoke English quite well (not true of many places in the area). Yes, it's on the expensive side ($65USD for a Brazilian BBQ buffet) but I thought it was worth it for the overall experience.

The bonuses: I particularly enjoyed the poolside service - waiters were always available and brought both food and drinks right to your lounge chair. They also periodically passed around fresh fruit and cold hand towels (definitely appreciated since it was ~90F outside). Also, hotel guests have constant free access to a path that runs through the park and offers amazing views of the falls.

The one negative: I was not made aware of this before arriving, but since the hotel is located in the National Park, all hotel guests are required to go to the park visitor's center and purchase an admission ticket to the park just in order to get in the front gate. After a 30 minute cab ride, I was not thrilled to have to leave my luggage in an unattended taxi and pay $22USD just to be able to check in to my hotel. Considering what they charge to stay at the hotel, I really feel that the park admission should be included with the room if only as a matter of convenience.

Overall, a positive experience and I would definitely recommend this hotel above many others in the area.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Thank ktbnyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Belmond Hotel das Cataratas

Address: Rodovia Br 469 Km 32 | Iguacu National Park, Foz do Iguacu, State of Parana 85855-750, Brazil
Phone Number:
Region: Brazil > State of Parana > Foz do Iguacu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Foz do Iguacu
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Foz do Iguacu
#1 Spa Hotel in Foz do Iguacu
#1 Family Hotel in Foz do Iguacu
#1 Luxury Hotel in Foz do Iguacu
#5 Business Hotel in Foz do Iguacu
Price Range: $454 - $791 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Belmond Hotel das Cataratas 5*
Number of rooms: 193
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Facing the spectacular Iguacu Falls in Iguacu National Park, the 5-star Belmond Hotel das Cataratas provides free Wi-Fi internet access. Guests can enjoy a cocktail by the swimming pool or play a game of tennis on the provided court. The falls can be experienced by speed boat, rafting or by a helicopter flyover. For excitement and adventure, guests can enjoy abseiling, rock climbing and canopy walks. Walking tours allow for the surrounding lush rain forest to be explored. Belmond Hotel das Cataratas offers traditional Portuguese styled rooms with a flat screen TV, dark wood furniture and warm natural tones. Some rooms provide a balcony and seating area. The two restaurants on-site provide views of the falls and of the hotel's pool. They serve a selection of international and local Brazilian cuisine. In the evening live music can be enjoyed in the downstairs bar. The Iguacu Falls lie between the Brazilian state of Parana and Argentina. The Brazilian side offers postcard panoramic views, while the Argentinian side provides varied, up-close views. The hotel is located in a privileged position, alongside the Iguassu Falls. It is in fact the only hotel situated in the Iguassu National Park. Because of its prime location, the Belmond Hotel das Cataratas offers its guests a unique experience - taking walks along the trails by the falls which may be done at any time during the day, with the added advantage that from 7 a.M to 9 a.M, the trails are for guests of the hotel exclusively. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Das Cataratas Hotel
Tropical Das Cataratas
Hotel Das Cataratas
Hotel Tropical Das Cataratas
Belmond Hotel Das Cataratas Foz Do Iguacu, Brazil - PR

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