Tuesday, September 10, 2019

XXIV - The Belmond

XXIV - Back to Brazil

We left the Melia and crossed back into Brazil. Along the way, we repeated the process of Customs and Immigration at the border.

While on the Brazil side of the falls we were staying at the Belmond Hotel das Cataratas, Foz do Iguacu (translated - Belmond Hotel of the Falls) in "Foz do Iquacu", Brazil. The Belmond  was a 2 story Portuguese Colonial style building that first opened as a hotel in 1958. The Belmond was the first "5 Star" Hotel in South America.

Unlike the Melia with its clean lines and open spaces, the Belmond was an older style hotel with heavy arches and staircases. 

The lobby itself was much smaller considering the size of the hotel, unlike the large open lobby of the Melia. 

There was a traditional bar that opened out onto a terrace and ran along the right front of the hotel. 

The hotel was built around a large courtyard of lush grass, landscaped with colorful flowers, and trees with orchids in them.

Just like the Melia, the Belmond was also located in the National Park. A fabulous view of the falls was visible from a terrace on the lawn of the hotel. The path to the falls started just below the terrace.  

The first morning we were there, I was able to capture the view at dawn.

When we checked into the hotel, we were told that guests of the hotel had access to the park early, hours before the park opened at 9 am. They suggested we take advantage of this. We got out on the paths early - not necessarily to take advantage of the early access, but to see the falls in the early light. The paths were empty. 

However, as we ended our walk and headed back to the hotel, we were shocked at the line of buses full of tourists waiting to see the falls. All day, the buses kept coming bringing more and more tourists. If nothing else, we could justify the steep room rate at the Belmond for exclusive access to the park, if nothing else.

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