Fresh review of the Emperador where I just stayed for 3 nights. Online rate on their site ( Amex select ) was 175 USD including early check in, late checkout till 4pm, breakfast on the restaurant for 2. For an extra 20 USD / night you would get an " upgrade based on availability".
The hotel website lists a large number of rates, so I called the 0800 line for Brazil to enquire about the upgrade. Talked to someone in English ( strange for Brazil hotline ) and was assured that the upgrade would be from a Deluxe Room ( all rooms are called Deluxe ) to a Corner Suite.
This looked like a good deal as the Suite was retailing for something between 199 to 333 USD on the web site. Having stayed at the hotel before I know these rooms offer a small office isolated from the main room what would work fine for me as I had a number of conference calls scheduled during my trip and my wife could be undisturbed while I did those.
Got to the hotel at around 1pm already prepared for the obvious discussion... Our room was ready, an "Executive Deluxe Room" on the 13th floor. No the Corner Suite as expected.
10 minutes of polite discussion with the check in agent, he wouldnīt budge so wouldnīt I. In the end I got the keys to the Executive Room, asked him to call his manager and I would expect nothing else than the Corner Suite as informed by their hotline.
Got to the room, 5 minutes later got a call and got transferred to a Corner Suite on the 4th floor.
Not a great start and the mood didnīt change over the days.
The hard product is great! All rooms are over 40 sqm. The Corner suites are over 50 sqm and they do have a separate room as you enter with a work desk and a coffee machine that works great as a mini office. Everything is very well maintained. Good amenities, soaps, a fully stocked mini bar. The bathrooms are good sized with separate tub / shower. Good water pressure and plenty of hot water. Fluffy towels, good bed linen. No bath robes or sleepers but a quick call took care of that.
And thatīs my main gripe about this hotel. Service is a best uninterested. Youīll get things done once you ask for it but no one is proactive in offering great service. Employees donīt smile a lot and donīt look to be motivated to work there.
Couple of examples:
Your room key card states breakfast is from 7 to 11am. We arrived at 10.15am and the sign at the restaurant says breakfast is from 7am to 10.30am.
I pointed this to the hostess and she said I should take it up with reception because everybody is complaining about this issue and nothing gets done.
Breakfast is good by the way. Plenty of fruit, scrambled eggs, toast, pastries, juices.
Another morning I asked the bellboy for some matches. He told he didnīt have any and I should ask at the bar... the bar is 15 meters away; on a good service hotel he would go there and not ask me to do it.
In the end they had no matches on the hotel... strange for a 5* ?
Internet is on the slow side and expensive at 20 bucks a day. They seem to nickel and dime you whenever thereīs a chance.
I would stay again as rooms are great but only if the rate is also great.
And this is where I think the Emperador is at a fault. They had 4 days / 3 nights to make me faithful to this hotel and they didnīt even give it a try.
Small office ( no photo of the desk, sorry )... room to the right.
Wines at the bar
Bar and lobby to the right