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Old Aug 21, 07, 3:40 pm   #1
 
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Arrow Sheraton Iguaz˙ Resort & Spa, Argentina, 2007 onward [Master Thread]

Quote:
Originally Posted by ozstamps View Post
The elegant Hotel Cataracas on the Brazil side does however leave it for dead IMHO
Hotel Cataracas appears to be much cheaper than Sheraton. I realize the quote above is very old, but now that renovations have been done, how does the Sheraton compare today? Thanks.E

Last edited by SanDiego1K; Jul 2, 09 at 12:25 am. Reason: Earlier reports are at http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/starwood-preferred-guest/970859-sheraton-iguazu-argentina-per-2007-repo
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Old Aug 22, 07, 5:04 pm   #2
 
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Unless the Cataratas has been renovated in the last 12 months (unlikely), there is no comparison. I stayed at both properties in July 2006. Rooms, amenities, food, location, views all are better at the Sheraton. Some of the rooms at the Cataratas are larger, but that is small consolation IMO. Overall the Cataratas is showing its age.

By all means you should visit both sides of the falls but there is no need to stay at the Catratas to do so.
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Old Aug 22, 07, 5:31 pm   #3
 
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Originally Posted by LAXGUY View Post
Unless the Cataratas has been renovated in the last 12 months (unlikely), there is no comparison. I stayed at both properties in July 2006. Rooms, amenities, food, location, views all are better at the Sheraton. Some of the rooms at the Cataratas are larger, but that is small consolation IMO. Overall the Cataratas is showing its age.

By all means you should visit both sides of the falls but there is no need to stay at the Catratas to do so.
I would agree with the above. Last summer after having spent one night "in town" and the next at the Sheraton--we were on a tight budget--I definitely would have splurged and spent both nights at the Sheraton. The Cataratas is okay, but the Sheraton is in the park. You walk to the deck, or your balcony if you're lucky, and the falls are right there. This is a "one in a lifetime kind" of trip, and if you can possibly afford the Sheraton I'd go for it.

The hotel renovations were almost completed when we were there and I thought it was quite nice. The included breakfast was good. The second cup of coffee with a view of the falls was wonderful. It still is not a hotel that I would put in the luxury category by any means, but it is nicer than the Cataratas. The reason for the high prices is that it's the only hotel in the park and they charge accordingly. Starwood Gold members seemed to get a few perks. Both hotels are on the Argentine side.
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Old Aug 22, 07, 5:45 pm   #4
 
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Thanks. I already reserved the Sheraton, so I'll stick with that.
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Old Aug 22, 07, 5:46 pm   #5
 
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I assumed, maybe incorrectly, that you were referring to the Hotel Cataratas in Puerto Iguazu, but there is a Hotel das Cataratas in the park on the Brazilian side which has spectacular views. We did not have a visa for Brazil, so staying there was not an option for us.

I thought it looked really cool when we were touring the park. There is good info on both "Catataras" hotels on TripAdvisor. The opinions on both are quite varied, but I think you would probably find them helpful. The Hotel Cataratas in Puerto Iguazu is probably a ten-minute drive from the park, IIRC.
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Old Aug 22, 07, 6:04 pm   #6
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Oh well I just did the both sides on the same day and ended the falls by having couple of drinks on the Sheraton hotel with a friend. The view from the bar patio was nice.

We actually stayed at the Foz do Iguazu because IGU has far easier access from SAO than the Argentinian side.

I do not need a Visa for Brazil but I cannot see how not having one would deter one visiting the Brazilian side of the falls from Argentina because the passport check was done only when entering and leaving Argentina. Nothing at all on the Brazilian side.

BTW later on the evening on Foz do Iguazu we got stopped by two guys cycling with two guns pointed at us. Luckily I got away by just walking but my friend was lot us lucky. They got his sunglasses and some money.
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Old Aug 22, 07, 6:12 pm   #7
 
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Originally Posted by holtju2 View Post
I do not need a Visa for Brazil but I cannot see how not having one would deter one visiting the Brazilian side of the falls from Argentina because the passport check was done only when entering and leaving Argentina. Nothing at all on the Brazilian side.

We didn't have a visa when we crossed the border to see the Brazilian side of the falls so we were technically in the country illegally. Our cab driver convinced us that he knew the border guards and that we would have no trouble. We didn't. Everyone at the border on both sides seemed to be on a first-name, back-slapping basis, but while we were there I found myself thinking that $100 for the visa would have been a cheap price to pay if things hadn't gone well. I tried to enjoy the falls and not think about what being detained by Brazilian immigration officials might be like.
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Old Aug 22, 07, 6:49 pm   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sushibear View Post
I assumed, maybe incorrectly, that you were referring to the Hotel Cataratas in Puerto Iguazu, but there is a Hotel das Cataratas in the park on the Brazilian side which has spectacular views. We did not have a visa for Brazil, so staying there was not an option for us.

I thought it looked really cool when we were touring the park. There is good info on both "Catataras" hotels on TripAdvisor. The opinions on both are quite varied, but I think you would probably find them helpful. The Hotel Cataratas in Puerto Iguazu is probably a ten-minute drive from the park, IIRC.
Yes actually I was referring to Cataratas in the Brazilian park, and I did read TripAdvisor. Thanks.
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Old Aug 22, 07, 10:04 pm   #9
 
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Was just there in July..as a Plat, was upgraded to a large suite with a HUGE deck. Received a couple of phone calls from the manager, saying that "you're a SPG Plat, one of our most valued guests, & we want to make sure everything about your stay exceeds your expectations." I was allowed a couple of cash w/drawals as a plat, access to the very nice health facility, a cool little welcome gift (iguazu book) in addition to the points. I had been to this hotel before as a Gold, and received a similarly great experience---upgraded to a falls view room, along with the other perks.

As for the Brazilian side, there was a "one-day-visit-pass" option for a taxi-driver trip over to the Brazilian side of the falls. The forms that the taxi driver filled out were from a pre-printed pad of paper, and clearly were not some home-made thing he whipped up in MS Publisher for the occasion. Apparently, they've had so many people wanting to do just the simple trip over to the Brazillian side, that this "legitimizes" the previous "back slap the border guards" methods that have been used in the pass.

I'd also thoroughly recommend timing your visit, if you can, for when the moon is full. The park conducts moonlit walks on the Gartanta Del Diablo trail...some can be packaged with a dinner buffet at the visitors center. The falls by moonlight was absolutely awesome, almost a whole other world compared to it's glory by day...and I'd highly recommend it.
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Old Aug 23, 07, 2:41 am   #10
 
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[quote=skye1;8279454]As for the Brazilian side, there was a "one-day-visit-pass" option for a taxi-driver trip over to the Brazilian side of the falls. The forms that the taxi driver filled out were from a pre-printed pad of paper, and clearly were not some home-made thing he whipped up in MS Publisher for the occasion. Apparently, they've had so many people wanting to do just the simple trip over to the Brazillian side, that this "legitimizes" the previous "back slap the border guards" methods that have been used in the pass.[quote]

Make no mistake. If you are in Brazil without a visa, you are there illegally. If any Brazilian official made an issue of your presence, a form from the Argentinian side would be of little use to you. Please read the following before you make a decision. Regardless, I would still do what I did, but I would still be uneasy doing it.

ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS: A passport and visa are required for U.S. citizens traveling to Brazil for any purpose. Brazilian visas must be obtained in advance from the Brazilian Embassy or consulate nearest to the traveler's place of residence. There are no "airport visas" and immigration authorities will refuse entry to Brazil to anyone not possessing a valid visa.

http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_p.../cis_1072.html
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Old Aug 23, 07, 3:16 am   #11
 
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To make a visit even more exciting:

Immigration authorities will not allow entry into Brazil without a valid visa. The U.S. Government cannot assist travelers who arrive in Brazil without proper documentation.
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Old Aug 23, 07, 6:41 am   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sushibear View Post
To make a visit even more exciting:

Immigration authorities will not allow entry into Brazil without a valid visa. The U.S. Government cannot assist travelers who arrive in Brazil without proper documentation.
This reminds me of being in Big Bend National Park in Texas a few years ago and a Park Ranger telling me I could visit a little Mexican town across the river in a rowboat if I wanted to.

Sure, it was "illegal." But no one cared, and the odds of anyone "arresting" you was zero.

I'm not sure about the current Iguazu crossing situation, but it sure sounds similar. When I was there a few years ago, there was no problem for an American getting across the border without the Brazilian visa. I happened to have one (I was visiting both countries), but the taxi driver seemed surprised, and certainly would have taken me across the border without one.

My hunch is that if that all the locals involved in the tourist trade say it's OK to cross the border without the visa, it should be OK to cross the border.
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Old Aug 23, 07, 3:14 pm   #13
 
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Originally Posted by iahphx View Post
My hunch is that if that all the locals involved in the tourist trade say it's OK to cross the border without the visa, it should be OK to cross the border.


Coming to this conclusion was why I crossed the border in a taxi. I'm sure hundreds, if not thousands, have done so without incident since the visa policy for American tourists was enacted. I also agree, that in that area, local economy trumps national policy, but we were still told by several in the local tourist trade that we would have to have a visa. The concierge at the Sheraton told us we could not cross the border without a visa. We still took our chances because the cab driver was convincing. I'm glad I went. However, I wouldn't want to be there the day the Brazilian government, which I am sure is aware of what goes on there, decided to crack down on these crossings. Just sayin'.
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Old Aug 23, 07, 6:23 pm   #14
 
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Interesting.

The concierge at the Sheraton Iguazu is the one who set up the trip for me, basically arranging for the taxi driver, who met me in the lobby and, right at the concierge desk, took down my information & filled out his paperwork.

Now, yeah, when I was there before, one would simply find a taxi driver to do it and it had a LOT more of the "back-slapping" ambience being discussed here. This time, it seemed a lot more "legit." But, reading thru the posts & links provided above, it would seem that it's one of those "one way on paper, one way in real life" scenarios.
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Old Aug 25, 07, 8:00 pm   #15
 
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Mini trip report....

Just spent the past two days here at Sheraton Iguassu, and I am currently paying for one night of internet access to post pictures, etc.

Check-in: Great experience, the agent spoke both Spanish and English, so I tried to speak as much Spanish as I could, but once in a while had to revert. He welcomed me as a valued guest, and it was his honor to check in a "platinum" member. During check in, he pulled out a book with different amenities for platinum check in, and although 99.9% of the time I went with points, in this particular instance I was swayed by a little stone toucan and a nice book on Iguassu. I was also informed that although I had checked into a Jungle room, my platinum status had moved me into a suite (A).

Room: It is a first floor suite with a beautiful Falls view, and a very spacious deck. We were greeted by two capuchin monkeys on our balcony. This may be one of the better suites I have been in, and it is clear this place has been recently remodeled. The bed was not a Sheraton Sleeper, but it is plenty comfortable. There is also a full second room for lounging, and a half room with closet and changing room to accompany the bathroom. Both a shower and a tub.

The best part however is clearly the access to the Falls... It looks like most people have already covered this...

It is clearly a great place to spend your *wood points!
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