Today we say farewell to the Crystal Symphony and the wonderful staff that has taken care of our every need for the past 12 days. After disembarking at around 10AM, we join the throngs of people looking for taxis and tours both from the Crystal Symphony and the Regent Mariner. Against all of the “safe tourist rules” we opt to hire a private driver to take us over to the Fasano Hotel on Ipanema Beach. The guy *seems* trustworthy, and negotiates a price of R$80, or about $35 US. In the end, we think we paid about $15 more than a metered taxi would have been, well worth the price for being able to skip the taxi line – which was probably well over a hour wait. By the time the last passenger had left the pier, we were settled into our hotel and enjoying a cold beer on the sands of Ipanema.
The Fasano is part of the Leading Hotels group, on the east end of Ipanema, well within walking distance of Copacabana and Leblon. The property has an onsite restaurant, a 5th floor infinity pool and 90 luxury rooms. Our room provided an amazing beach-view from the glass enclosed balcony, beautiful hardwood floors, funky wall mirrors,a comfortable work area, large flat screen TV and a roomy, comfortable bath. During our stay, WiFi was complimentary and very fast.
This evening we’re attending the Plataforma Carnival Show with Dinner. We’ll enjoy dinner at a traditional Brazilian barbecue house then see the carnival show with Samba music and costumed dancers.