Starck, for his part, says this hotel represents a new direction for his work. “It’s a little more serene, a little more calm, more intelligent, more comfortable,” he says. And he points out that he wanted to avoid a stereotypical, kitschy vision of the region. “I tried to have a feeling of timeless Brazil, but not the Brazil of tourist brochures. I tried for something a little more elegant,” he says.
Then again, there’s no point in flying to Rio if you can’t show off that new bikini, and the rooftop infinity pool, says Fasano, is not to be missed, particularly because of the view. “You cannot see the sand, and you can only look at the ocean,” boasts the hotelier, who lives in São Paulo but spends one week a month in Rio. “It’s like being on a boat.”