Since arriving in Brazil over one month ago, bathroom showers have been cold and “poo tickets” required to be disposed of in the bin. Thankfully since arriving in Rio, it has offered reliable sewage and warm showers; two modest forms of luxury One takes for granted. A less modest form of luxury is where we have stayed the last couple of nights to celebrate, belatedly, Vivian’s birthday. This surprise experience was made possible by a little generosity from Ma and Pa and by utilising the resources of a friend back home.

He was able to collect a substantial amount of “Hilton Honors” points during countless Hilton hotel stays when he was a travelling executive so offered up some of these to me for Vivian.

Fabulous. Now, if only one of the two Hilton’s across the entire Rio state was positioned in a prime location…

Oh wait, one is and happens to be situated overlooking the 4KM stretch of beach known as Copacabana!

Now, I’m not someone that typically seeks out highly commercialised hotel chains as normally you can find more quality and guest satisfaction from independent and individualised hotels that offer more charm and attract less ‘fake’ people. Still, we were most thankful for this opportunity and most importantly, Vivian was truly surprised to be staying here so that made it all worth it. 

Ben’s points allowed us to upgrade the room to the Copacabana beach view!

Thank you so much Ben and thank you Mum and Dad for your contribution.

We arrived early, as you would when staying somewhere like this, but was surprised to be allowed to check in before 10am! That’s a lottery win right there as any frequent hotel visitors will know. (We also ended up checking out as late as 5pm). Another victory. All good fortune and coincidence or part of being a pseudo Hilton Honors member? I’m not really sure but no complaints either way!

Actually, come to think about it, both mornings at breakfast we were ushered to a highly desired window seat so maybe, just maybe the Honors points does do that bit extra. Also being greeted each morning as Mr Kennedy was mildly amusing.

The hotel’s signature piece is a pool and chillout zone on the roof. It also offers a second pool on the 4th floor seen here in the daylight and the night-time, along with evening views of the street and the beach of an evening.

Determined to make full use of the roof-top pool, we ate breakfast early and reserved a sun lounger – a system Mother taught me as a young boy and it worked a treat. It wasn’t long before people slowly start to trickle to the pool baffled as to why there’s no room for them by late morning. Snooze you lose.

As you can see, we managed to grab the best spot and did not leave until well into the afternoon – largely thanks to the sacred trinity of cocktails, sunshine and pool. Yes, even I couldn’t resist the hotel-priced enticements so I eventually surrendered to a passionfruit Caipirinha, then the strawberry Caipirinha then back to the passionfruit. When in Rome and all…

I had a glorious few hours and mildly intoxicated helped but I would pay heavily for my over indulgence and pay I did in multiple senses of the word.

Now, I’m not used to being known as having a pasty complexion compared to most but to Vivian I definitely am.

I randomly took these two shots below on the bus last Friday which shows how little sunshine I’ve received compared to her. That said, I definitely do not look like that anymore but how I wish I did lol.

So here’s a BEFORE shot. Look at the difference LOL.

And now here’s the current to-date AFTER shot.

Surprise! 😂

Yes, that’s red raw, not brown! 😥

Trust me, it was a surprise for me too as I did not know I could burn like that but apparently I can, just like the rest of you.

As embarrassed as I am, I can say that this has never ever happened to me before. Has this to any of you? Even if not as severe. Let’s just say I’ve been in pain for two days now and it has literally hampered our plans to visit the beach. Instead, I’m hiding inside afraid of the sun just like an albino.

I’ll for sure remember to stay off the cocktails next time so I don’t forget to wear sunscreen!

Lesson learnt.

So I’m gonna have to take it easy for a couple of days and rest-up although you can be assured that when I’m back and able to move again, we will be looking for more treks and sights to bring you as there’s still a few more things ‘to do’ before we look to move on, somewhere, anywhere (we still have no idea where that will be).

I’ll leave you with our three favourite shots from the weekend.

Next time you hear from me or maybe even Vivian it’ll hopefully be with less sore legs and another exploration.

15 Responses

  1. Wow, great photos hun! Thank you so much for a great birthday weekend. Thank you Ben, Teresa and Phil for making this happen for us, we had a lot of fun. It would have been perfect if it wasn’t for Sami’s sunburn lol

  2. Glad you had a good time. Really surprised you burned like that but I suppose you are under a really powerful sun there.

    • Yes, you and me both. As you say, the rays are really strong and I reckon there’s a tiny hole in the Ozone layer too that is directly above the Hilton hotel haha.

  3. Hi Tan and Red Lobster,
    Glad you both had a lovely time and what a pity about the sunburn. I feel his pain as it has happened to me too. Not when I was younger but as I got older. Hope you have got some after sun as I think it will take more than a couple of days to ease off. Or you could just soak in a bath of cold water. Good luck.
    The hotel looked fantastic and the views are stunning.

    • The pain is easing already, thankfully. The colour hasn’t though lol. Still red and sticking out like a sore thumb. Back to jogging bottoms 🙂

  4. That was indeed a horrible Tan.. hope you get back to normal soon .. lovely pictures and the place looks amazing !

    • That’s polite of you to call it a tan, not a roast. Thank you 🙂

      Thanks for your words, definitely a good session for photos.

  5. Hi Sami and Vivian
    I’ve been catching up on your adventure in Brazil. The photos are beautiful it looks an amazing place. Happy belated birthday wishes to Vivian 🎂what a place to celebrate. Looking forward to when we can travel again 🙂. But until then it’s nice to follow you on your journey. Sami stay out of the midday sun 😂hopefully it won’t happen again but Aloe Vera is really good for sunburn. Take care stay safe xx

    • Hi Marg, Vivian here.
      Thank you so much for your feedback on the website and my birthday wishes, it was indeed a place to remember. Rio is an incredible place to visit if you don’t mind the 12 hour flight. Sami tells me you enjoy holidaying so I hope you’ll get to go away this year sometime.

      Sami is feeling a lot better but good to know on the Aloe Vera. In fact, we have our next hike in mind for next 48 hours so he had better be ready for it. 😂 Take care xx

  6. Glad you are both having a good time and you enjoyed your birthday treat. We do like to travel when we get the chance. But as we’re getting older flights up to 4hrs are more appealing now😂. A holiday abroad is looking doubtful this year we’ll see. Glad Sami is better look forward to the next update. Take care xx

  7. A Belated Birthday wish to Vivian. What a lovely treat. The views are fantastic, and amazing pictures. Stay safe look forward to more surprises from you both. 😄

    • Hi Rosey,

      Vivian here. Thank you for your birthday wishes. Yes, the views were quite something, especially of Sami the Lobster 😊

  8. Dear Sami – It’s Claudia, your cousin from Rome whom youve not seen for a very long time! I believe the last time was around summer 1994 (August maybe) when you came to visit Kettering with Mum and Dad, the same time I visited my brother and his wife Sandra with my then little ones, Stephanie and Natalie. We had a lovely day at Wicksteed’ s Park.
    Now to get back to the present. Your Mum has graciously shared her link with me! Ive been meaning to say for quite some time now how much ive enjoyed reading the stories of you and Vivian, and seeing all the wondurful sights and photos of your adventure together. Beautiful!
    The latest post of you hanging from the rock while Vivian very closely looked on simply took my breath away!!! How did you ever get back onto firm land without falling? It could not have been easy!!! Anyways, I wish you both continued and happy adventures gether – – and cannot wait for the next installment 🙂 God Bless, claudia and familyxxxx

    • Dearest Claudia. An unexpected but very welcomed surprise. 1994 you say!? All I remember about that year was there was a football World Cup 🙂 Whilst my memories of the Kettering visit are thin, certainly Mother talks about Claudia from Rome really quite often. By the way your written English is excellent.

      Thank you so very much for your words. It’s strange how to travel with a partner feels like such a blessing but also such a challenge due to Covid. I very much hope Italy is on it’s way to recovering though I sense like the rest of the World, it may still be a while.

      That said, it would be lovely to re-meet you again properly in adult form and hear about your life and indeed that of Stephanie and Natalie. Vivian would love to see more of Europe so if Covid wasn’t an issue, I’d aim to plan to come over to Italy and thereabouts and aim to meet up with you. Mum and Dad could join too. Ah, such a shame to talk of great plans only to be so restricted. 🙁 One day, for sure.

      Ha, yes, the rock photo hey. I’ll do you a deal. When we meet, I’ll share with you that challenge and how we overcame it.

      Thanks for checking in on us, lovely surprise indeed.

      Sami and Vivian

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