The cars parked on Avenida Atlantica are blue, red and white – the same colours as the sand, the ocean and the urban decorations of landscape architect Burle Marx.I enjoy the view on what is just another dazzling day in Copacabana.
My flight slows as I spot a bright light which breaks up the sequence of facades on the seafront. It is a brilliant light pouring through a perforated covering, a dazzling white graphic effect created by fibreglass. I approach it, slipping through a French window and into a spa suite.
I am brimming with pride as I realise, we have managed to achieve what had once seemed unthinkable in our country. With the first “Emiliano” in São Paulo, we took the idea of luxury to a higher level.
We were the first to raise the quality of every slightest detail. The first to build a helicopter landing pad on the roof. The first to ensure our clients no longer had to endure the nuisance of having to pack their suitcases before checking out. The first to conceive the hotel as an artform. So much so we called them “Emiliano”, in a tribute to Brazilian painter Emiliano Di Cavalcanti.
And here in Rio de Janeiro, in our second hotel, it dawns on me that we have once again managed to create a unique experience.
It is unique because the view in front embraces Copacabana, reaching all the way to Sugarloaf Mountain, which looks as if it has been drawn by a child, whilst behind it you can feel the primordial force of the forest pushing up against the city.
I see a woman climbing out of the tub and wrapping her hair in a turban. She moves gracefully, her skin sun-kissed. Pineapple and ipé flower, cocoa and heliconia flower, or acai and Victoria water lily?