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Rio De Janeiro. (Best of Latin America).

BEST BUSINESS MEAL WITH LOCAL FLAVOR

Barra Grill. Rio has a large supply of barbecue restaurants, and it's hard to find a bad or even mediocre one. At the Barra Grill there's a large circular buffet and waiters make continuous rounds with skewers of grilled meat. Check out the 1,000 bottles of whisky in the windows; all of them have names on them. Customers bring their own brands and leave them for the next visit. Ministro Ivan Lins, 314 Barra; phone: 55-21-2493-6060. For lunch in downtown Rio, stop at Cais do Oriente. Open from noon until midnight, it offers plenty of variety on its menu and jazz in the evening. Rua Visconde de ltaborai 8; phone: 55-21-2233-2531.

BEST CAR RENTAL

Avis. Due to a good dollar-exchange rate, rental prices are reasonable- although you may be better off hiring a car and driver through a travel agency or your hotel. Avis, and most other car rental counters, are found in Terminal 2 in Rio's Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport, which locals still call by its old name: Galeao. Phone: 55-21-3398-5060. www.avis.com.br

BEST TRAVEL AGENCY

Rentamar Turismo. In business 27 years, this fully computerized office in the Copacabana neighborhood knows how to pick its guides. One of the best is William Mendes; phone: 55-21-2235-7724. www.rentamar.com.br

BEST BUSINESS HOTEL

Sheraton Rio Hotel & Towers. While the Sheraton is 18 miles from downtown Rio, it is an easy drive, because a good highway skirts the beaches, missing tourist traffic. Located just beyond Ipanema on Leblon beach, it is near the convention center and reigns as the only hotel that is directly on the beach-no streets to cross to take that morning jog along the Atlantic Ocean. In a beautiful garden area out the back door there are restaurants, bars, three swimming pools, three lighted tennis courts, a health club with a gym and saunas-a perfect place to relax in the fresh air after a hard day of work. A golf course is also nearby. A shuttle service runs between the hotel and the Rio Sul Shopping center and the beaches Monday through Sunday The Sheraton has 559 deluxe rooms, including 61 executive suites. For business travelers, so-called Smart Rooms are equipped with all-in-one laser printer/scanner/fax/photocopiers and a technical concierge for tech support. Room rates begin at US$197 and suites from US$259, plu s 10% service, 5% tax and a US$3 pernight tourist tax; phone: 55-21-2274-1122. www.sheraton-rio.com

BEST OLD-WORLD LUXURY HOTEL

Copacabana Palace. It opened in 1923 and has undergone several facelifts to remain the most elegant hotel on Copacabana Beach. It is now part of the OrientExpress Group. While it might be difficult to justify on the expense account, there is good value with a three-night package for US$735 for a standard (city view) room, US$915 (sea view) and US$1,035 (sea view deluxe suite)-plus the 15% in taxes and service charges and the US$3 per night tourist tax. A Brazilian buffet breakfast comes in the deal; phone: 55-21-2548-7070. www.orient-express.com

BEST PLAY TIMES

The hotel concierge can help with arrangements for a round of golf at the Gavea Golf and Country Club, an 18-hole championship course that snakes through the Tijuca Forest. The back nine rolls along the Sao Conrado Beach. Or, arrange to take a day-long schooner cruise from Angra dos Reis, 90 minutes south of Rio, to one of the 365 islands off the coast. If it's futebol season, join up with 200,000 fans at a soccer match in the world's largest stadium, Rio's Maracana stadium.
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Title Annotation:recommended services, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Comment:Rio De Janeiro. (Best of Latin America).(recommended services, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Publication:Latin Trade
Geographic Code:3BRAZ
Date:Jan 1, 2003
Words:606
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