Hotel Saint Paul / Ariaú Towers / Iberostar Grand Amazon

Olá Ricardo…

Desculpe, mas não consegui responder antes; estava viajando (novamente).

Em princípio, tudo que esquematizei deu certo:
– o voo de ida (um horror de sobe e desce), longo, mas tudo no horário;
– o hotel Saint Paul com as reservas certinhas;
– o IberoStar perfeito;
– o Ariaú com transfer certinho e reserva correta; e
– a volta com a outra alternativa TAM (que com o horário de verão me pregou um susto) bem melhor que a ida.

Agora vamos às observações individuais:

1. Hotel Saint Paul:
Aparentemente um hotel todo terceirizado e com problemas (a maioria pequenos) e que poderiam ser melhorados: Já de
início um quarto com secador de cabelos que não funcionou (primeiro dia). Após a reclamação, a segunda reserva com secador
funcionando, mas o quarto empesteado com cheiro de cigarro. Reserva curta, passamos direto. Mas daí um problema que tu
deves salientar para a gerência: café da manhã começa às 06h (só que a funcionária só abriu o restaurante às 06h30min com
saída confirmada para o Ariaú para às 07h), mas daí atrasos de todos os lados (inclusive do transfer) e estávamos a caminho.
Na última diária aproveitamos a piscina com apenas uma toalhinha de rosto e uma de banho fornecida pela funcionária, também
terceirizada (!!!???).

2. Ariaú Amazon Towers
Infelizmente o que era modelo de interação homem-selva, agora se encontra em um estado de depredação que, devido ao
tamanho, acredito ser difícil remediar. Mas ainda esta lá, passarelas longas (algumas destruídas), lamentavelmente em período
de seca (mas isso não é culpa do hotel). Enfim, investir ou abandonar… Os próprios funcionários estão notando a queda de
movimento quando comparado a anos anteriores. Falaram muito em outros empregos e destinos.

3. Iberostar Grand Amazon
Impecável…

Pontos altos:
– guia do Ariaú (te mando o nome depois, pois estou sem as minhas anotações), que sabe um monte de jacarés e é humilde a
ponto de me ouvir falar de um bicho que ele conhece bem (onça) e que ele não sabia que matava diferentemente dos outros
felinos…
– visita à aldeia com informações sobre a borracha e seringueiros,
– o IberoStar (4 estrelas para mim) muito bom,
– focagem de jacarés do IberoStar (melhor que do Ariaú).

Negativo (e muito negativo):
– não poder visitar a aldeia de índios tradicional próximo do Ariaú … isto deveria ser informado ANTES da viagem (a aldeia visitada
pelo IberoStar já é totalmente ocidentalizada em todos os sentidos).

Enfim, ai vão as anotações iniciais. Estou à disposição para outras informações, basta perguntar…

Abraços.
Raul

Park Suites Hotel / Iberostar Grand Amazon

Hi Luciana

We are back in the US after a wonderful vacation to the Amazon via the Grand Iberostar. We were delighted with the overall experience and your assitance.

Park Suites:
Our one night stay was very comfortable. The pool along the River Negro was very scenic – yet rarely used by the hotel guests. Only a handful ventured out.The hotel also seem to be the favored place of Brazil’s flight attendants and some very attractive airline employees did use the pool. Very good eye candy I must say!!!! The hotel staff at the pool were slow in providing services if you waiting for them to come forward to the pool-side chairs. We had to go up to the bar for pool towels and ordering of drinks and food. But overall their service was good and the hotel provided us with a complementary drink!!! The area around the hotel is currently building a beach along side the hotel and it looks to be very impressive when it is completed. We walked along the river during our one night stay and found the area quiet and pleasant. The Park Suite is adjacent to the Tropical Manaus and that had some very nice stores which we visited (It also had a few vacancies for shop tenants).

Iberostar Grand Amazon: Sept 21st thru 24th 2012
The ship was well kept and clean and the service was top class. As with any cruise the food was plentiful and the range of choices of what to eat were very good. My wife and I tended to stay towards traditional Brazilian foods at the buffet and were satisfied with the quality. Some of my table companions were a bit more critical of some of the food at times – meats over-cooked, slow service for coffee, refills – but we ourselves did not have any such experiences.

Our room was clean with a very good bathroom (key to us on any trip). Despite the humidity we were pleasantly surprised that there was no odors were lurking from the carpets throughout the ship. Your upgrade of our accommodations to the top tier of Acara from Tambaqui for our room was greatly appreciated!!!!

The side excursions on the cruise were a huge success. First the Iberostar staff is very efficient in organizing each day’s activities. We were delighted of the care and effort in each event from wildlife and bird-watching trips to the jungle expedition. Each side trip was between 90 to 180 minutes. During the trip we notice that the Amazon river banks is more prone to farming rather than jungle since it is such fertile land. Some of the ship occupants who experienced the River Negro portion of the trip noted that the Negro was a better tour for the wild-life experience compared to the Amazon River itself. That might be a point you should make potential travelers aware when visiting the region. The guides were informative about the life on the river but some of the other visitors wanted more info on the birds that were all around us.
The visit to Mr Alverez house on one of the excursions was fun. He certainly is an enterprising man. We tasted various fruits and juices in is kitchen along side his wife and 9 kids. We also stop at another local family residence on the river who had a pet sloth and an anaconda. We held the sloth but missed the snake (no disappointment there). Great picture opportunity of us holding the sloth.
The jungle trek was fun and adventurous. Although the ship probably walks through the same spot each week, the hike is no catwalk. The ground was slippery and we had a bit of a climb from the boat to get into the forest. A lot of the ship’s passengers were retirees and I was wondering if they might have difficulties with the hike (they didn’t but a few slipped to the ground on the way back to the boat. Our guide Jefferson came upon a tarantula spider which he picked up to show us. The spider bite him on the wrist but he assured us he would not die as he was ‘use’ to the jungle. Quite an experience and another r great picture opportunity.
While on board the ship during the day we had plenty to drink and I must say the caipirinha were outstanding. Iberostar certainly does not skimp on service.
The talent show on the last evening was a joy to watch. The costume changes and effort of the performers into the numerous variations Brazilian dances were impressive!!!

City of Manaus
The Opera House is certainly the highlight of Manaus. Impressive!!! It would around $2 billion to build today. Worth the visit to the city. Otherwise we found the streets to be the equivalent of NYC’s Chinatown filled with useless gadgets and trinkets. Nothing Brazilian whatsoever.We were very glad we did not spurge for a cab into the city the night before our cruise. We enjoyed the grounds around the Park Suite Hotel instead. I did not come to Brazil to buy an ipad case nor tee shirt!! I wanted to find BRAZILIAN crafts but not so. Only a small hut just by the Iberostar cruise ship pier had interesting items.
The city of Manaus must find its niche and local flavor. The govt must rezone what the hordes of venders must sell. Only by accident did we stumble into a Acai berry shop that serve delicious juices but this was well off the beaten path of the city’s main street.

Thanks again for the memorable vacation. Park Suite and Iberostar Grand Amazon were well worth the experience.
The city of Manaus itself has a lot of work to do if it wants to impress the world at the upcoming World Cup in 2014. Even the airport roof leaked massively during a simple thunderstorm that closed all the inside shops. What a mess.

Sincerely
Don and Helia Wilcox
Manhattan New York, USA

Encontro das Águas

Olá Ricardo,
Obrigada pelo apoio, gentileza e atenção. Adoramos a estadia em Manaus, cidade muito agradável. O passeio ao Encontro das águas foi excelente, a pontualidade foi cumprida, o guia Ariosmar muito atencioso, gentil e conhecedor de toda a história e cultura, o barco confortável e com segurança total. Da próxima vez que retornarmos a cidade com certeza faremos outros passeios com a Viverde.
Obrigada, Vânia

Juma Lodge

Olá Ricardo.

Foi muito prazeroso, usar os servicos da Amazonas by Viverde bem como do Juma Lodge. Os serviços desde a chegada até o embarque de volta foram feito por gente muito bem qualificada. A estadia no Juma Lodje foi algo exepcional visto que a região é de fato selvagem e suas instalacoes em palafitas, dá um charme especial a este hotel. Recomendo a todos.

Daniel

Anavilhanas Lodge / Passeio ao Encontro das Águas

Caro Ricardo:
Realmente merece um comentário a nossa programação aí no Amazonas. Inicialmente elogiar a sua empresa e o cumprimento rigoroso e pontual de todo o programa acertado. No passeio ao Encontro das águas, tanto o atendimento como o passeio em si, o guia e o almoço foram muito bons. Faria apenas uma sugestão: poderia ser abreviado um pouco o tempo de trajeto do barco. Mas valeu à pena. Quanto ao Anavilhanas Jungle Lodge, este merece reparo especial. Excelentes as instalacões, o atendimento, as atividades, a cozinha de excelente padrão, ao tempo em que utilizam as coisas da terra. Sem dúvida recomendaria a qualquer pessoa. Igualmente faria apenas uma sugestão: o Hotel deveria incluir maior acesso ao Arquipélago em si, uma visão mais abrangente do Parque, com um circuito maior, ainda que fosse somente de lancha, mas se possíve l com uma trilha em alguma das ilhas. Mas o que informam é que o acesso ao Parque está proibido. Esta foi a única decepção. No mais, elogios à Viverde. Grato,
Walbert Martins Carvalho