Rio gets ready to party as hospitality houses
More than 30 countries will transform some of the city’s most breathtaking locations into venues for enjoying culture, gastronomy and sport.
Everybody knows Rio de Janeiro is one of the best cities on the planet in which to party, but things will reach another level when the Olympic Games get underway. After details were revealed of the official hospitality houses that will spring up for the event, it seems athletes, visiting fans and the city’s residents will be spoilt for choice when the action begins in August.
More than 30 countries, and a number of companies, have now confirmed the location for their official residences, many of which will be open to the public. At prime locations across the city, they will offer spectacular settings for watching the sport on big screens, socializing and experiencing the culture and gastronomy of each venue’s host.
Hospitality houses have become a tradition of recent Olympic Games; at Beijing 2008 and London 2012 they were some of the most popular places for athletes and fans to let their hair down.
Half of the houses in Rio will be open to the public, while entry to some country houses (such as those of the USA, Great Britain, China and Russia) will be restricted to athletes and invited guests only. Entry to most of the open houses will be free. Germany will have two houses; one open to the public on Leblon beach, which will be operated by the country’s consulate in Rio, and another closed location in Barra da Tijuca, which will be the official German Olympic Committee residence.
There will be hospitality houses all over the centre of the city and in the main beach districts, located in a variety of cultural centres, sports clubs and historic buildings. The Portuguese, in keeping with their maritime history, will use a historic sailing ship as their residence.
Host country Brazil will run one of the largest hospitality houses in Rio. Casa Brasil will be located across two former warehouses in the city’s renovated waterfront district. Visitors will be able to sample Brazilian coffee, chocolate, cachaça and wine.
Mexico will install their house in the National History Museum in central Rio, while France will be based amid the glamour of the horse-racing track near the lagoon (Lagoa) and Jamaica, which is yet to announce its house’s location, promises reggae parties. Japan, which will host the next Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020, will take over the modernist Cidade das Artes building (see photo below) in Barra da Tijuca. The British house, which will not be open to the public, will be located in the historic Parque Lage, which is nestled under the Christ the Redeemer statue.
Cover: An artist’s impression of the House of Switzerland, which will be located on the banks of the Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon in southern Rio. Photo-2: The German consulate’s hospitality house on Leblon beach, complete with big screens and Teutonic cuisine.