NileGuide Expert tip:
Like many hotel restaurants in Rio, Fennel welcomes non-guests, although reservations are advisable for dinner
Hotel restaurants can get a bit of a slating in the credibility stakes, but in Rio de Janeiro some of the city's finest restaurants can be found within the confines of upscale hotels.
While Fennel, at the Arena Copacabana Hotel, isn't right at the top of the scale, it is one of the best options to be found along Copacabana beachfront, and makes a refreshing change from the greasy pizza joints and other tourist traps that are all too prevalent here.
The decor is chic, minimalist and contemporary, and the food mixes fresh seasonal ingredients (yes, fennel makes a few appearances on the menu) with traditional Brazilian dishes, with a few Mediterrannean influences thrown in. Steaks and seafood are good, as are the pasta dishes.