Luxury hotels arrive in forgotten downtown Rio

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With an eye on upcoming sporting events such as the FIFA World Cup 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016, 22 hotels are being built by 2016 in the long forgotten historic center of Rio de Janeiro.

The center of Rio is going through massive renovations as part of the preparation to welcome sports fans as well as business travelers in the coming years.

The city has plans to build a total of 22 properties in downtown Rio, including hotels from two to five-star classifications. These will add a total of 3,283 guest rooms to the city's current capacity of about 30,000.

The shortage in hotel rooms in the city has been acknowledged by the organizers of the 2016 Olympic Games, given that more than 2 million visitors entered the London Olympics' park during this summer's games.

According to O Dia, a major daily newspaper from Rio, five out of the 22 hotels have already received a license from the city to start work.

The two largest additions will be built as part of the Olympic port in the harbor area, an area which has around 850 square meters (9,149 square feet) for potential construction. The city's plans to build an Olympic port include two hotels of 500 rooms each. Aside from the hotels the area will have media facilities and a convention center.

Also part of the old district's makeover, Le Paris Hotel, an old motel which used to be frequented by prostitutes, is being converted into a five-star hotel by French brothers François-Xavier and Jacques Dussol.

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