The history of Hotel Gloria began as a result of an important historical event: the hundred-year anniversary of Brazil’s Independence.
At the request of the then President of the Republic, Epitácio Pessoa, a project was conceived to offer elegance, sophistication and excellent service to host foreign delegations that would come for celebrations commemorating the occasion.
Businessman Rocha Miranda and French designer Joseph Gire, the same creator of Copacabana Palace and Palácio das Laranjeiras, led the construction.
On August 15, 1922, Hotel Gloria was opened, the first five star hotel in Brazil, also considered to be the first reinforced concrete building in the country.
Its location was strategic: the neighborhood of Glória, even pre-dating the construction of Flamengo Park, the hotel was a few meters from the sea and had one of the most beautiful views of Rio de Janeiro, Guanabara Bay, Sugar Loaf and Corcovado. Furthermore, it was just 1.5 kilometer from the Presidential Palace, then the seat of the federal government.
Hotel Gloria has also always enjoyed great political importance over the decades. Epitácio Pessoa was present at the opening ceremony and was the first of 19 presidents stay at the hotel. Among them, Getúlio Vargas, Ernesto Geisel, Juscelino Kubitschek, José Sarney, Itamar Franco, Fernando Henrique Cardoso and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Glória also served as a residence for members of congress, senators and ministers.
The proximity to the city’s cultural center contributed even further to the glamorous history of Hotel Gloria, which, throughout its existence, received various movie, theater and music stars.
In May 1949, the Italian engineer Arturo Brandi purchased the building and began to manage it with his partner, Eduardo Tapajos, who later took full command of the hotel.
In 1995, Hotel Gloria entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest hotel by number of rooms in the country.
In the mid-1990s, a renovation and modernization program began, which in 1997 transformed Glória into the first fully computerized hotel in Rio de Janeiro. Thereafter, it joined a reservation system connected to travel agencies worldwide.
Businessman Eduardo Tapajos directed the hotel for half a century until his death in 1998. His widow, Maria Clara Tapajós, then took his place.
In 2008, Hotel management chose to sell the venture to the EBX Group of the entrepreneur Eike Fuhrken Batista.
The Gloria Palace Hotel – the name given by new management – is undergoing renovation and revitalization, which will return all the charm and pioneering technology to the hotel, through sustainable and intelligent design.