RIO DE JANEIRO – The Carnival parades in Rio de Janeiro’s Sambadrome are excuses for transforming other parts of this festive site into genuine night clubs where parties go on parallel to the shows put on by the samba schools, but to other rhythms.
That is literally true because those spaces, known as “cabins,” are located right beside the walkway where the samba schools go by, whose parades are considered the world’s greatest outdoor show and the main attraction of the Rio Carnival.
The so-called cabins open their doors hours before the parades so visitors can relax, have a drink, dinner, a massage or even a haircut.
So the public can truly enjoy the Carnival parades, the most famous in the world and which this year began last Saturday and will go on until next Tuesday, these cabins offer such amenities as an air-conditioned lounge with an open bar, restaurants and a spa.
It all depends on the kind of cabin. There are super VIP facilities like the Guanabara, which measures more than 4,500 sq. meters (48,000 sq. feet) and has room for 1,000 visitors.
This exclusive facility for executives, business partners and special guests has three floors, an elevator, five bars, three restaurants, hairdressers, a dance floor, a Zen area with massages, a makeup room and two large lounges for watching the parades.
But however exclusive that may be, there are at least 10 others similar in size and services open to the general public.
There is even a cabin for children up to age 12, as long as their parents accompany them.
When the walkway begins to vibrate with the parade of the first samba school, the partying in those cabins really gets going.
Cabin costs can range from $165 for a night of samba school parades in the Access Group to $1,850 in the Special Group, the top category.
“Carnival is partying, Carnival is all the variety life has to offer and where anything can happen. That’s the magic of Carnival!” Joao Paulo Machado, one of the choreographers of the Imperio Serrano samba school, told EFE.