Lagoon — Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
It’s a problem facing every Olympics host city: what to do with that multimillion-dollar rowing facility until the big event, and then after it. In Rio, home of the 2016 games, the answer is simple. The Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon sits in the heart of the city, ringed by modern midrise towers and incredible shear-granite mountains, the most prominent being topped with the famous Cristo Redentor statue. The spectacular site is perfect for dining by night, so the stadium has launched as an upscale gastronomy and lifestyle centre, home to restaurants Gula Gula, Pax Delícia, Quadrifoglio Caffè, Giuseppe and the San Remo Bar. Most memorable is the waterfront terrace, lined with teak lounge seating by Italian manufacturer Roda, where views, and the innovative menu, are incredible. There’s also a luxury cinema and a museum-like homage to Brazilian icon Carmen Miranda.