This place was beautiful! Built in 1944 by Joaquim Rolla, it was the largest casino-hotel facility in South America at the time, featuring Norman style architecture and a Hollywood-like interior atmosphere.
The Norman style was typical of the glitzy European casinos of the pre-WWII period, while the interior is redolent 1940’s US movies. It is no wonder that the decoration was carried out by celebrated Hollywood interior decorator Dorothy Draper.
Encompassing an area of 538,000 sq. feet, Quitandinha was designed to be the “Brazilian Capital of Gambling”. Marble restrooms, crystal-studded chandeliers, a lighting system powerful enough to illuminate a city with 60,000 inhabitants and vast halls for up to 10,000 people at a time.
The arched roof of the Mauá Hall ranks as the largest in the world, with its nearly 100 ft. height and 164 ft. diameter, comparable to the dome of Saint Peter’s Cathedral in Rome. It also boasts a modern 2,000-seat theater with three revolving stages, and an outer lake in the shape of the Brazilian territory with a lighthouse placed in the spot where Marajó Island is geographically located.
Quitandinha Hotel guests comprised millionaires, movie stars, politicians, etc., all seeking the best life had to offer. On May 30, 1946, President Dutra outlawed gambling in Brazil, plunging the glamorous Palace into utter economic ruin. Unable to survive solely as a hotel, its apartments were gradually sold out. As of 1989 it was restored and its common areas are currently rented out for conferences, events, shows and trade fairs.