marnell companies

Rio Hotel unveils plans for tower room remodels

Rooms in the Ipanema Tower at the Rio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas will be remodeled. (Jeff Green Photography)

Las Vegas, Nev. (FOX5)


By C.C. McCandless
July 18, 2023


An internationally renowned architecture firm recognized by local and national publications, Marnell Companies was founded in 1982 and is known for handling planning, design, construction, development, and consulting. Still run by Tony A. Marnell—one of Sin City’s most legendary Strip architects, the firm has been honored by the Las Vegas Chapter of NEWH for extraordinary design achievements that include awards for the best hotel, best lobby, best suite, and best lounge bar. Such honors can only be achieved with a skilled team of craftsmen and the guidance of Tony A. Marnell. After earning a bachelor’s from the University of Southern California, Marnell spent two years in graduate school studying with legendary architect Professor Alfred Caldwell. The training paid off big: Marnell went on to design and build such Vegas landmarks as the Rio Hotel in 1998 and the Bellagio and became the architect of record for Wynn’s The Mirage. Marnell also served as executive design architect for the $1.1 billion Borgata casino.


Dreamscape Companies has unveiled plans for the renovation of the Ipanema Tower at the Rio Hotel & Casino, revamping 1,427 standard oversized guest rooms and suites.

According to a media release, the “overarching design approach is part of the larger vision to completely revitalize the property to compete in today’s ultra-competitive market; with the aim of creating a vibrant dynamic lifestyle experience.”

The standard 600 square-foot guest rooms will be upgraded with all new furnishings and fittings, a tub-to-shower conversion, and separate living and sleeping zones. The custom furnishings feature a 65-inch television and WiFi, and all rooms will have a sectional sofa with a queen-size pull-out bed.

“We are absolutely thrilled to partner with Marnell Architecture Planning & Design to breathe new life into this iconic Las Vegas property,” expressed Dreamscape founder Eric Birnbaum. “The new room design blends elements of fun and whimsy with an unmistakable touch of luxury. We are excited to start the remodel this summer and are eagerly anticipating the moment our guests get to experience the refreshed rooms for themselves.”

The release noted that the Ipanema Tower guest room designs draw inspiration from contemporary and stylish apartments near Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janeiro. The art collection will focus on “Brazilian artists and/or subjects and lends a more authentic art sensibility than the average hotel art.”

Dreamscape Companies provided the creative direction for the rooms, with interior design and architecture by Marnell Architecture Planning & Design.

The renovations of Rio’s Ipanema Tower is currently underway and is scheduled to be completed during the first quarter of 2024. The property will remain open throughout the renovation process, with Dreamscape slated to officially take over and manage operations at the resort in fall of 2023.

by, By C.C. McCandless
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