Thursday 29 September 2016

Inside the Windsor Marapendi: Pat Hickey's room is a far cry from notorious prison

Cathal McMahon

Published 29/08/2016 | 02:30

Pat Hickey’s room at the Windsor Marapendi in Rio de Janeiro. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Pat Hickey’s room at the Windsor Marapendi in Rio de Janeiro. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Breakfast at the Windsor Marapendi
Breakfast at the Windsor Marapendi
The gym for hotel guests at the Windsor Marapendi
The rooftop swimming pool at the luxurious Windsor Marapendi

This is the room in the five-star Rio hotel where Pat Hickey was arrested almost two weeks ago.

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On August 17, the then president of the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) was woken at 6am by Civil Police from Rio de Janeiro's fraud unit.

He answered the door to his executive suite at the Windsor Marapendi in Barra de Tijuca naked before walking into a nearby bathroom.

Later Mr Hickey was filmed in a bathrobe being checked out by a doctor before being transferred to the nearby Hospital Samaritano.

Bathrobes hang from the bathroom door. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Bathrobes hang from the bathroom door. Photo: Steve Humphreys

The 71-year-old was subsequently moved to the notorious Bangu Prison in west Rio where he has been held for 12 nights.

During the Olympics the Windsor Marapendi, an official hotel for the Games, was buzzing as it played host to International Olympic Committee (IOC) delegates from across the globe, including Mr Hickey.

The rooftop swimming pool at the luxurious Windsor Marapendi
The rooftop swimming pool at the luxurious Windsor Marapendi

Today the hotel, which was opened in the past year, is much quieter as staff enjoy the few weeks of calm before the Paralympics rolls into town.

Lavish

The gym for hotel guests at the Windsor Marapendi
The gym for hotel guests at the Windsor Marapendi

Located right in front of the golden Barra da Tijuca beach, the five-star accommodation has 487 rooms with a rooftop swimming pool and gym.

The hotel has three bars, a lavish restaurant and a convention centre capable of hosting up to 700 people.

Breakfast at the Windsor Marapendi
Breakfast at the Windsor Marapendi

The room itself boasts a kingsize bed, flat-screen television and an ocean view. Rooms cost from around €140 per night but during the Olympics prices were significantly higher.

According to his Rio-based solicitor Simone Kamenetz, Mr Hickey had three rooms booked under his and his family's names. The adjoining suite where Mr Hickey was arrested had been used by Mr Hickey's son during the first week of the Games.

The luxury rooms couldn't be more different from his current lodgings at the Gericinó Penitentiary Complex, known locally as Bangu.

Here he is confined to a cell with no access to television or visitors. He had his hair cut on arrival and is being held in a committal unit alongside 396 other inmates.

In the Windsor Marapendi, he rubbed shoulders with the elite from the world of sports governance. Now his fellow lodgers include some of Rio's most dangerous murderers, drug dealers and gang members.

The menu in the hotel shows Mr Hickey was able to order shrimp with sparkling wine sauce, green apple brunoise and almond rice, to his room.

The lavish breakfast buffet is stocked with delicious fare from Brazil and further afield.

It is all a far cry from the conditions where Mr Hickey is currently held.

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