Brasil’s tropical climate and sexy demeanour are only a part of its allure. Its forest-covered mountains and lakes are jaw-droppingly beautiful, its beaches are famous the world over, and its culture vibrant and alive. And, as luck would have it, Brasil’s capital city, Rio de Janeiro, has it all: dive in and live the exotic.
Jaw-droppingly beautiful. Dive in and live the exotic. Dip into Rio’s lively city scene, then take it down a notch in Santa Teresa, Rio’s relaxed boho quarter; originally favoured by artists, writers and musicians, Santa Teresa has become one of Rio’s trendiest districts.
Its cobbled streets, colonial architecture and hillside position offer a welcome contrast to the city itself (which is just 15 minutes away), and its view over Rio and Guanabara Bay are pretty special.
Mama Ruisa is a boutique eight-bedroomed B&B in the heart of Santa Teresa, applauded for its low-key luxury decor, gorgeous views and couldn’t-be-friendlier staff.
Owned and run by Jean Michel Ruis, this former colonial mansion is as elegant as it is cool – gaze out over Guanabara Bay, breakfast on ther terrace with commanding views of Sugar loaf mountain, (just 10 minutes away by car), or soak up the sun by the pool in the exotic, flower-filled garden.
Inside, Mama Ruisa is light, bright and airy, with high ceilings and a eclectic collection of modern and antique furnishings and paintings, acquired by Jean Michel during his travels. Rooms are a mix of stripped-back contemporary cool and beautifully crafted local traditional textiles; they feature polished wooden floors, floor-to-ceiling double wooden shutters, generously sized beds (kingsize or twins), soft linens, and luxury-style bathrooms, along with TVs, air conditioning, minibars and internet access.
Swimming pool, Spa treatments available when booked in advance, breakfast, dining (booked in advance), TV, safe, phone, minibar, WiFi, parking, room service, baby sitting (on request), multi-lingual reception, wake-up service, library, luggage storage, shopping area nearby.
Deluxe room: overlooking the garden and Guanabara Bay, the Deluxe Room features either 1 king bed or 2 single beds. It is approx 431 sq. ft/40 sq. m.
Junior Suite: with a veranda overlooking Guanbara Bay, the Junior Suite features 1 king bed and is approximately 431 sq. ft/40 sq. m.
Breakfast is a sumptuous silver-service affair and can be served on your veranda, by the pool or in the communal (and very plush) living room.
If you want to dine in for lunch or supper, you will need to arrange it with staff in advance.
Santa Teresa is Rio's bohemian district - a haven for artists, writers and musicians in the '60s adn 70s, it has a wonderful artistic village-like vibe, and has become one of Rio's trendiest areas. Its cobbled streets, colonial architecture and hillside position offer a welcome contrast to the city itself (which is just 15 minutes away), and its view over Rio and Guanabara Bay are pretty special.
Explore Tijuca Forest, take a privately chauffeured tour of Santa Teresa, or take a taxi to the beaches (Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon are just 15 minutes drive away).
No trip to Rio is complete without seeing Christ the Redeemer up close - we suggest you take the train; you should also take the funicular train to the top of Sugar Loaf mountain for a spectacular view of the city, its bays and beaches. It will take your breath away.
Santa Teresa's 3-day arts festival takes place every year in July.
For a truly romantic (if slightly hard to get to) night of Brazilian cuisine, go to Aprazível - the food is great and the views are amazing. Rua Aprazível, 62, Santa Teresa.
Try Espírito Santa for seafood, Rua Almirante Alexandrino, 264, Santa Teresa, and Sobrenatural, just a little bit further down the street at 442 Rua Almirante Alexandrino
Trendy Mediterranean cuisine at Casa Momus, in Lapa, central Rio. Rua do Lavradio,11
Rio Scenarium, possibly the best known bar in Lapa, Rua do Lavradio, 20
Carioca da Gema, Avenida Mem de Sá, 79
Bar do Mineiro, in Santa Teresa, Rua Paschoal Carlos Magno, 99
Museo de Arte Moderno - modern art gallery, Rua Marquês de São Vicente, 476 - Gávea, Rio
Art at Gentil Carioca, central Rio, Rua Goncalves Ledo, 17
Visit the Instituto Moreira Salles for excellent exhibitions and for a walk around its Burle Marx-designed gardens, Rua Marquês de São Vicente, 476 - Gávea
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