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“I will be back” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Santa Teresa - Relais & Chateaux

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Hotel Santa Teresa - Relais & Chateaux
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Rua Almirante Alexandrino 660, Rio de Janeiro, State of Rio de Janeiro 20241-260, Brazil (Santa Teresa)   |  
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Ranked #10 of 214 Hotels in Rio de Janeiro
Tampere, Finland
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“I will be back”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

Hidden in a lush hillside garden this place is an oasis in the Rio "jungle"... it's nice, safe and decorated with taste. The room was large and smartly furnished... and would be worth higher points if...yes if it had been recently renovated. Even the nicest hotels need a brush up every now and then.

The staff was great, helpfull and knowledgeable.... and spoke good English... Tamara at reception was a shining star... soy yeah, I will been Back

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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598 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    377
    132
    49
    25
    15
See reviews for
49
359
41
60
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (67)
Date | Rating
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English first
Atlanta, Georgia
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012 via mobile

We came for 2 nights after some time on the beach and enjoyed the contrast. The hotel is in an imaginatively converted old building perched on the steep hillside of Santa Teresa. It is expensive, chic and luxurious, with highly obliging and friendly front desk staff. The area has the decaying grandeur of southern Italy, with peeling old villas and graffiti interspersed with arty shops and bars. It seemed to be quite safe though, and there are splendid views over downtown Rio and the bay. Highly recommended!

Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boulder, Colorado
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

I recently stayed four nights at the Hotel Santa Teresa on my first trip to Rio. My boyfriend and I debated on staying closer to the beach and in retrospect we were thrilled that we chose Santa Teresa. The neighborhood has a great mix of restaurants, shops, and botecas (although by day 4 we felt we had really explored every nook and cranny). The location is about 10-15 minutes by cab to Centro, 20-25 minutes to the beach. The views from the hotel and the sense of being tucked in above the city frenzy were exactly what we were looking for. We didn't have any trouble sleeping due to noise issues, but there are typical city sounds for sure. The hotel itself - lobby, rooms, grounds, pool - are well kept and nicely decorated. Beds were very comfortable! The staff were outstanding and help arranged several private tours for us (which were excellent - especially the favela tour with Rio de Historia). Aspects that make this 4 star over 5 star - the on site restaurant, which is highly reviewed - was our most disappointing meal. Sometimes had a long wait (15-20 minutes) ordering a cappuchino at the bar or for room service (and no menu for room service). Another small thing but the ladder on the pool was super squeaky, like a nails-on-chalkboard sound when anyone was getting out. It was almost comical that you're in this beautiful setting, swimming and enjoying the calm and quiet, and then this AWFUL sound and look of embarrassment for whomever tried to exit the pool via ladder! Sounds like I'm being picky here as this truly is an excellent hotel, but in reality it's the small things that "make" 5 stars, right? Regardless, I would highly recommend this hotel for a few nights stay in Rio!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gold River, CA
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012

It is a charming hotel, but don't expect to sleep. Dogs bark all night and the room windows are not insulated. The pool deck chairs are very uncomfortable. Not much to do in and around the hotel. Low standard for this chain.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dublin, ireland
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

In keeping with the area of Santa Teresa, there is a sense of frustration with this hotel - yes, it's boutique, yes, it's classy, and, yes, it doesn't pretend to be Copacabana - so why does it get such high commendation? The staff are very friendly, the beds are superb, rooms well equipped (deluxe rooms have a lovely garden area outside), and there is a lovely pace and comfortable environment, but, in my opinion, it just doesn't warrrant top rating. The location is at least awkward (even for local taxis - be prepared to be passed when you say where you are going), the food (limited selection) and drink is expensive, the pool/pool area is 'bijou' and, like the hotel location, Santa Teresa, while really attractive and quaint, only offers so much - once you've done one tour of bars, craft shops and restaurants, you really do find yourself with little else to see and do... Bar getting the taxi somewhere else... This was my first visit to Rio, a lifetime trip, and ultimately I was disappointed that I hadn't stayed in a similarly rated place nearer the main strips of ipanema etc. but, hey, as the other reviews highlight, I was looking for rio, perhaps, while others were looking for Santa Teresa - variety and luxury, versus relaxation and 'cuteness'

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
seattle, wa, usa
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

We stayed at the Hotel Santa Teresa for the last night of a 10 day trip. We stayed in two other hotels on the trip and while this hotel was by far the most expensive it was actually our least favorite.
That said it is a BEAUTIFUL hotel in a wonderful neighborhood. Santa Teresa is a charming area with lovely old colonial mansions and cobblestone streets. There are tons of bars and restaurants within walking distance of the hotel and the neighborhood felt safe at all times of night. The hotel has security (which can be a little off putting, but I supposed it is intended to make everyone feel safe). The hotel is simply gorgeous. Our room was well sized (we stayed in one of the deluxe rooms) and the furnishings were modern but relaxed (which as architects, we loved). The bed was literally the most comfortable bed I have ever slept in.

All of that said we we had mixed feelings about the service. Upon arrival on a Saturday night we were checked in and informed about the location of the pool, bar and restaurant, but also informed that the bar was booked for a private event (wedding) and therefore not open (which was something of a disappointment as I had booked the room partially to utilize the lovely bar). We were told that we could order drinks at the pool lounge until 10pm. We were told there was 24 hour room service but upon getting to the room there was no menu or description of what was available. There was no indication of where we could get breakfast the next morning or how much it cost when we finally did figure it out. In general I felt as though there was not enough information provided to us in the room - all of these issues would have been solved with an adequate quest services brochure.

In addition we had some unfortunate luck with the private event that happened to be scheduled on the one night we had at the hotel. We chose to stay our last night in Rio in this 5-star hotel as a way to have a relaxing and luxurious cap on the end of our trip. While we were disappointed to not be able to head straight to the lovely Bar dos Descasados (we were able to sneak in some time there on the next day) we bucked up and instead headed straight out to the pool lounge for a relaxing cocktail. We sat at the lounge for 20 minutes without anyone asking us if we wanted a drink - there were no menus or any indication of what was served. The pool bar did not appear to be a full bar and we had no idea what our options were nor how or with whom to order. The bartender seemed busy making drinks for the function and we were unable to locate a server of any sort. We finally realized we need to approach the bar. We suspect that the serving staff was generally busy with the reception going on at the bar. Nevertheless we were able to order two wonderful (if expensive) Caipirinhas and then ventured out to Santa Teresa for dinner.

Upon our return we found the private function in full swing and quickly realized that our room was very unfortunately place directly above the bar. They really should never have placed guests not associated with the wedding in that location - our walls and furniture were literally shaking from the bass of the party below. It was pretty much the opposite of the relaxing time for which I had hoped (and payed). We complained twice and were twice assured that they would ask them to turn the music down to no real effect. I will say that, eventually, they sent us a complimentary bottle of champagne (which helped) and the music did stop by around 10:30pm so the situation was generally rectified - but for the price of the room I was really disappointed.

I do believe that this was a somewhat unique situation, obviously more likely to happen on a Saturday night. They were relatively receptive to our complaints, and were able to moderate our increasing irritation with the aid of free booze - but really the situation could have been avoided by a more thoughtful allocation of rooms. In addition, the next day the service was also much improved. The front desk staff was accommodating to a late check out request and held our bags all day, allowed us to use the pool (which was well attended by servers) past checkout, and secured a car to drive us to the airport for our evening flight.

Overall we felt that the hotel was truly beautiful and that there was great potential for it to be a relaxing and luxurious experience - we just wish that we had booked on a night that was not taken over by a private function. While I am sure the bride and groom were pleased, I felt that the rest of the guests really did suffer for it, especially those of us that only booked for a night. It really was a bummer way to end the trip.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Basel
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

Ok, so yes this place is a bit off the beaten track ie not near the beaches ie Copacabana or Ipanema but it's well worth it to spend the 40-50 reals to go to or from the Santa Teresa hotel to anywhere else in Rio, simply because this place offers a refuge from the usual bustle of Rio, amazing views, first-class food, the most helpful staff you could ever wish for and very tastefully designed rooms. The pool is small but very refreshing, and the pool bar is a great place to relax and enjoy the views over Rio. And right down the street are a few local bars where you can mingle with the real cariocas and still have a chop for 5 Reals, as well - and the whole area is quite safe to walk around, as well. Being at the Santa Teresa for 3 nights was such a great experience that it was hard to leave and then stay at one of the usual places in SP -what a difference! I stayed in room 49 which has a nice patio and even an outside tub... cool:)

Room Tip: treat yourself to room 49:)
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Santa Teresa - Relais & Chateaux

Address: Rua Almirante Alexandrino 660, Rio de Janeiro, State of Rio de Janeiro 20241-260, Brazil
Phone Number:
Location: Brazil > State of Rio de Janeiro > Rio de Janeiro > Santa Teresa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#7 Spa Hotel in Rio de Janeiro
#8 Luxury Hotel in Rio de Janeiro
#11 Romantic Hotel in Rio de Janeiro
#14 Business Hotel in Rio de Janeiro
#49 Family Hotel in Rio de Janeiro
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Hotel Santa Teresa - Relais & Chateaux 5*
Number of rooms: 44
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Hotel Santa Teresa, new 5 star boutique hotel spa and the only Relais & Chateaux of the city, is a former colonial ranch located in the heart of the historic district of Rio de Janeiro. The Hotel features the best views of the city, the harbor and the famous bay of Rio. Decoration tropical ethic design was inspired by the African Indigenous roots of the North and East of Brazil, by the great times of coffee and sugarcane. The burnt cement, the lime stones, the golden slates, the tropical woods and the banana tree fibers are being mixed with the contemporary design of artists Sergio Rodrigues, Zemog or Oficina de Agosto. In the hotel's tropical gardens, the 25-meter long polish green slate swimming pool offers unique panoramic views over Rio de Janeiro. With a natural yet luxurious and unique environment, the Spa features beauty and corporal relaxation treatments of the Amazonian brand of Natura. For the gastronomes, the restaurant Térèze, with an industrial wood, linen and steel design is frequented by the high society of Cariocas and offers the best of French cuisine with a Brazilian flair, created by our Chef Damien Montecer. Hotel is close to all attractions such as Christ redeemer Corcovado, Lapa Nightlife, Sugar Loaf, historic center, museums and famous beach of Copacabana. Not to be missed! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Santa Teresa - Relais And Chateaux
Santa Teresa Hotel
Hotel Santa Teresa - Relais & Chateaux Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

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