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“Great boutique hotel in Rio!” 5 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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Hotel amenities
Ranked #5 of 211 hotels in Rio de Janeiro
Windsor, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Great boutique hotel in Rio!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2013

This was the first hotel that we stayed at of our 3 week journey to Brazil and Argentina and it was by far the most beautiful from our view....something out of "Living etc." magazine. It was boho chic with lots of teak wood, exposed brickwork, candles and modern art in setting of lush greenery and tiered entertainment from the restaurant to the funky bar in the evening. The hotel is located in the Santa Teresa District, up in the hills and in between Favellas. We could have chosen to stay at Ipanema or Copacobana but these were only a 15 minute taxi drive (around 40 reals) away. Unfortunately the tram (an emblem of the area) was not running and has not done so for a while, so taxis are the the way to get around. Back to the hotel..we enjoyed the simple, tasty breakfasts of a vast selection of fresh fruit, cakes, etc. in a beautiful dining room that becomes the main restaurant in the evening. Whilst we did not have dinner there, we heard excellent reviews of the food and ambience from both locals and guests alike. We enjoy sipping excellent wines by the pool-side bar whilst we looked over the sunset of the city. We were also pleased to visit the main bar after an evening in Ipanema....it was a cool lounge with "beds" and music collated by a visiting DJ. We would recommend the bedrooms as they are large and very comfortable with walk-in showers. One comment to add may be that this is not the smartest option if you have a family with children....this feels more like a bolt-hole for couples to get away from the hustle and bustle of wonderful Rio.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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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
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Manhttan
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2013

We considered this hotel when planning our trip but ended up booking elsewhere. After having dinner at Santa Teresa the second night into our trip, we moved our stay to this hotel. I cannot say enough positive things about the hotel, from the quality of the design, the views, the fresh indigenous food, terrific service, surprisingly wonderful spa treatments. Avoid the Fasano, and book here. It is on the pricey side, but worth every cent. Exceptional service. I will stay here again.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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Rome
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

I stayed at the Hotel two year's ago experiencing also a dinner at the restaurant and decided to come back this year reserving a table at the restaurant in a special occasion. When we arrived we decide to have an aperitif at the bar, the terrible service start here! We ask for drinks and the they were served without any snacks and no napkins! When we request to transfer the drinks to the restaurant bill having a table reserve, there they say no you have to pay here! Same attitude when we request to bring the drinks there, not really care of them so we decide to bring them with us!
At the restaurant, almost empty the waiters spend their time in talking to each other, we order some bred (which you pay quite stange for european manners) which took 25 minutes to be served and when we enquire the answer was: it's coming....
The food I would say was very good and tasteful (the unique positive point) but the service was very poor, when I order the dessert I asked a glass of sweet wine to come with, the waiter said one minute and disappeared, I eat the dessert without any wine....
Being the restaurant empty, the waiters start to prepare the table for the morning after and we feel to be invisible, then a couple of young ladies probably drunk were invited to stay near our table to finish their bottle of wine shouting and laughing....nothing very romantic.
At the end for a relais & chateaux 5 stars renowned restaurant and bar I would say being in the industry it merit sorry for that a very bad review!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2013

The hotel enjoys a great location, high above the main city, with fine views over the downtown area and within easy(ish) reach of Corcorvado. It is right next to a large favella but this seems to present no security problems and it felt safer than down by the popular tourist beaches.There are also some nearby restaurants which are more casual in style than the hotel's own: we liked Spiriti Santi, for example, if you wanted a change of scene.
Our (superior) room was comfortable, clean and contemporary in style with a lovely view though needed minor repairs and touching up (eg bathroom door fastening broken and hanging off).
Service in the hotel, however, was poor: not particualrly friendly, welcoming or competent.
The restaurant service was better and more tightly managed, the food we ordered at dinner was excellent and the dining room itself was lovely and has a panoramic view. Breakfast was really very good indeed with a wide selection of fruits and some really wicked warm pain au chocolat!
The pool area is quite small and can get crowded since it seems to be popular with non-residents who come in for an afterbnoon drink at the poolside bar (a sight in itself with twin Smeg fridges decked out in Veuve Cliquot livery).

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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London
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

We were in Rio for 1 whole week and stayed in 2 different hotels. Santa Teresa definitely has a cool and "up and coming" vibe, however we were disappointed there were not many eating venues in close proximity. You go to this neighbourhood for it's 'authenticity' and its history. It's fund but after a day, you would have discovered everything. We pretty much found that Bar do Mineiro was the best bet around for food and went there on several nights. The hotel food and view at the restaurant is also excellent but coming from London, we found little need to go fine dining, rather, we preferred to try out all the local dishes. Feijoada at Bar do Mineiro was awesome, so was their MASSIVE plate of pork crackling. Not refined food, but delicious happy, soul lifting Brazilian local grub.

We were initially unhappy with our room on the ground floor (large but feng shui just not quite right, and french doors opened onto a balcony facing the pool, so cannot get light and privacy at the same time) so we asked to move to another one, upstairs, with a view. The staff were very helpful and moved us to a much better room on our remaining nights. All the products are great and the room was much more vibrant with much better views of the city. Overall though, I do feel the rooms are slightly overpriced compared to other 5 star hotels in major cities.

We really loved Santa Teresa and the hotel there but feel that it's best to stay here if you are not too bothered about exploring the city and want to "chill", as it's quite far from action, restaurants, bars, beaches etc. We stayed in Leblon earlier and found that it was much easier just to wander out and get some juices, and some snacks..... and then there's the beach, and then there is a whole street filled with gorgeous restaurants, shops and feels slightly safer.

Because of the location and general inconvenience of local amenities, I would suggest that for the more restless travellers, other parts of Rio like Leblon may be better. If you are not planning to travel and like staying put and not explore, Hotel Santa Tersea is lovely.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HSTGM, Gerente geral at Hotel Santa Teresa - Relais & Chateaux, responded to this review, January 29, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you so much for your review of the Relais & Châteaux Santa Teresa Hotel. Your feedback will make it easier to give a first impression of the Hotel to travelers all around the world.
And indeed the Hotel is a hideaway from stress and the perfect place to relax in Rio de Janeiro. As mencioned, there are a few restaurants in Santa Teresa but, not many because it is a small neighborhood.

We are glad you enjoyed the hotel and, hope to see you back again if you would like only to relax.

Best wishes,

Monica Paixão
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

Hotel quality and service were excellent, however bar and restaurant service were extremely lacking. The hotel is a little urban oasis in a chaotic city, and the rooms are very luxurious and the hilltop views are stunning, with generously-sized terraces. The experience is that of a private mansion in an exclusive locale, when it is in fact located in a bustling and vibrant local residential community that has an exciting bar and dining scene should one choose to leave the hotel grounds.

The concierge and front desk staff were among the friendliest and most helpful of any hotel I have experienced. Unfortunately, in the bar it took 20 minutes of sitting around before the staff came by, and a louder more obnoxious table nearby was served first even though they arrived after. The bar does, however, have beautiful views of the city, and has very comfortable lounge- and bed-style seating for romantic sunsets and such. Their DJs could take a cue from this and play some chill beats instead of top 40 club music. (I was subjected to Gangnam style three times in three hours, and the tattooed muscle guys at the booth were definitely not a good fit for the hotel's cool vibe.)

Breakfast was one of the best experiences at any hotel, and the buffet spread was breathtakingly impressive with plate after plate of deliciously ripe fresh fruits and cheeses, but at dinner the staff spent the entire service rudely chatting in the open. The restaurant staff were not friendly at dinner: the hostess refused to allow me the window table I wanted even though the restaurant was empty, claiming that the table was reserved, but when I later requested the same table for a dinner reservation the next day she claimed that it was first come first served. They also got into an argument with the guests at the next table and blamed the diners for not properly ordering the chef's menu with enough advance prep time even though they eventually served it anyway.

The spa service was excellent, and the massage and signature treatment were fantastic and a great value, but the facilities could perhaps use a little refurbishment or upgrade in the near future.

All in all, an excellent choice and, alongside the Fasano, one of the two best hotels in Rio by far.

Room Tip: Choose a deluxe room with a terrace overlooking the hills of Santa Teresa.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HSTGM, Gerente geral at Hotel Santa Teresa - Relais & Chateaux, responded to this review, January 29, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you so much for your delightful review of the Relais & Châteaux Santa Teresa Hotel.
Your feedback will make it easier to give a first impression of the Hotel to travelers all around the world.

We are really glad you enjoyed your stay that much and looking forward to welcoming you back at the Hotel very soon.

Best wishes,

Monica Paixão
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamburg, Germany
Top Contributor
104 reviews 104 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
126 helpful votes 126 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

Interesting to see, that 5 star ratings are given to this hotel by those visitors, whose only review on TripAdvisor is one of this hotel....

I had a different experience. Definitely far away from 5 stars. Having Santa Teresa Hotel as a first point of travel to Brasil, had made me doubt at first if coming to Brasil was a good idea at all and think about changing my ticket to go back to Europe.

The main hotel problem is service or lack of service, expected for this price and credible to name of Relais & Chateaux property.

As we have arrived early, the hotel room was not available, so the hotel offered us to change the business clothes for the leisure ones. The only place where they said it could be done was the lobby toilet, which, sorry to say, was far away from being clean, not to go into details, and is a certain sign of the hotel attitude towards its guests.

I had requested the information from the hotel on having a Brazilian SIM card, and they replied they would give us information upon arrival, as they could not organize a prepaid one themselves. The information they gave us, was that it could be found in the shopping mall, using the hotel driver of course to get there. I had to visit around 5 different mobile stores in the mall, and talk to numerous people, spending 1,5 hours (not planned), before I could get one. Once it was done, the driver was already gone, even though we asked to wait for us. First hours in the unknown city which some say could be dangerous, and you are simply left there....

Upon arrival back to the hotel on our own, we still did not have a room ready, so we went to the Veuve Cliquot bar to have a glass of champagne. There were hardly any customers there, yet a barman and a couple of waiters. Noone comes to offer a drink list for ages. After I signaled to the waiter and he took the order, it took 30 minutes and talking to the food and beverages manager before a 25 Euro glass of champagne has arrived. Not even a serviette or some nuts.

While sitting in the bar, you might overhear lovely stories, that 'this is where Amy Winehouse (RIP) was having her drinks and other stuff..", and also that all the hotel guests were robbed here once by the armed gang...It made me google it, as this information came new to me, not that I was particularly happy with what I discovered in the Internet after.

It took more than 6 hours before the room was ready for checking in. The last hour I spent at the reception watching the unhappy hotel guests talking about their problems to the reception without getting happier after..

I have asked the hotel in the email if there are any smoking rooms available, to which there was a response that the hotel is completely nonsmoking and it is possible to only smoke in the garden. What a big surprise it was when suddenly, being in my room, i smelt a cigarette smoke coming from outside..It was from two rooms below us, which had a terrace...

On the first evening I went to try Tereze restaurant, which I asked to be booked, and which was confirmed to me in the email for 19:00. At 19:00 I was there, the door was closed, the hostess finally opened, and said the restaurant starts working at 19:30, and that my name was not on the list... It was raining hard, they wanted to send us back to the room for half an hour, and only after 10 minutes of negotiation, we were kindly permitted...

Next day in the morning, I told the reception that I would like to visit a Museum of Modern Art and Museum of Image and Sound. Knowing that you can not count on the hotel driver, who might not wait for you, I was asking to call us a taxi to go there. I have asked if the taxi driver would be able to find the Museum of Image and Sound, since hardly anyone speaks English in Rio. The reception lady, said 'Of course! It is very famous!' So we have arrived to the MOMA museum to find that it starts working 3 hours later. The receptionist does not obviously know when the museums start working, nor was thinking to call them to ask, which is what you would expect from a 5 star hotel. The Museum of Image and Sound, the taxi driver did not know, of course. So I has to find the address in the internet, but no museum was there. So we went with the taxi driver 30 minutes to another address which I had found in the internet and which was the head office of the museum, where the security told us, that the museum is yet to open later this year at the first address.... Lovely 1,5 hours drive in the traffic jam to learn, what the reception at any other hotel would care to do for you.

After seeing some art, I was going to the spa of the hotel, where my massage was booked. No one at spa reception for 10 min before the lady finally comes not even to say 'hello'. The massage, was the most mediocre one, I have had in my whole life. No one asks you anything before, during or after about the level of pressure, temperature, if the music is OK, or maybe a bit loud. The only two words I heard in the SPA, was ' Sign Here'.

The only good thing about the hotel is the Bar, which has louse service as well, but offers great views over Rio from the hills.

The rooms have poor isolation, and you can hear the weekend market starting very early in the morning with music.

Upon check-out, you are presented with the bill which is hard to read, but noone asks if you have enjoyed the stay. This is just incredible.

The hotel mentions in the brochure that it is proud that some of its employees are from favellas as this is a part of the educational help the hotel gives to the city. It is without doubts, a generous gesture. However I had a feeling that 99 percent of hotel employees are coming from there, except the ladies at the reception, who are hired solely due to their knowledge of the English language. It's would be all fun, if this was a hostel, however positioning as a 5 star property is a bit misleading.

Room Tip: there are rooms with terraces, but you will see your neighbors next to you. there are rooms on the g...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
HSTGM, Gerente geral at Hotel Santa Teresa - Relais & Chateaux, responded to this review, January 29, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for this valuable review of Relais & Châteaux Santa Teresa Hotel. Travelers will appreciate your feedback on the Hotel.
Firstly, we want to apologize for all the inconveniences and problems you experienced at the Hotel Santa Teresa.
I assure you that we introduced measures to improve our service standards.
We really hope you will give the Hotel another chance to see the changes we have made to make this Hotel a true five stars Boutique Hotel experience.

Kindest Regards,

Monica Paixão
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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:
#3 Spa Hotel in Rio de Janeiro
#4 Business Hotel in Rio de Janeiro
#5 Luxury Hotel in Rio de Janeiro
#8 Romantic Hotel in Rio de Janeiro
#18 Family Hotel in Rio de Janeiro
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Hotel Santa Teresa - Relais & Chateaux 5*
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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