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“Honeymoon Bliss” 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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Ranked #10 of 214 Hotels in Rio de Janeiro
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
1 review
“Honeymoon Bliss”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2010

After a great week of surfing and adventure down south, my husband and I wanted to spend the last part of our honeymoon enjoying some time in the city. During our first trip to Rio, we decided to take a chance on a smaller hotel away from the famous beaches, and we are so glad we did. The Santa Teresa gave us an experience so unique and wonderful that we surely would have missed out had we chosen one of the huge and more well-known hotels. Nestled up in the hills we were treated to amazing views of the city, charming walks through the cobble-stoned streets of the old town, and dinners in excellent restaurants near the hotel. The staff was personable, capable, and made the experience relaxed and fun. The design of the hotel was chic yet warm, and the amenities plentiful without being overwhelming. The food in the restaurant was also a high point, as it stood up to top restaurants in New York without much of the pretense we have experienced after living there for many years. Lovely all around.
There are cars and taxis available, but my husband and I found that with some street-smarts we were able to negotiate the public transit around Rio quite easily (trolley and bus), and it was both inexpensive and a fun way to see the city.
We highly recommend the Santa Teresa for its quality, location, staff, and ambiance. Hopefully we will get the chance to return soon!

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HSTGM, General Manager at Hotel Santa Teresa - Relais & Chateaux, responded to this review, November 29, 2010
Thank you very much for staying with us and for your positive review of Santa Teresa Hotel.
We are thrilled that we succeeded in exceeding your expectations !
We too are looking forward to welcoming you both again in the near future.

Kindest regards from sunny Rio!


Juan Sander
General Manager
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598 reviews from our community

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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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (67)
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English first
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2010

My colleagues and I have stayed at the Santa Teresa Hotel in Rio de Janeiro almost non-stop for the past six weeks. All of us travel for work and spend over 100 nights a year in hotels but never have we stayed in a hotel like this - personal and intimate.

The personal touch that the hotel and its staff provide truly makes this hotel a home away from home for all of us. Thanks to people like Aymeric, Denie, Ivi and Juan we've all felt welcome and cared for day in / day out.

The in-house restaurant offers some of Rio's best food and we can say it is good after having eaten all the items on the menu several times :) Admittedly this hotel may not be the most convenient for business travellers given that it lacks some facilities (meeting rooms for example) and another item I would have enjoyed is a gym (in all fairness I have to say that gym access is available but a bit of travel is required to get there).

One day I hope to return on a personal trip and stay at the Santa Teresa with my girlfriend to really experience the luxury this hotel has to offer.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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, November 9, 2010
Dear Client
We would like to thank you all for staying at Relais & Châteaux Santa Teresa Hotel and also thank you for sharing your kind comments at Trip Advisor.
For my staff and me was a great pleasure to host your group for the last 6 weeks.
We hope to have the opportunity to welcome all of you again soon at our Hotel!

Juan Sander

Gerente Geral
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Edenbridge
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2010

My husband and I had been backpacking for a year and decided that we should go out in style in Rio, our last destination before heading back to the UK. I fell in love with the hotel when I saw their website. I contacted the hotel to ask some questions about the Romance Package they offer and was rewarded with not only very prompt answers but the promise of an upgrade to the Master Suite if it was available but definitely a Junior Suite as my email had been read by Francois the owner/creator.

To Francois we have to say a huge thank you as not only were we upgraded, we were upgraded to the award winning Loft Suite, that won the hotel 'Best Hotel in the World' this year!!!!! I can honestly see why, it is like having Rio hand delivered to you. You can see everything from the windows, balcony, bathroom in this suite, just brilliant!

We spent the day poolside soaking up the tranquil atmosphere. You really don't notice that you are in the hub of everything in Santa Teresa. The pool is a good sized pool so you can swim a few lengths if the mood takes you before dinner.

For dinner in the Tereze restaurant we had been given the best table in the house looking out over Rio. The food was great, French with a Brazilian twist I think they describe it, the wine even better.

The hotel manages to carry off the very hard to do atmosphere of being exclusive without being aloof. There couldn't have been a better end to our trip, thank you again Francios!

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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, November 9, 2010
Dear Client

Thank you for choosing Relais & Châteaux Santa Teresa Hotel.
In behalf of Mr. François Delort and all our staff I would like to say that was a great pleasure to welcome you both here.

We'll be honored to welcome you back!

Best Regards,

Juan Sander
General Manager
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Dublin, Ireland
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2010

We stayed here for the first three nights of our honeymoon and it was a fantastic start to our holiday. We arrived late in the evening and the welcome we got from Sergio after a long flight was just so warm and lovely. Nothing was a problem. The breakfast buffet in the restaurant each morning was great, the room was spacious and bed incredibly comfortable. The surrounding area was charming, loved the cobble streets and the tram ride that brings you right into the middle of the city for 60cent. The weather throughout our stay was pretty grim, grey and rainy so we didn't get to use the pool area but it looked lovely with great views. We ate in the restaurant one of the evenings and it was gorgeous with wonderful service. In fact everyone we dealt with, from reception to the bar to the restaurant were seriously friendly and professional. We actually found it quite hard to leave. This is a really great hotel.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
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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, October 26, 2010
Dear customer, we would like to thank you very much for sharing your experiences about Santa Teresa Hotel at Trip Advisor.
Congratulations again for your Honeymoon and we are really happy that we participate of this very special moment of your lives!
We hope to welcome both again in your next visit to Rio!
Kindest regards

Juan Sander
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sao Paulo
Top Contributor
131 reviews 131 reviews
46 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2010

No availability at my usual hotel brought me to the Santa Teresa Hotel. I was expecting a lot from this unvoluntary experience, and I was not disappointed.
A tremendously charming place, in an outstanding and different neighborhood. The apartment was more than OK with a terrace featuring an uncommon view of Rio downtown and the Guanabara bay. I had to struggle a bit to find the right switches and turn the lights on. Excellent bed and bathroom.
The overall decoration of the place is elegant and so different from what we usually find in other hotels in Rio.
A special mention to the front desk staff, very welcoming, helpful and smiling, particularly Aymeric.
Two negative points: the prices which are too high (in general, prices in Brazil currently tend to be extremely exaggerated) and the caipirinha I had at the bar (really well below the usual standards for this so typically Brazilian drink)...
I will return to this place, definitely.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled on business
    • 3 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
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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, October 26, 2010
Dear client, thank you very much for your feedback! We are really happy that you enjoyed so much your stay at our Hotel. I´m going to share your kind comments with our front desk team.
I took good notes of your comments about the switches of the lights and the caipirinhas and I assure you that in your next stay you will witness the improvement.
We really hope that now Relais & Châteaux Santa Teresa Hotel is your usual hotel. We will be really pleased welcoming you again!

Warmest regards from Rio!

Juan Sander
General Manager
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New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2010

Restaurant splendid. Beautiful garden. Concept of hotel and decor outstanding -- but maintenance poor (on arrival our bathroom did not function). Common spaces as well as rooms and private terraces imaginatively decorated. Did not like tiny, open bathroom. Staff nice but lacks "five star" training. While neighborhood of Santa Teresa is interesting, the location is a very expensive taxi ride to and from everything else that one wants to do or see in Rio. Many taxis refuse to go there. Takeoffs and landings from/to domestic airport fly directly above hotel making it very noisy, particularly in early morning and evening. Unfortunately during our stay the bar was never open and the hotel hosted two noisy day conferences that were out of character for a five star, boutique hotel (one a cosmetic saleswoman's conference which monopolized the swimming pool area and the other a gypsum board installer's conference that consumed all of the public spaces of the hotel including the garden just outside of our room and even the restaurant/breakfast room, making us feel as if we were in a noisy railway station!!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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, General Manager at Hotel Santa Teresa - Relais & Chateaux, responded to this review, October 12, 2010
Dear client,
we would like to thank you very much for your feedback and nice comments about the restaurant, decoration and staff.
We are really pleased to inform that since your stay two months ago the Santos Dumont Airport moved the flight path and don´t passes anymore regularly over Santa Teresa.
We apologize for the unfortunate problem at your bath and we assure you that our maintenance team works everyday to ensure that these situations become really isolated and rare.

Please consider that Santa Teresa Hotel in the closest luxury hotel to the main attractions of Rio: the Corcovado (Christ Redeemer) and the Sugar Loaf.

Lapa neighborhood (best nightlife of Rio) and Downtown (best museums) are located so close to the hotel (only 3 minutes by car) that occasionally few taxis refuses to drive to Santa Teresa in the hope of having a longer and more expensive ride. We have an efficient private car service at your disposal to take and bring you back from Lapa and Downtown at the cost of US$ 6.
We would like to kindly ask you to also consider the possibility of giving us the pleasure of serving you again. I assure that you will witness all our improvements and you will became a member of the increasing family of the most satisfied clients with Relais & Châteaux Santa Teresa Hotel.

Kindest regards from Rio!
Juan Sander
General Manager
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California
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2010

We've been back from Rio for a week now and I just wanted to add my voice to the chorus of glowing praise for Hotel Santa Teresa. We stayed here for four evenings. An earlier review said that this exquisite hotel is not worthy of the "Relais and Chateaux" brand name. I'll respectfully disagree: I thought the hotel was in immaculate condition and the aesthetic was just right for the neighborhood of Santa Teresa, which we adored. The hotel is an old Portuguese-colonial coffee manor that has been renovated with great sensitivity to the original architecture and site. Architecturally and spatially, its current condition manages a delicate balancing act between intimacy and expansiveness, drama (as in the two-storey lobby) and relaxation. You enter through a lush garden populated with birds and (sometimes) monkeys, which is complete with a lovely prospect on this neighborhood and a tranquil pool (unlike other pools in Rio, you can actually swim/do laps in it). Our room was not huge but more than capacious enough: the space was well-organized, the bathroom sleekly designed and all the furnishings beautiful and on point (super comfy bed).

The Hotel Santa Teresa exceeds every expectation in two critical respects. First, the neighborhood. People will say Santa Teresa is "isolated" but this begs the question: isolated from what? Yes, it is true that if beach time is your only priority, that it's not the most convenient place, but getting to Leblon or Ipanema is hardly an obstacle. (A cab will set you back about 12-15 USD...the hotel has arrangements with a vendor on Ipanema who will set you up well with chairs, umbrellas and towels.) On the other hand, if your interest in Rio extends beyond the stomping grounds of the beaches, you can do no better. With its colonial architecture, its cobbled streets, famers markets, winding roads and charm of the historic tramline, this is a neighborhood with an incredible vibe -- the Montmarte of Rio. It's safe to walk and there's plenty to do -- excellent restaurants, from the inexpensive to the pricey (bar do mineiro for feijoada; sobernatural for moqueca; aprazivel for eveything; the restaurant hotel is also excellent and affords a beautiful view) and great bars. (Bar do gomez is my new favorite watering hole in terms of historic character...they make a caipirinha that's like truth serum). Furthermore: it's MUCH closer to Lapa than the beaches if you want to go hear music or club at night; and a very short ride from Centro for the historic sites as well...

The second thing to recommend this hotel above and beyond nearly any hotel I've stayed in over the last ten years (and I travel quite a bit) is the service. Sometimes when you're staying at schnancy hotels, you get the sense that the service, while flawless, is a bit formal or corporate -- checking off the boxes in the interest of pleasing the customer. Here, there is an incredible warmth, friendliness and interest in your itinerary that surpasses this sensibility. The general manager (apologies for forgetting the name) is nothing but professional and efficient. But he also walked me down the street one day when I expressed interest in a street vendor selling traditional Brazilian pastries from his cart; he translated and explained all the wonderful things on offer and I was happy to take his recommendations! The French man with the kind smile (I think his name is Aymeric ) was fantastic at our check in and super generous with information; the woman fronting the concierge desk at other times (was it Natalia?) was terrific in setting us up at the beach, booking reservations and taking much time with our questions and concerns.

Major shout-outs go the fabulous Sergio and Dario for EVERYTHING. Sergio is a font of insight and information; a very hard worker and a model for hotel professionalism, all the things you would expect from this kind of establishment. Much more than this, he just get's "it" -- "it" being a kind of social vibe that a hotel like this thrives on (e.g. superior service but a relaxed ambience). (Plus, he's got a wicked sense if humor). Sergio set us up to see a football game and when he learned that we were also interested in going to a Samba school that same night, immediately put us in touch with Dario.

For his part, Dario actually drove us to the Samba school on his way home from work that evening. He walked us right to the door; explained the comings and goings of the school; and even gave us his extra cellphone with his number pre-programmed in case we wanted him to pick us up (!) and return us to the hotel even later that night (!!!!!!!!!). (The school, btw, is in a relatively safe neighborhood and it was easy to get a cab back to the hotel.) His concern for our comfort and safety was deeply palpable and genuine. I've never had this kind of "service" in a hotel before...really amazing.

All told: We can't wait to get back to Rio and visit this superb hotel again. Absolutely worth the splurge.

(p.s. with hotels in Rio, you're best off booking through a travel agent, who can get you much better deals than what's available online...our rate was considerably cheaper than what you see online)

Stayed October 2010, traveled on business
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, October 11, 2010
Dear guest, in the name of all our staff I would like to express our gratitude for your comments at Trip Advisor.
They are really rewarding because exactly describes the objectives and passion we all share at Santa Teresa Hotel.
We all hope to have the pleasure of welcoming both of you again soon!

Warmest regards!

Juan Sander
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:
#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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