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“Gorgeous hotel in the coolest neighborhood!” 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
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Gorgeous hotel in the coolest neighborhood!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2010

My husband and I recently stayed at Hotel Santa Theresa on the final night of our honeymoon in Rio. Although it was a splurge hotel for us, we quickly figured out that the price was truly justified. The staff is incredibly helpful and kind. Everyone was so friendly, particularly at the front desk no matter what time of day. They gave us many solid recommendations for things to do and see in the neighborhood. We were particularly interested in that area of the city since we were previously in Ipanema and Leblon (so we were excited to see a new part of town). And the converted coffee plantation building and grounds are breathtakingly gorgeous. Our room was a European suite with a balcony that overlooked Santa Theresa. It also had a view of Corcovado which was a great surprise. The room was amply stocked and comfortable. I slept more restfully in the bed than I did at every other hotel we visited on our trip. We loved the provided toiletries and that Havaianas were also stocked in the bathroom to use at the pool and elsewhere. There was turndown service with yummy chocolates and additional bathroom refreshing in the evening while we were out of the room. It was another unexpected surprise. The breakfast buffet was lovely and free to guests. We also ate at the bar (which had a very delicious burger and salad) and drank at the pool. The pool had warm water which was probably helped by the darker slate tile. There is also a jacuzzi tub which we did not use. The most impressive part of our stay was the staff's flexibility and willingness to accommodate us. Although we only stayed one night, we were granted a very late check out due to our evening flight out of Rio. It made the stay a great value because we had a place to freshen up and change before we left for the airport.

  • Stayed December 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
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, January 21, 2011
Dear client,

Congratulations for your honeymoon! Thank you very much for your nice review.
We are really happy that you enjoyed your stay with us in this very special moment of your lives.
We hope to have the opportunity of welcoming both in your next trip to Brazil

Kindest 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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596 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
Texas
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2010

ROOM: I spent a weekend at the Hotel Santa Teresa. I stayed in a Superior Room. My favorite thing about the hotel and my room was the décor. It’s very organic, very relaxing, with creams, tans, and browns, and wood and straw incorporated into the design. My room had a bromeliad, which I thought was a nice touch. There is interesting African and Indigenous themed art scattered throughout the hotel. Love it! Some of the previous posts complained about noise, but I personally didn’t hear barking dogs or anything else from the neighborhood. For reference, my room was on an upstairs floor, facing the pool. The bed was extremely comfortable—it was so hard for me to get up in the morning! I had a strong internet connection in my room. There was also a good selection of English language t.v. channels, not that I watched all that much t.v.

BATHROOM: I really liked the bathroom. It had a shower with no bathtub—I actually prefer this arrangement since I don’t like bathtubs. The shower had a rainfall showerhead with great water pressure. The water got really hot. I loved the toiletries in the bathroom, particularly the body soap and lotion. They are hydrating and smell divine!

GROUNDS: The hotel grounds were very beautiful and clean. There is a great view of Centro from the pool.

STAFF: The hotel staff is outstanding. Most of the staff speaks at least some English, while the front desk staff speaks English fluently. The front desk is very helpful in arranging tours. I had a wonderful, private 2-hour tour of Centro and Sta. Teresa with a guide named Marcelo. It was $100R, or roughly $60US for the entire tour. It was money very well spent, because I got to see some interesting sights I wouldn’t have seen on my own. Marcelo also speaks English fluently.

RESTAURANT: The hotel restaurant is great. I received complementary breakfast both mornings I was there, which was excellent. Breakfast was basically a spread of meats, breads, fruits, and juices, with a hot plate of scrambled eggs, sausage, and omelette. The coffee was wonderful. I also had a couple of dinner entrees, which were very good. I especially enjoyed the Moqueca. It’s not traditional moqueca, like what you’d expect in Bahia. The restaurant’s version is actually risotto infused with the ingredients in traditional moqueca, topped with prawns. Unique, but very good.

SPA: I had the anti-stress massage at the hotel spa, which I believe was $220R, or about $130US. The spa was nice, but I can’t say the experience was anything extraordinary from what I’ve had in the U.S.

CLIENTELE: When I first arrived, my initial reaction was this would be a great hotel for a romantic getaway, a girls only vacation, or for travelers (like myself) looking to relax and decompress. I was very surprised to find a lot of families, including families with very small children, staying at the hotel. This didn’t bother me one bit. But if you’re the type that prefers staying at “adults only” hotels, this might be something to consider since you’ll be sharing the pool area and restaurant with children.

LOCATION: I had heard the Santa Teresa District is very “artsy,” and I love art; hence, why I decided to stay in that neighborhood. If you are looking to buy art, Santa Teresa has some very nice art galleries. I knew that Sta. Teresa is “away” from the Zona Sul area of Rio, but I didn’t realize how isolated it is until I arrived. For me, this wasn’t a terribly huge deal, since I had already spent several days at the beach. If you decide to stay in Sta. Teresa, do consider bringing plenty of cash along with you. There is only one ATM in Sta. Teresa (so I was told), and it was broken during my entire stay. The hotel was able to save the day by loaning me the cash I needed to go sightseeing and adding the amount to my bill, but the loan came along with a surcharge. I would say cabs aren’t nearly so plentiful in Sta. Teresa as they are in Zona Sul, but the hotel is happy to call one for you. The staff members are even kind enough to explain to the cab drivers in Portuguese what you want before you leave the hotel. Even though I was a female traveling solo, I felt very safe both in the hotel and in the Santa Teresa District—however, I made it a point to stay in the touristy areas.

CONCLUSION: Hotel Santa Teresa is a fantastic hotel. It’s beautiful, has great service, and a very good restaurant. It’s a great place to stay whether you’re traveling solo, with a group of friends, with someone special, or with a family: the hotel will welcome you with open arms regardless. If you’re a beach bum, or if you’ve never been to Rio and have limited time, the hotel’s location is not optimal. A Zona Sul hotel may be a much better choice for you, though you probably won’t find a Zona Sul hotel that will measure up to the Hotel Santa Teresa.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
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, January 21, 2011
Dear guest
Thank you very much for this very detailed review with all your comments about our service, products and neighborhood.
We already share your appraisal with all our staff and they were really happy to know that they exceeded your expectations.
We will be delighted welcoming you again in your next trip to Rio!

Juan Sander
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
115 reviews 115 reviews
107 hotel reviews
Reviews in 69 cities Reviews in 69 cities
139 helpful votes 139 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2010

My husband and I both just loved this hotel. It is definitely not a typical hotel experience - when we were checking in, we felt like we were in a wealthy person's living room. The hotel is full of elegant and interesting artwork, and the landscaping and architecture is beautiful. We don't swim, but the lap pool looked very inviting, especially in Rio's sweltering heat. All the staff were delightful and really went out of their way to help us. The night staff recommended an excellent club near Lapa called the Rio Scenarium, which is about a ten minute cab ride.

It is true that Santa Teresa is far from many of Rio's attractions, but we solved that by splitting our stay between the Hotel Santa Teresa, the Mar Ipanema and O Veleiro Bed and Breakfast. We were really happy that we included Santa Teresa. It really reminded us of a little village in Tuscany or Umbria. It is primarily a residential neighborhood but there are several little shops, restaurants and museums within walking distance. In addition, you can take the Bonde down the hill to the Centro and Lapa districts. We never felt unsafe, even at night, but I would recommend not carrying your valuables around anywhere in Rio - keep everything you don't need in the hotel safe.

The hotel has an excellent restaurant, Tereze, but be warned it is extremely expensive.

  • Stayed December 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
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, December 8, 2010
Dear guest
Thank you so much for these fantastic comments on Trip Advisor.
We are thrilled to see that we exceeded your expectations.
I hope to welcome you again soon on your move into Santa Teresa Hotel.

Warmest regards from Rio!

Juan Sander
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pennsylvania
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2010

My girlfriend and I spent 4 nights at this hotel at the end of November before heading to Iguassu. We decided on this hotel after the positive communication & input I had received from the staff over e-mail. Our other choices that we passed over were the Copacabana & the Fasano. We were glad to have taken a chance on the hotel as we loved the Santa Teresa area. While we would have to take a cab to the beaches and other attractions, we could return to the tranquility of Santa Teresa and it's little shops and restaurants. The hotel arranged airport transfers and other reservations efficiently and the feel of the 40 room hotel was intimate & relaxing. We felt like we had moved into a neighborhood for a couple days.

Positives:
- Staff are excellent at meeting your needs (especially the front desk)
- excellent bar with relaxing day beds looking over the city lights
- dinner at the in house restaurant Terezé was excellent
- room was spacious and bathrooms were very nice (Jr Suite)
- pool had a beautiful location, service at the pool was very good and the yard that the pool is in was simply gorgeous.
- immediate neighborhood is very safe. We felt comfortable walking around the hotel to the shops and restaurants.
- we did not encounter any kids here

Negatives:
- The mattress could be a little softer ( a feather bed pillow top )
- The open bathroom design is a bit form over function
- Food and drink are expensive, but in line with any US four seasons or Ritz property.
- The hotel exchanges currency at a fixed R1.5 to $1 (rate was R1.72 to $ when we were there) However, staff were nice enough to point out an ATM at the cinema down the street (2min walk) that accepted US debit cards (R12 transaction fee)

Overall, we would recommend this hotel to couple seeking a romantic/tranquil getaway or vacation.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
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, December 8, 2010
Dear client

Thank you for including Hotel Santa Teresa in your trip to the marvellous city.
We are delighted that you enjoyed so much your stay with us and we look forward to serving you again upon your return to Rio!

Best regards

Juan Sander
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2010

We loved this hotel - it's not cheap but you definitely get what you pay for, it was a wonderful experience staying here, and I wouldn't have missed it for the world. The staff were courteous and helpful, allowing us a late checkout of 8pm with no additional charge for which we were really grateful. The room was spectacular and if I could have smuggled the bed home with me I would have!

It's special because it's nestled up there in the hills of Santa Teresa...far away from the city, and much much safer. My son was having a fit back in the UK having read about the troubles but we saw none of it...one of the other guest reviews mentions the cost of cab fares, which is a bind...you can't help feeling they are trying to rip you off by travelling the most circuitous route possible, and in this city of winding streets you'll never know...I didn't much care for Rio, so the oasis of this hotel was all the more welcome...just lovely.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
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, December 4, 2010
Dear Guest

We are delighted that you enjoyed so much our bed, rooms and our personalized service. As always, our staff members go above and beyond to make our guests' stay a most memorable one. We look forward to seeing you again in the near future !

Warmest regards from Santa Teresa - Rio

Juan Sander
General Manager
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London
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2010 via mobile

My stay at Hotel Santa Teresa was extremely disappointing. The service was inconsistent at best and more often than not incompetent. For it to be considered in the same bracket as Fasano or Copacobana Palace is ludicrous. The room was nice though there were hot water issues the room service menu is very limited. The hotel is noisy at night I was woken by loud music at 5 am. Breakfast is again limited. On the plus side the wireless is good.

  • Stayed November 2010
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
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, December 3, 2010
Dear Guest
Thank you for choosing to stay with us and for taking the time to comment on your experience. We take our all guests comments and reviews very seriously and are very sorry you did not enjoy your time at the hotel and we didn’t live up to your expectations. Please accept our sincere apologies.

It is really a pity that you didn't give us any comment during your stay, so that we could take action where needed.

We hope to have the opportunity to welcome you again in our hotel in the near future, so you can experience again our service and product that 94% of all our guests consider the best in Rio! I don´t agree that our clients are “ludicrous” since they range from high executives and world luxury travellers to very famous artists.

Kindest regards from Rio!

Juan Sander
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2010

Upon first arrival to this hotel, I was ready to cancel. The Hotel is in an extremely residential area and in the broad daylight did not seem to live up to reviews I had read on this very site. However, after a few days at this hotel I can see why everyone loves it.

First here is the bad, then I will go into why you should look past all this and stay here anyway:

The Bad,
This place is in a really residential area. You can here dogs barking, people talking from their balconies. The drive to the hotel seems like forever, and the majority of the road is cobblestone. In fact, my cab hit someone driving up that road, due to the narrowness of the street. You are def a 20-30 Real cab ride from the beach and shopping, so if you really like to be where the action is this place is not so close. Also, the food at the hotel is good, but very pricey.

The Good
That being said, there was never a safety issue here and I was there during the Rio police invasion of the Favelas. The area they are in is charming and safe. Also I don't think they could have managed what they did if they were not far away from the shopping and beaches. Because, this place is an OASIS, situated in the hills of Santa Teresa, you are surrounded by views of all of Rio. Their Pool area is right at the top and I really cannot think of a more relaxing day then sitting pool side with those views. Not to mention the greenery is fantastic, this place is a Spa in every sense of the word. The Service here is outstanding, everyone from the concierge to the waiters are extremely polite and willing to help whenever you ask. This hotel has a family business vibe, where everyone gets along, they have a bed & breakfast warmth with 5 star service. They go above and beyond here.

Overall, If you are looking for a ritzy chain hotel in the hottest area, this is not the place. However, if you intend to spend some time relaxing, this is the place. You are close enough where you can see all the sites, and I doubt there is a hotel in Rio that can offer the tranquility of this place.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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, General Manager at Hotel Santa Teresa - Relais & Chateaux, responded to this review, December 4, 2010
Dear Client

Thank you for choosing to stay with us and for taking the time to comment on your experience. We were pleased to note that our fantastic lacation at Santa Teresa hills and friendly service exceeded your expectations. We can’t wait to welcome you back to the hotel in the near future.

Best regards from sunny Rio!

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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