Many times a hotel is nothing more then a bed and a shower. Add the fancy pillows, a nice TV, some cliche framed pictures for ambiance and there is not much difference between a Marriott or Hyatt. Um Meia Tres is a bed and breakfast - or pousada as it is called in Brazil - that will be just as much a part of your RIo memories as the sunset along Copacabana, the tram up Sugarloaf and the breathtaking overlook from Corcovado. It is an experience, an adventure - and a lovely one at that.
It is impossible to express the treasures of Um Meia Tres without describing the area of Santa Teresa which serves as its backdrop. Santa Teresa is a step away from the crazyiness of Rio...old mansions line twisty cobblestone streets that wind endlessly up the hilltop, walk amongst the locals toting their groceries from below, distant sounds and cheers stray from the city up the mountainside at night like a soothing chant. In Santa Teresa, experience the Brazilian life however you please at the moment...splurge on the beautiful LE SPA [--] , sip contentedly on caiperinha at a bookstore/lounge that overlooks the plaza Largo do Guimaraes, savor the Brazilian fusion at Espirito Santa, have Bill point you in the direction of his favorite old cornor bar with the lovely lady that cooks at a table outside or embark on a lively evening by taking a cheap cab ride down the mountain to festive Lapa, where resides the heartbeat of Brazilian nightlife, for some wonderful music and flavorful people watching.
Um Meia Tres. High up the hill of Santa Teresa lies this fantastic bed and breakfast. The rooms all perch facing Centro, the sea and the bridge to Niteroi. Have breakfast from the porch with the sleepy pink hues of morning light spanning the horizon. Enjoy the fresh fruits and squeezed juices (request the pinapple juice with mint) of the pousada while you enjoy sharing the experiences of the day prior with the guests of the pousada. The guests are part of the pleasure of the stay here. In spending 9 nights there, I meet, shared travel stories and laughed with individuals from around the world. Um Meia Tres attracts the type of traveler that seeks to find the pulse of the city they explore
Speaking of guests... Being so high up the hillside, the pousada the majority of mornings has a troop of monkey visitors looking for banana handouts. I always woke up early so as not to miss their arrival.
Be sure to get to know your English hosts at Um Meia Tres, Bill and Sue, over a couple drinks at the honor bar. While enjoying their refreshing tongue-in-cheek Brit humor, you will also discover an outpouring of city knowledge and pousada stories. In the 9 days spent at the pousada, I never once felt any concern for the safety of my belongings. I came in a stranger but left feeling I was departing friends.
Santa Teresa is on the unbeaten path and you will find that even the taxi drivers need directions there. However, thankfully the taxis are cheap there. The unique culture of Santa Teresa and this pousada are well worth the extra bit of commute to the famous beaches of Rio.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.