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“Great place to explore Rio” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Guesthouse Bianca

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Guesthouse Bianca
35 | Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro, State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Santa Teresa)   |  
Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Special Deal
Free breakfast with your stay
Ranked #6 of 259 Rio de Janeiro B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Maidenhead
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Great place to explore Rio”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2012

We were delighted by our decision to stay at Guesthouse Bianca in preference to a chain hotel in Barra. As other visitors have observed the property is elegant and comfortable with great views across the city to the Sugarloaf Mountain. Our choice to move into the city was to be closer to the places we wanted to visit, and to have an experience of the real Rio, rather than a far-away suburb, and our expectations were fully met. The guesthouse is well located on a private road which leads to the Parco des Ruinas. It was about a 5-10 minute walk to the restaurants and bars in Santa Teresa, and not much further down a steep hill to the Metro at Gloria (which takes you out to Copacabana and Ipanama in about 20 minutes). Santa Teresa is a great place to stay, a little dilapidated, but still retaining its elegance of old and hosting an interesting and diverse collection of places to eat and drink, thus avoiding the need to be out and about at night in other parts of the city (not that we found Rio at all threatening). The best thing about Guesthouse Bianca is undoubtedly its owner, Guido. We found him to be a real gentlemen, always on hand to answer our numerous questions, very happy to make arrangements on our behalf and able to accommodate our need for some flexibility with genuine kindness, for which we are extremely grateful. A highlight of our days was breakfast at the cafe in the Park which was an oasis of calm overlooking the city and its stunning surroundings. Our stay in Rio met all of our expectations, it is a truly magnificent place, and the Guesthouse Bianca comes highly recommended as a place to stay. We can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 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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171 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
Date | Rating
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English first
toronto
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2012

My husband and I stayed at Guesthouse Bianca for four nights in August in the Sugar Loaf room. We arrived late at night, so it was such a treat to wake up in the morning and discover our spectacular balcony view. I loved nothing more than sitting on the hammock gazing at the city unfolding in the distance. The decor of the room was extremely tasteful and sophisticated. Beautiful tiles and woodwork.. We slept very well each night.

Guido is a caring and friendly host, he really works to answer all of your questions and knows the area very well. We loved chatting with him and enjoyed many of the restaurants / bars that he recommended. Occasionally, he forgot to tell us some important things - like that breakfasts were unavailable at Parque das Ruinas on Mondays. And it was only after we told him that two cabs refused to take us to Santa Teresa that he told us that he had a printed card of directions to take drivers through Gloria so that you could kind of trick them into coming to Santa Teresa. Make sure you get these directions right away - this was really the only setback to this area, but kind of a big one when you're trying to get back at night. Cabs don't like going up the steep, cobblestoned streets. Public transit is fine though. We took the 007 bus from Central Station one night when we came back from a soccer game (it also runs through Lapa), and regularly walked to the Gloria subway station from the house - about a fifteen minute walk on quite a steep road. I would not recommend this location to someone who has trouble walking, you need to be fit to get back and forth from the subway.

The neighbourhood is wonderful though, so it was worth the pain of dealing with a couple of cranky cab drivers. If I lived in Rio, I would totally want to live in this neighbourhood. A number of cute bars & restaurants were within a ten minute walk from the house, most with an artsy feel. The square close to the house was really charming, local musicians would play at the bar down the street in the evening.

If you are looking for a charming house, a beautiful view, and a cute, safe neighbourhood, and you don't mind walking on steep roads, or having to barter with cab drivers than this is a great location for you.

Room Tip: The Sugar Loaf room had a spectacular view and balcony with a hammock.
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  • Stayed August 2012, 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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GuidoSantAnna, Owner at Guesthouse Bianca, responded to this review, August 31, 2012
Thank you very much for your wonderful review.

The cab directions I have printed here is no different from the one I send at the moment of reservation in order to get a city-cab from the international airport (GIG) to the Guesthouse. Some guests have no trouble at all finding cabs back home (following the directions), some ask for the taxi tips every day. I am always available to explain.

From Gloria station to the Guesthouse there are options in case you do not wanna walk uphill: you can get a moto-taxi for R$2,50 (each person), there's a white minivan about the same price at the beginning of Candido Mendes st (you may have to wait a bit for it) or you can get a cab from Gloria taxi company right at the exit of Gloria station- it would cost around R$7,00 (I always take the moto-taxi: fun-fast-cheap - and I have no trouble walking).

Not only breakfast at Cafe das Ruinas is unavailable on Mondays but also Parque das Ruinas and all museums in RIo are closed that day. On Mondays guests are invited to either enjoy seasonal fruit, granola, milk & coffee that is provided in the guesthouse (self-service) or use the vouchers for their complimentary breakfast offered at Serginho Cafe just a few meters from our doorstep from 7:00AM until 1:00PM.
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Nashville, Tennessee
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2012

Guesthouse Bianca was built 80 years ago and represents a style that just isn't available to most anymore. Marble staircases, inlaid floors, stained glass windows, and a garden filled with colorful flowers and plants. Upstairs where the guests stay isn't quite so elegant, but still is comfortable, and the views from the terraces include Sugarloaf and lots of water. The house is in excellent condition. Santa Theresa is an interesting neighborhood filled with artists' ateliers and near a park with a view. The location, though central, is hard to use, however, as the streets are bumpy cobblestone and extremely steep. Taxi drivers have difficulty locating the address. But as a sanctuary, the Guesthouse is just right. Guido, the owner, is super friendly and attentive. He answers any and all questions. I am glad I chose the Guesthouse Bianca for my Rio stay, and next time I come to Rio--and I will come back--I will stay here again.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2012

This place is very special no doubt but perhaps not quite the top of the top. It is full of character but could probably do with a bit more investment to make it really spectacular.

The rooms are all very special but the finish overall is not quite as high as you might expect from their website.

Some of the features of the house like the stain glass are not quite in full view, we only stumbled upon it on the last day.

Guido was away so our host was polite but not particularly mentionable.

Can't fault St Teresa as a place to explore Rio from though, extremely atmospheric and easy to get to most of the parts of the city (assuming that the beaches are not where you wish to be each and every day)

The breakfast coupon gets you to a very atmospheric local cafe which has a very tasty but limited menu or up to the panoramic but very poor quality cafe up the hill.

Room Tip: They all have great charm but we certainly loved the Sugar Loaf.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2012

We really enjoyed our stay. Casa Bianca itself has been beautifully restored and is a pleasure to stay. The rooms are very well finished with traditional character, our room had ample space and a big bathroom with a great hot shower. Both a ceiling fan and air-conditioning were available in our room. Guido the owner is very helpful and makes you feel at home and relaxed.

Excluding Monday, breakfast is provided in a local café located in Parque das Ruinas (2 minutes walk), where you have fantastic panoramic views of Rio. Casa Bianca provides a small kitchen and dinning area for guests, fresh fruits and coffee were also provided in the mornings.

It's well located in Santa Teresa for local attractions and easy access into the city, this was ideal for us considering we were primarily visiting to find a local property to buy.

With a 15 minute walk you can be in Gloria or Lapa. Walking around and exploring is all part of the enjoyment of staying in Santa Teresa. If you do not want to walk you also have the very frequent omnibus a few minutes from the house, and taxis can be arranged easily for longer trips.

Would stay again for sure.

  • Stayed June 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
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San Diego, California
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2012

eh, we didn't really think it was THAT great. I mean, Guido is great; his dogs are awesome; and the place has some character (nice views, etc.), but you should consider other places as well.

it's a great place, but it's just far .... (lots of stairs, lots of walking, very quiet). we would've preferred something more exciting, but still, it's not bad.

Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Amstelveen, The Netherlands
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2012

We have travelled extensively around the world but we have never stayed in such a charming place. Santa Teresa is a great location to explore Rio. We felt very safe, we had to walk a bit to get to the public transportation but we enjoyed every meter (on the way to Lapa & centro thru the famous Selaron steps).The palace is beautiful and all the rooms are decorated with an incredible unique touch. The Mango room is great but the others are equally beautiful. The views are unforgettable, from the room or having breakfast nearby at Parque das Ruinas. We felt at home from the beginning thanks to Guido, the owner, which gives this place a personal touch and is always willing to help you and give you valuable tips.
Guido, muito obrigado for these great memories!
If you are lucky to find a room go for it, best value for money ever.

  • Stayed May 2012, 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.
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Additional Information about Guesthouse Bianca

Address: 35 | Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro, State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Phone Number:
Location: Brazil > State of Rio de Janeiro > Rio de Janeiro > Santa Teresa
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 259 B&Bs / Inns in Rio de Janeiro
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Guesthouse Bianca is one of the only places in all of Rio de Janeiro from which you can enjoy a true bohemian neighborhood, the chic beaches of the south, the bustling city center, the infamous viewpoints, and the non stop nightlife - all from the luxury of a private home surrounded by a tropical garden.  The newly renovated home was built in 1932 and is located on a quiet residential street in the heart of Santa Teresa, considered by many to be the most charming cultural and historical neighborhood in all of Rio.  Guests are only a 5 minute walk to countless restaurants, bars, shops, bus and tram stops, and just a 10 minute walk to Rio's ever expanding metro system. The three rooms are exquisitely appointed and furnished, two of which boast stunning views of the Bay of Guanabara and Sugar Loaf.  The private guest entrance is through the lush garden, where you can find mango, coconut and goiaba trees, bromeliads, orchids, not to mention countless tropical birds and the occasional monkey. All of the rooms have elegant private bathrooms, inlaid hardwood floors, air conditioning, ceiling fans, and free wireless Internet. On the ground floor, guests have their own dining room and a self-catering kitchenette where they are welcome to prepare light meals and drinks.  Guesthouse Bianca's gracious host, Guido, is a native Cariocan and has lived in Rio all his life.  He speaks English, French and Italian and is always available to give tips on Rio, or join guests for a homemade piece of cake or a cachaca on the terrace. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Guesthouse Bianca Hotel Rio De Janeiro
Guesthouse Bianca Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

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