I stayed here with my boyfriend after reading the amazing reviews on trip advisor!
Initially, we were impressed. On arrival we were greeted by a friendly American girl- and it was such a relief to hear someone speak English... She welcomed us into the hotel and informed us that they had made an error and double booked our room...And as a result asked us if we would mind being upgraded for three days until our room was free for us- obviously we were more than happy with this! She showed us to our private (upgraded) room which was cute, colourful and clean, with a decent private en suite. There wasn't any air con but there was a ceiling fan so we were happy. We had an amazing view of Christ!
The next morning we woke up, had breakfast which was ok, nothing special, there was cheese, ham, boiled eggs, cake, and juice. Then the manager told us that the people who were staying in our "original" room wanted to change rooms as soon as possible... So we packed up and left our luggage for them to pop in our new room that day.
Later on that day we were showed our new room. It was actually opposite the hotel in a house. We had to unlock 2 doors on 2 levels to get to this room. We were told it was the owners room (who is away just now) that we were Infact staying in, which I thought was kinda random but hey...the actual room was very spacious, had a little balcony, and was big enough to sleep at least four or five people. Our initial thoughts were really positive, the room looked nice and big and again, we had an amazing view of Christ! Again, no aircon but there was 2 ancient standing fans which we used.
The bathroom was shared, but since our room was detached from the house, you had to go outside and downstairs into the house to have a shower, or go to the toilet; and if you get food poisoning like I did, going outside in the dark pissing rain 5 times during the night isn't fun.
Anyway, It wasn't until we left for the first evening that we realised we couldn't shut the window for the balcony to stop the insects and the rain getting in... but we quickly forgot about that anyway. Then when we went to leave the room we realised that they hadn't given us the key for the room door. Might I add, the room was separate from the rest of the house, we were above the house and you had to go outside from the kitchen, up some stairs and then there was our room...
It later came apparent that there was actually no key for our room... And there was no way of locking our door. And when we mentioned it the managers reply was "don't worry it's safe"... She kinda looked at us like we were stupid. And there was no mention of sorting a lock out! So we had to request one, and they ended up giving us a padlock for our room (which was half the size of the padlock i use for my gym locker!) which meant we could only lock the door from the outside. Which isn't really acceptable.
I couldn't sleep knowing that our room wasn't even locked, and I was so scared after hearing noises outside that we had to place a mattress up against the door. And that was when we decided that we needed to move on.
There were a few other issues as well as the lock situation, the lighting in our room was really dim, too dark to read my book, they advertised wifi in our room too but that didn't work, so we tried to use it from the communal area but it was pretty unreliable. Also, the light in the communal area didn't work either so we sat in darkness eating a couple of times.
Location wise, it's not the best. We needed to get a van (which to be fair, stops right outside the hotel), then the metro to get to sugarloaf. I didn't feel safe at all as soon as it got dark, but there are taxis occasionally driving by.
When my partner explained all of the above, the manager did apologise and requested that we didn't write a bad review in trip advisor, but our experience was so disappointing we needed to share it.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
We are extremely sorry to hear that these guests were disappointed with their stay in our beautiful room at our partner house just a few meters from the main Casa 579 house. Until now we have received nothing but positive feedback about this beautiful room with its own private terrace looking directly at Christ.
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We genuinely feel that perhaps some of the issues mentioned were influenced by the fact that the guests had their hotel room burgled whilst in South Africa directly before arriving here, and also that we experienced a huge electrical storm in Rio the night that the other guest was ill.
The room where the guests stayed is in fact at the top of the house, hence the amazing views, and as such cannot be accessed without coming first through the house which has a street door and then a front door both of which lock and to which guests have the key, so we would like to highlight that this makes the entire house extremely safe as the upper levels cannot be accessed without having both keys. We have however taken the guests' complaint on board and are replacing the padlock we put on for them as soon as they asked and are having a lock fitted. The WI-FI and the lighting were also affected by the storm but we currently have an electrician working on the damage caused.
We are sorry to hear that the guests only found our breakfast just ok, but would like to add that our breakfast also includes fresh fruit such as mango, pineapple and papaya and fresh fruit juices such as watermelon and passion fruit as well as granola and yoghurt with apples and bananas. Our breakfast has often been rated by guests as the best not just in Brazil but in South America.
We did ask the guests to move rooms the following day but this was based on feedback from the guests themselves who at the time were extremely relaxed saying it was no problem whatsoever and that they didn't mind staying in the original room or moving to the new room, whatever was best for the other guests. Their second room is in our partner house a short distance from Casa 579, and the guests had been informed of this before arrival via email and again before changing rooms. Guests staying in our partner house get the best of both worlds by being able to use all the facilities here at Casa 579, including breakfast, our amazing terrace, spacious lounge and well-equipped kitchen, these guests however, chose not to use all the facilities at Casa 579, preferring instead to dine in our partner house across the road.
We apologise that the guests were unable to shut their window but do feel it is unfair to complain about this online without having mentioned anything to us during the 4 nights of their stay. If they had mentioned this at any point during their stay it would have been fixed immediately as when our maintenance team went over to the room after the guests had departed (as they only mentioned this fact on departure) they shut it without any problems and could have done this at any time during the guests' stay. The same is true of the fans which could have been changed on the first night as we have a set of new silent, turbo fans available for guest use had they informed us they weren’t happy with the fans at the time.
I also personally apologise if at any time the guests thought I wasn't taking their concerns seriously as this is absolutely not the case. I was genuinely surprised by their concerns, as it has never been an issue until now, but once the couple admitted that one of them had been burgled at their last hotel and wanted a lock on their door because of this I did get them one the same day.
We would also like to respond to the guests' comment about our location - as the guest themselves said we have a van that runs every 10 minutes from 6am onwards and stops right outside the door and goes straight to the Metro. In terms of safety Santa Teresa is now one of Rio's safest suburbs where you can walk in the streets at any time of the day or night without feeling unsafe and we honestly believe that this guest's feeling of insecurity actually came from the previous incident in South Africa rather than anything to do with our room.
Again we apologise that these guests did not have the same wonderful experience that most of our guests have and would like to assure anyone reading this review that any part of these issues within our control are now being dealt with.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.