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“Probably the best location you can get”
Review of Rio Dolphin Inn

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Rio Dolphin Inn
New York City
Level Contributor
123 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Probably the best location you can get”
Reviewed June 22, 2012

The house is located in a private gated villa which really helps cut down the sounds of the busy roads that it is located by.

You are literally 4 blocks away from Copacabana one way and 4 blocks away from Ipanema the other. Perfect location for a great price.

The owner is super nice and we will given all sorts of insider tips on where to go when, etc. It was a great home stay and we will def stay there again if we ever end up in Rio...

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank BaronessEast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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107 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (8)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
  • Portuguese first
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  • Any
English first
Norwich, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 30, 2012

The Rio Dolphin Inn is a true home from home. Firstly both John and Elaine made us feel so welcome when we first arrived. John gave us a wonderful guided tour of the local area which helped us plan our 4 days in Rio and he took us restaurants we should try out which were delicious.

The accommodation itself is in a perfect location. It is in a secure street (which a locked gate at either end for access) two blocks from Copacobana (3minute walk) and three blocks from Ipanema (5minute walk). It is very quirky and clean, with access to kitchen facilities, a fresh stock of clean drinking water and coconut water and very nice rooms. There were three of us and we stayed in 'the Little Prince's Room' which has access to a private bathroom across the hall. John and Elaine also have multiple suncreams and insect repellents at your disposal and small bags for excursions to use. They also provided us with sarongs for use on the beach (as mentioned in a previous review, John told us that tourists use towels but locals use sarongs! VERY HANDY TIP). On a side note - lots of banks and shops nearby.

Elaine and John also arranged all the trips we did, from a Favela tour a young chap from the local Favela to a guided private taxi tour of Sugar loaf, Lapa Steps and the Christ Statue.

All in all, we felt so welcome and had such fantastic hosts in an ideal spot that I would recommend the accommodation to anyone visiting Rio and would go back there in a heart beat.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank sjlowe10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 29, 2012

I have no doubt that staying at this hotel will make your trip to Rio better than it would otherwise be. John, the innkeeper, is a wonderful host. He has been in Brazil for over 20 years and is basically a local. But he's also a world traveler that understands a traveler's needs and he is more hospitable than any innkeeper I've met. He goes out of his way to show you around the city, arrange trips for you, and just generally look after you. His hotel is literally his home and staying there feels like staying with a good friend. It is in a great location right between Ipanema and Copacabana beaches and right near the subway too. I really can't tell you how much staying here made our trip to Rio. I read a lot of reviews on here before deciding to commit to the hotel because it was a bit more expensive than some of the other hotels/hostels I was considering but it really was worth every penny, and our experience was priceless. We'd be back to John's in a heartbeat.

Other practical notes: we stayed in the surfer's paradise room not directly attached to the main house, but still felt very connected to the main house with our own key to enter and use the main living areas; the inn has a kitchen for guest use, seemingly stocked with everything you would have in yours plus a large jug of drinking water for guest use; John's spare umbrellas and shoulder bags came in handy on our outings; we were each provided with our own conga (sarong) to use at the beach (apparently towels at the beach are for tourists!); he even had extra bug spray and sunblock for our use. All in all, just wonderful. Thanks so much John! We hope to see you again soon.

Michael & Natalie

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank msbernie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 20, 2012 via mobile

This is the first review I have written on trip advisor but had to after such a fantastic stay at the Rio Dolphin Inn! We had the best time all thanks to John and his information and advise during our short stay in Rio. Location couldn't get better and room we had was very comfy, clean and colourful (little prince room). It feels very much like a home stay, John is such a fantastic host.
We couldn't recommend the place enough!

Stayed April 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Caroline S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Haven, Connecticut
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 25, 2012

I've been in Brazil for almost a month and have stayed at the Dolphin Inn twice now as I've passed through Rio and am going to return there to finish out my trip in a week or so.
What is most remarkable about this place is the proprietor and host, John Maier, a former journalist, avid surfer, dog lover and all-around mensch.
John sent a car to pick me up at the airport (saving me a bit of money that a regular taxi would have cost), and when I arrived at the Inn, he took me out to breakfast, showing me the sights of Ipanema as we walked to one of his favorite haunts.
If you're new to a city, getting your bearings is sometimes difficult--John knows so much about Rio that he seems to be able to answer any question you might have about places to see, to eat, things to do.
The Dolphin Inn is his small house in a villa--a series of narrow streets off the main drag filled with other small houses--right smack between Cococabana and Ipanema and a few blocks from the beach. Since it's off the avenue, it's quiet and peaceful, though you're in the heart of things once you go through the gate.
There are three rooms--one with a en-suite bath (the Dolphin Room), another with a separate bath (the Little Prince Room), both in his house and then a room (the Surfer's Paradise), which is a stand-alone bungalow and part of neighbor's property a few steps away from the Inn itself. The rooms in the Dolphin Inn are basic and comfortable but filled with knick-knacks and posters (dolphins, little princes!) that make them feel homey. The Inn itself is a remarkable collection of found items that John has collected over 20+ years.
I travel a lot and have stayed in lots of different kinds of places. If you want a corporate-style, cookie-cutter hotel room, the Dolphin Inn isn't for you. If you want to feel at home, far away from home, you couldn't do better in Rio than staying at John's place.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank GreggGonsalves
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jersey, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 12, 2012

Me and my sister stayed at the Rio Dolphin Inn for 11 days over new year and we had such an amazing time. John was amazing and could not do enough for us. The Dolphin Inn was clean and we felt like it was our home. There was always coconut water on tap and the most amazing chocolate to help yourself to. John was really helpful on things to do in the area and also helped us organise a number of trip. John helped make our experience in Rio one of the best parts of our 4 month trip in South america.

If I was to visit Rio again I would with out a doubt stay here again and recommend it to all my friends.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank sauvage83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 26, 2012

Stayed here with wife for five days, overlapping stay of MarkD80 with whom we went on the Favella tour and football match. John is the ideal host, who not only takes you on a local tour, but is a continual source of information. We stayed in a room just round the corner in the same gated community in an ideal room.
Great location between Ipanema (our favourite) and Copacabana Beaches. Everything is within easy reach including cycle hire and the beautiful botanical gardens. Can't recommend this place enough. It may not be classic 5 star accommodation but it's a five star place! Andy and Gill

  • Stayed November 2011
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Championo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rio Dolphin Inn

Property: Rio Dolphin Inn
Address: Rua Bulhoes de Carvalho 480 Casa 6 | Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, State of Rio de Janeiro 22081-001, Brazil
Location: Brazil > State of Rio de Janeiro > Rio de Janeiro > Copacabana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #152 of 783 Specialty Lodging in Rio de Janeiro
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 2
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Rio Dolphin Inn is a top quality yet quaint and cozy home on a quiet cobblestone street on the border of Ipanema, Copacabana and Arpoador beaches. You will not find a better location: you can actually see the beach from the entrance, the metro station is a block away and the main city bus lines pass right in front of the gate. This exclusive home has 2 bedrooms, both of them comfortable suites with modern bathrooms, air conditioning, fans, new comfortable beds and large bright windows. It's the perfect spot for couples, families, friends and single travelers. The inn is acclaimed as one of Rio's best bed and breakfasts. It is rated 5 stars and was winner of Trip Advisor's Excellence award in 2012 and 2013. We pride ourselves in taking care of our guests and helping them get the most of their visit. Check out our reviews on bedandbreakfast and TripAdvisor. We were closed for renovations but opened in April of 2014 with new lower rates starting at US$120. World Cup dates still available. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Rio Dolphin Hotel Rio De Janeiro
Rio Dolphin Inn Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

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