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“A unique experience”

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Pousada Favela Cantagalo
Ranked #62 of 337 Rio de Janeiro B&B and Inns
Reviewed January 3, 2014

I can´t say that the seaview provided at the pousada´s rooftop is smth to die for (it´s nice though!), but if u r looking for an absolutely authentic stay in Rio, that´s the right variant!
Avoid it if u have medical problems with the heart, respiratory system and joints - u´ll have to cover MANY stairs.
The favela itself is safe, don´t worry (but don´t boast ur 2000-euro-camera on the street).
Some rooms don´t have air conditioning.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled solo
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2  Thank Dimazz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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15 - 21 of 67 reviews

Reviewed December 21, 2013

I stayed a night here with my friend on 3rd of April '13. I hadn't realized beforehand that we would have to climb many many many steps up in order to reach the pousada, which was a big problem because we both had a huge suitcase and a backpack each for our long trip. It was nearing midnight, rather dark and we had no idea where the entrance was. We were 3/4 up the steps before the brother of the lady who runs the pousada came out and found us struggling and thoroughly drenched in sweat. He was immediately a real help and I looked forward to the favela experience. We were treated with nice cold water at the terrace on top which offered a breathtaking view of Favela Cantagalo and Rio. I had a relatively good sleep but unfortunately due to the partying and noise in the neighborhood my friend hardly caught a wink. A concerned friend then booked another hotel stay for us which was more expensive and hence we had no choice but to inform the lady that we will be checking out early although we had made a booking for four nights. She immediately lost her pleasant disposition and questioned us about where we are heading. We apologized and said we would honor our booking by making a full payment for four nights stay and that our only request was for her to help us arrange a taxi to come pick us up and to help us with our luggage down the many steps, which she agreed to. We settled on a check-out time and told her we would be back after touring the neighborhood. However, when we came back, the office was locked and neither the lady nor her brother could be found. We waited a while but still no sight of them and in the end, we had to again struggle with our luggages down the tiny staircase of the pousada, and then down the many many many steps to the neighborhood and then drag them along the cobbled streets to the main road to get a taxi. I am very disappointed in the lady in the way she treated us especially when we paid her in full without even putting up any argument and she couldn't even be bothered to stay around to keep to her promises after taking our money. Despite being located within a favela, it was not cheap at all to stay here. Even if it was, she still shouldn't have been that irresponsible.

Also, after breakfast we went back to our room and they had had it cleaned and left all the windows in the room wide open. We did not lose anything, but I would definitely not leave the windows of my room open in ANY city, much less here in this room which has very close proximity to the rooftops/ balconies of other areas of this favela. Also very disturbing was the toilet in our room, which could hardly flush at all. Just imagine.

Breakfasts was good, although very limited in spread. Great view at the small terrace where you could possibly have breakfast and interact with other travelers. I do like the neighborhood, it's not for the faint-hearted but it can be rather charming. But all in all, this was not worth it with all the inconveniences and unfulfilled promises. My worst experience in any place ever.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Viviaaan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2013

We arrived at the favela late at night which was a bit of a shock to the system to say the least! Two blonde girls travelling on their own and you get some attention from the locals. The pousada itself is clean and welcoming with a lovely breakfast and rooms with a view, though very basic, are good value for money. The view from the roof terrace overlooking the sea and the favela was incredible. The walk to the bus stop for the excursions and for the Copacabana and Ipanema beaches was only a fifteen minute walk down through the favela. If you are feeling adventurous and want to experience the heart of Brazil then this is the place for you.

Room Tip: I think most rooms have a view but ask anyway just in case. I would imagine all rooms are noisy sinc...
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Billy1602
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 30, 2013

Anyone up for an amazing new experience need look no further. Great staff - you will love Ligia (the owner) and Fabiane, two people I will remember for a long time. Spotless no-frills accommodation (I stayed in the annexe). A superb breakfast, with homemade food (eggs, linguiça sausage, quiche, cakes) with a view of Rio from the terrace to die for - absolutely jaw-dropping. 5 minutes on foot from Copacabana, 8 minutes from Ipanema. Day and night, I found the favela to be as safe as any other part of Rio, in fact considerably less threatening in my view than Centro after dark. With basic Portuguese, you will have no trouble striking conversations and making friends with the locals. There is a barzinho near the pousada (I think Bar Virada) that is OK, serves decent food, and has Samba Pagode on a Friday night, but you might try Bar Ary down the street as a better bet to meet folks. If you ascend the favela on a Saturday night, you are bound to find a party, but take care not to get lost in the maze of alleyways. A useful bike hire is down the hill, also on the beach at Ipanema on Sundays. It is true that there is a climb to the pousada from Ipanema, but it shouldn't present too much of a problem to anyone in reasonable shape - I'm 63 and it wasn't excessive for me. Overall, a great experience that you won't easily forget. Very good value for money as well.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled solo
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3  Thank NigelWalshe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 27, 2013 via mobile

Yes, you will be living in a favela. But once you get there you'll soon realise that you're in the nice part. The part where there are little kids out playing with their kites and laughing all day. Don't stress too much about the safety aspect, it was lovely, if a little dirty/smelly on the streets.

One word of warning though, you will have to HIKE to your room every day! Even if you're lucky like us and our on the ground floor, it's at least a 50 stair flight to get to the hostel from the road, and three flights to get to breakfast in the mornings. Totally worth it for the views though.

The favela is slap bang right in Copacabana so a 10min walk out of the hostel and you'll be in the thick of things in the city or beach. We always caught a taxi back home though, the hill is long and steep and was raining while we were there.

Breakfast was really basic, as were the rooms. Nothing to write home about, but comfortable and affordable in this pricy city.

  • Stayed: September 2013
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3  Thank RoandPj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 28, 2013

I stayed here June 22 2013-june 30th 2013.The view is only at the breakfast room,not in the rooms.The breakfast is a good value.To walk from Copacabana beach is about 15 minutes.2 blocks back to Rua Saint Roman and then 3 blocks up a fairly steep incline to the gate and then up another 100 steps or so.i was always soaken wet when i got in room.I'm 59 but had no trouble.it's just a lot of work.The breakfast tastes very good.i liked the watermelon juice and soft scrambled eggs.The staff is helpful,honest,and has your best interest at heart.Have fun at the cafe's and beach.

David Fischer
Villa Hills,kentucky

Room Tip: closer to the beach ,more expensive
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled solo
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4  Thank DavidFischer_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 15, 2013

I stayed at the pousada for 3 nights in June 2013 and loved the experience. After overcoming a mild panic attack at the sight of a lot of stairs when arriving with my backpack, I received a very warm welcome and some cold water upon checkin :). I had booked one of the cheaper rooms, which face towards the alleyway, making them shady and comfortably cool. The rooms are simple, but fairly big and absolutely spotless. Showers are hot and have great water pressure - something I didn't experience in other places in Brazil.
Breakfast is excellent, with a very good selection and great coffee, and is served on the rooftop terrace, which also has beautiful views out to the ocean. The terrace is also the place to go for Wifi, so you can check your email while enjoying the view.
The location is perfect, a 10 minute walk to both Copacabana and Ipanema. Additionally, one of the main bus stations in Ipanema is right at the bottom of the hill from the pousada, making it very easy to get around to other parts of Rio. The walk home is uphill and finishes with the above-mentioned steps, but it is still pretty fast and a great way to walk off the avocado milkshake which you should try in one of the many juice bars.
The whole experience is just amazing - you are staying right in the middle of a favela. It's like a glimpse into Brazil's future, with favelas becoming peaceful neighborhoods. Forget favela tours - this is the chance to get a firsthand experience instead. The people are friendly and used to seeing tourists, and the whole area feels very safe, even for this solo female traveler.

Altogether, this is an excellent place to stay and a unique experience not to be missed.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled solo
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4  Thank LMGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pousada Favela Cantagalo

Address: Rua Saint Roman 200, Rio de Janeiro, State of Rio de Janeiro 22071-060, Brazil
Location: Brazil > State of Rio de Janeiro > Rio de Janeiro > Ipanema
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #62 of 337 B&Bs / Inns in Rio de Janeiro
Price Range: $180 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Pousada Favela Cantagalo is located on the south side of town in a peaceful community with many cultural entertainment. In addition, the inn offers all the necessary comforts for your stay in this wonderful city. Rooms with double and single beds, private bathrooms and an excellent breakfast on the terrace facing the sea of Copacabana. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pousada Favela Cantagalo Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

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