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“Highlight of our Latin America trip”
Review of Mama Ruisa

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Mama Ruisa
Ranked #3 of 337 Rio de Janeiro B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 28, 2012 via mobile

So here's the deal.

Good hotels are absurdly expensive in Rio due to lack of supply (think London/Mumbai). So you'll need to break open the piggy bank and spend $240 per night rather than $150-180 and try not to think about it further for the rest of your trip.

It's extremely hot and humid most of the year so don't even consider a hotel without a pool.

Unless you're a complete beach-junkie without an ounce of sophistication you won't want to stay in Copacobana or Ipanema - its very hot, the areas lack soul and for some reason they're mainly full of 1980s faded Holiday/Inn style towers.(You also don't need to divide your stay between areas - taxis are cheap and it doesn't take long to get from one part of town to another).

If you're not staying there your best bet is Santa Teresa - charming, stylish, great views and well located for centro/Lapa.

If staying in ST you'll want to be near the bar/restaurant action.

So all this narrows your Rio hotel search by a happy process ofmdeduction to just two: the Santa Teresa and Mama Ruisa.

If you have money to burn and like having a full bar/restaurant on site you should certainly consider the ST - it's quite a place, and much hipper than the usual Relais & Chateau fare.

Otherwise you'll find yourself walking through the gates of Mama Ruisa. And you'll have found a gem of a place to stay, for all the reasons listed in the other reviews: gorgeous rooms, intimate, great views, a lovely pool, super friendly staff and an owner Jean who will look after your every need - where else would you be given a lift down to the centre of town when taxis were in thin supply on christmas day? You feel - in the best possible way - that you've walked into your rich best friend's sumptuous holiday pad and you won't want to leave. It's also very gay-friendly, though most guests are families or straight couples. And they make mean cocktails to get your evening started.

It's not faultless. Breakfast should definitely be included in the price of an already expensive room rather than being a separate, and also expensive, item, especially as few will want to look for breakfast elsewhere. Some rooms are better than others. And there can be a bit of noise at times - from floors above if you're on the ground floor, or airoplanes (Rio has a Heathrow problem - whk knew?!) or from traffic from the road - but it's not too bad.

So problem solved - Mama Ruisa it is! It was the highlight of our three week Latin America trip. And you'll love it.

  • Stayed: December 2012
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3  Thank H_Alst0n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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158 - 164 of 399 reviews

Reviewed October 15, 2012

Wow! Mama Ruisa is unbeatable. I doubt anyone would find better accommodation in Rio. The restored colonial house is owned by Jeam Michel Ruis, a sophisticated French Moroccan who has designed the house with artistic flair. The rooms with views over the city are lovely, the breakfasts are delicious and Jean Michel is a perfect host. On our arrival at around 3pm, he told us to go straight to Sugarloaf as he had looked up the forecast for the next day and the views would be hazy if we waited another 24 hours. How right he was. He booked us into fabulous restaurants, organised our taxis and was, in short, a perfect host.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Janel60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 5, 2012

This is a gem. Clearly the owners are artistic and with good taste –one only needs to look at the selection of coffee table books in the large lounge to realise that. Everywhere was decorated with great style.

As we had arrived on an early flight we checked into the hotel at around 6.20 am. Our room was ready for us (how many of the seafront hotels in Rio would have done that?) and we had time to unpack and shower before breakfast.

The staff were attentive and helpful. As our room had a small balcony we took breakfast there. Alternatively there is a pleasant area near the pool where breakfast and drinks are served.

The pool is small but serves its purpose and garden is an attractive place to sit and read. As long as one wants to be in Santa Theresa the Mama Ruisa is impossible to fault.

Room Tip: Try for one with a balcony
See more room tips
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank TandCFulham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2012

I spent a week in Rio, splitting time between Fasano and Mama Ruisa. The latter is my preference.

This property exudes the European charm and nuance characteristic of the neighborhood, historically.

The proprietor, Jean Michelle, takes it to the next level: a witty and warm reception by him and his staff, they remained attentive throughout my stay. 

My room was clean, efficient and private. The house's ecclectic interior spaces are simple but impeccably curated. The living and pool areas are relaxed and serene - both lovely for taking a delicious breakfast of fresh fruit and invigorating coffee or a fortifying aperitif.

The only drawback is the distance from the beach. But commanding views do offset the somewhat remote location. There is plenty to discover within walking distance of the house - colonial Santa Teresa is in the midst of a Renaissance. 

As a first time visitor, Mama Rues elevated my impressions of Rio. I would strongly encourage a visit to the city and this unique property. 

  • Stayed: August 2012
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1  Thank Esta2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2012

Having stayed at both the Copacabana and the Fasano in Rio, both of which I was underwhelmed by, I found Mama Ruisa to be a way better option. The design elements of the hill-side hotel give this great mix of contemporary Rio Art with European elegance as orchestrated by Jean-Michel the amazing owner and manager. He is so attentive and entertaining and really helps to make the stay wonderful. He is also super knowledgeable about current events in the city, restaurants to go to, things to do and planned lots of cool and different things for our days. It is certainly like an Oasis in the Santa Teresa community and while I found the Copacaban stuffy and old worldly, and the Fasano already run down and poorly managed, this little heaven is the best I have experienced in a city I visit often.
Would I go back? without a doubt, was Jean-Michel and his staff amazing? No question about it. Would I recommend it to any friends going to stay in Rio? 100%!

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank ADL2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 2012

This place would be great if it was half the price! The prices are so, so cheeky. Okay, the area is great, the views also and the reception room is gorgeous, however..... We stayed in the Jean Cocteau Suite which looked stunning on the website but was disappointing in the flesh. The upholstery was tired / dirty, walls need to be cleaned, the bathroom was dated and gloomy and the bedroom (not sure why it is called a suite?!) appeared smaller than in the website. Bedroom doors are very thin, so you are aware of the other guests. The breakfast area is stylish looking on to the pool but none of this justifies the price. One can only assume that they would rather the hotel was only partially full at these unreasonable prices rather than fuller at fair prices. Rio was our favourite place in an extensive tour of the North East of Brazil. Mama Ruisa was our one mistaken extravagance!!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank virginiaLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 2012

Coming back to this hotel after a busy and noisy day in the amazing city Rio de Janeiro, feels like a breath of fresh air. The rooms are spacious, clean and every room is different. Breakfast was really good and staff was very friendly.
If you don't know Rio, be sure to ask the host were to go. On his advice we've visited the most amazing bars and restaurants.
If I'm ever going back to Rio, this is were I'll stay!
Be sure to visit. It'll be worth your while.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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Thank ElizabethH22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mama Ruisa

Address: Rua Santa Cristina 132, Rio de Janeiro, State of Rio de Janeiro 20241-250, Brazil
Location: Brazil > State of Rio de Janeiro > Rio de Janeiro > Santa Teresa
Amenities:
Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 337 B&Bs / Inns in Rio de Janeiro
Price Range: $126 - $249 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Mama Ruisa 4*
Number of rooms: 7
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Also Known As:
Mama Ruisa Hotel Rio De Janeiro
Mama Ruisa Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

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