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.
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Mama Ruisa Hotel Rio De Janeiro
- Mama Ruisa Rio De Janeiro, Brazil