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“Great location for those interested in the music scene”
Review of Casa Beleza

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Casa Beleza
Ranked #1 of 327 Rio de Janeiro B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
San Diego
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great location for those interested in the music scene”
Reviewed October 14, 2008

This place is gorgeous and in a great location for people not needing to be in the crazy beach zones.

Heads up on location:

located in Santa Teresa, although on a street many cab drivers don't know (always bring a map with you and directions back to the house). Santa Teresa is nice and quaint, a beautiful hill top cobble stone neighborhood. Lots of music playing at a variety of restaurants. But what is even better is how close you are to Lapa!! That is where the music scene is, and its only a 3 min cab ride down the hill!! Lapa has a crazy street party scene on the weekends with the music clubs packed. We saw some great samba/jazz/bossa/pop/ etc. If you like live music this can't be missed. Just ask the hosts and they can lead you in whatever direction you want to go.

Distance to beaches and other tourist sites are not that far, and with a few people it is worth just pitching in for a cab ride.

So if you want to be near music this is a good place. If you want to be near younger more euro style dance clubs (generally not live music) than this place isn't the best for you.

The house:

beautiful place and big!! the two room place is big enough to fit 10, well not really, but it is big. I guess we just thought it was going to be two rooms with a connected door and a shared bathroom, but this place had a private hall and breakfast table. All very nice, but definitely on the expensive side.

The hosts are very attentive! If you want to really be left alone on your visit, this might not be the place for you. They really want to help you have an enjoyable stay and so guests seem to get a lot of attention. I guess that is up to the guest on whether that is a positive or negative. At times it seemed great, very helpful, and other times when we were tired it seemed slightly annoying.

We felt very safe, and the hosts will give you the low down on the best way to have fun and not be worried when you go out.

Breakfast was great, promptly served whenever you please. You'll probably see some monkeys in the trees, pretty cool to see as they are not much afraid of people. Oh i probably forgot to mention, English is spoken at the house! Very important for us. Just a heads up for those who don't speak Portuguese, because it can be tough to decipher. And generally if you are an English speaker, i would recommend trying Portuguese and then fall back to English when trying to communicate with people. Spanish seems much more foreign to Brazilians.

Overall:
if want to be near the music (and need help finding it) this place is great! I'm not sure how other pension type places are priced in Santa Teresa, but i would suspect that this is probably on the high end. So if you want to splurge in Rio, do it here and ensure you get the real music nightlife experience in an off the beaten path kind of place. Also, i would recommend making sure you are here on at least one weekend. Lapa isn't to be missed on Sat night.

A honest review from a fellow traveler.

  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with friends
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1 Thank honestrav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (94)
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English first
California
1 review
Reviewed October 9, 2008

Casa Beleza is a great place to stay while in Rio. We wanted to stay off the beaten path (a place other than Ipanema or Copacobana) and wanted a unique and SAFE experience. Casa Beleza filled all of these needs and more!

We had been given warnings prior to arrival that Santa Teresa was a little sketchy and Bindu (the owner) also warned us about certain things once we got there, but we never felt threatened or unsafe walking around the neighborhood. Not to say you shouldn't watch your back- like anywhere just try to be smart.

Bindu is a wealth of knowledge and spoke English (and many other languages) flawlessly. She was able to recommend restaurants, daytime activities, juices to order, live music places, and was able to help us arrange transportation (usually with the trusty Andres) all to different neighborhoods around Rio. Having someone there to speak with is always much better than a guide book. (It can be hard to find English speakers in Brazil)

We stayed in the upstairs apartment which was completed right before we got there. It was awesome - a view, private bath, and very clean - just make sure you are willing to climb the steep spiral stairs to get up to the apartment.There was also a guard there at all times to make you feel safe. Breakfast was delicious.

I would recommend this place to anyone looking to stay somewhere outside of Ipanema/Copacobana. If you go, make sure to check out Bar do Gomez - the greatest bar in the world, right down the street. And make sure to give Bob the dog a few pets.

*Things to note: make sure you arrange transportation to Casa Beleza through Bindu- as it is tricky to find. And make sure to get your bearings once you do get there so you can get back after you leave. It is on a tiny windy street and all the streets in the area look the same.

  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank East_Gallatin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed October 1, 2008

We have just returned from Rio where we spent 3 lovely nights in Casa Beleza. The house itself is beautiful, with tropical gardens and even little monkeys to feed banana to in the morning! After a short notice cancellation at our previously booked accommodation Bindu and Antoine were very welcoming, and ensured we had a lovely time. The room is beautiful, very simple and comfortable. We were downstairs, with a huge bathroom for our own use. There is no TV, however this proved perfect as we could totally switch off. Breakfast was superb - very healthy and delicious. Santa Teresa is a great area, however it is not safe enough to walk down to the centre. It's a little out of the way, which makes it very peaceful. Don't miss riding the bonde (street tram) up and down to the centre!

Highly recommended.

  • Liked — Welcoming hosts, beautiful house
  • Disliked — Nothing!
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank SydneyNY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Olympia, Washington
2 reviews
Reviewed September 16, 2008

My children and I stayed at Casa Beleza for six days this summer. From the moment we saw the Casa we were enchanted with it's location and the great views. It's a beautiful old white mansion which is quite elegant and so close to the center of Santa Teresa with quite a few good restaurants to choose from. Bindu was so helpful with her advice on trips and when we left we felt we had done all we possibly could in the time we had.

The accommodation was extremely comfortable and spacious and breakfast was delicious with home made treats and wonderful fresh fruit. We were particularly captivated by the family of monkeys who visited and merrily shared a banana, the three turtles who live at Casa Beleza and of course, Bob the dog who welcomes you home each night.

I would not hesitate to recommend this to anyone visiting Rio - we would certainly stay there again in a heartbeat.

Jane, Harry and Sophie from the Washington, USA

  • Liked — The location. I much preferred being in the hills above Rio than staying close to the beaches which are far more commercial.
  • Disliked — N/A
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank jelly60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chile
1 review
Reviewed August 30, 2008

We chose Casa Beleza for 3 reasons; we were looking for a romantic hideaway (first real time alone after 5 years of small children), somewhere with a pool and somewhere that was away from the noise and bustle of beachside Rio. Casa Beleza was PERFECT!!!! Bindu and Antoine were there when we needed them for local info, great restaurant and live music tips, and made themselves scarce when we didn't. Fantastic breakfasts, LOVED the pool (a rare thing in Sta Tereza) and it was so lovely just to chill...
totally recomendable...

  • Liked — Bags of character - beautiful wooden floors, high ceilings, lots of space
  • Disliked — no internet access, but the idea was to get away from it all, so it didn't matter!!!
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Andespacific
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United States
1 review
Reviewed July 26, 2008

I loved my stay at the amazing Casa Beleza. It stands head and shoulders above the competition in the area.! It is located in Santa Theresa. The atmosphere, architecture, culture, and food in this section of Rio is truly worth seeking out. Bindu and Antoine,the owners, are amazing people who helped me in every possible way.
Their graciousness and knowledge of the region made my stay comfortable and easy to navigate. I had a large beautiful room where I could hear the birds, outdoor fountain and Bob, the resident "dog", really an old soul in disguise, announce the dawn of yet another day in paradise! Truly the best kept secret in town I can't wait to go back!

  • Liked — The beauty of the surroundings!
  • Disliked — I liked everything.
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled on business
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Helpful?
Thank UnitedStatesRebecca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
1 review
Reviewed April 16, 2008

My friend and I stayed here for a week and what a fabulous week it was. Antoine and Bindu were fantastic hosts and made us feel very welcome at their beautiful mansion. It's in a lovely part of Rio - very lush and quiet - and we (both girls) felt very safe in the area.

We occupied a wing of the house, with a very large bedroom each, shared a beautiful tiled bathroom (HUGE! I've never seen such a big mirror above a sink - actually it was double sinks about a mile apart), and we had our own breakfast room with French doors onto the lush garden, where Bindu served up superb breakfasts of fresh fruits, juices, tea, coffee, eggs, fresh rolls, cheese and ham. Oh, and cakes. Needless to say I've put on weight!

The decor is lovely - all beautiful polished hardwood floors and antique furniture. And the swimming pool is gorgeous too - not that we made that much use of it as we rushed around Rio like there was no tomorrow.

Bindu was fantastic - always happy to help and a total star when it came to recommendations for gigs and the like: if you don't know Rio and your Portuguese is shaky, that kind of insider knowledge is priceless! And, as the first reviewer said, she does mix a wicked Caipirinha: I've really developed a taste for them.

A bit more about the area, Santa Teresa: we really liked it - it felt very real there, away from the tourist hotspots of Ipanema and Copacabana. The bars were full of locals and we came across some great live music purely by accident, just wandering about. And the locals were a truly eclectic and eccentric bunch: loads of fun! If all you want to do is lie on the beach every day then you might find it a trawl from Santa Teresa but if, like us, you're happy to try out the public transport and you're happy pottering about and not seeking out the company of other tourists particularly then you'll love it.

And if you wanted it to feel even more real then you could do a lot worse than ask Bindu to arrange a tour of the biggest favela there with her friend Paolo: we both agreed that was probably the highlight of the week.

I could wax lyrical but you're probably bored by now. Suffice to say that we'd definitely go back and stay with Antoine and Bindu (and their gorgeous baby, Bob the dog, and lovely staff).

Nuff said.

  • Liked — Space, grandeur, lovely hosts, not touristy locale
  • Disliked — mosquitos!
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank spuncho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Casa Beleza

Property: Casa Beleza
Address: Rua Laurinda Santos Lobo 311, Rio de Janeiro, State of Rio de Janeiro 20240-270, Brazil
Phone Number:
Location: Brazil > State of Rio de Janeiro > Rio de Janeiro > Santa Teresa
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 327 B&Bs / Inns in Rio de Janeiro
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our B&B is in an exotic mansion in the heart of Santa Teresa, Rio's historic and cultural district. Guests have to share the tropical gardens with the 3 turtles, butterflies and small monkeys! We are close to all the city's main attractions and the district of Lapa with Rio's best music and nightlife. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Casa Beleza Hotel Rio De Janeiro
Casa Beleza Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

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