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“Lovely Place overlooking rio de janeiro with aMAZEing hosts.”
Review of The Maze Inn

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The Maze Inn
Ranked #46 of 338 Rio de Janeiro B&B and Inns
Reviewed December 4, 2012

Special, nice and charming place to stay in Rio de Janeiro. Friendly and safe neighbood up on a hill in catete. nice price for rio. we enjoyed terrace room with amazing view. clean and comfortable room. the hosting familie was more than just georgous. Thank you so much !!!!!
Suggestion: profit on the cheap transfer in old vw minivans from the mainroad up to the hill and back down - its a long and ascend steeply way by walking:-)

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank chklink76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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19 - 25 of 68 reviews

Reviewed September 2, 2012

This place is NOT for everyone.
However, if you are considering it, you probably are the type of person that will be okay with some of things you will be dealing with if you stay here.

First - the neighborhood is very SAFE. Do not worry about this.
It is located in the Flamengo neighborhood - there are not really any sites here, but it is fairly close to the attractions - a few metro stops or bus ride to the center, Sugarloaf, Copacabana, etc...

Another positive -the views are utterly AMAZING.

Now - here is what you really need to know - that is how to actually get to the Maze Inn. Your taxi will turn up the final road and go up a very windy road up a hill. It will drop you off at the end of road - literally - there is no more street. However, the hotel is not there. You need to walk down a narrow street (though this is part of the unique experience and charm of the place as you get to experience a 'real' neighborhood) for a few minutes before coming across the hotel. The street does have several yellow 'MAZE' stickers lining the road and showing you that you are indeed on the correct street. The stickers are very helpful, because if you don't speak Portuguese then it would be a bit daunting to be dropped off by your taxi and then wander down this street hoping to find your hotel. Now this is all well and good. After you check in and decide to see Rio, that is where things get a bit more complicated. If you are someone who tends to go visit sites, and wants to come back to your hotel to change, relax, drop stuff off, etc, multiple times a day - then this place may not be for you. However, if you are someone that heads out once and comes back at night, then this place will work just fine. Here is why: So to go see anything in Rio, you have to walk a few minutes down the narrow road, then get to the street where the taxi dropped you off. You then take a small van (price = 1 real) to go down the windy road to the street below - this takes around 7 or 8 minutes - but sometimes you have to wait 5 or 10 minutes for the van to fill up before it goes. And you have to do the same thing to go up the hill - Wait for the van - wait for the van to fill with passengers - and then the drive up to the top of the street (about 10 minutes, price =2.5 reals to go up).
While not tremendously difficult, it is not particularity convenient either, So all in all, because you have to make a bit of an effort just to get up and down that hill, and then move on to the more interesting parts of Rio, going back and forth to the Maze Inn multiple times a day would be time consuming and a bit annoying. Note - if you take taxis, then you can ignore this point, and you'll be fine. And this is a serious hill - Forget about trying to walk up it to get to the hotel, and even walking down would take quite a while.

The staff and owners are friendly and accessible. Make sure you ask for their very useful map with lots of important info.

I stayed in a single room - a small room, but perfectly adequate - also had a fan. Room had a private bathroom, which was tiny - but fine for me. There was hot water in the shower.

Something that might be an issue for some - I had to go up three flights of stairs to get to my room - including the last flight which was a very tight spiral staircase - this may be difficult or unappealing to some, and if you have a very large suitcase not quite sure how you would get it up to the top floor.

The decor is interesting - with the owners own paintings hanging, as well as a stage - there is live jazz a few times a month. The design reminded me of Tunisian cave home architecture - I guess that is not a very useful comparison for most
: )
Let's just say it is eclectic.

Breakfast is good, but not great - There are a variety of juices and fruit, plus tea and coffee, and a different assortment of things each day - One day there was bread, cheese, garlic bread, cake, and eggs; the next day there was only some fruit, bread, and cheese.

It is a bit expensive for what you get - but it is Rio, which is not cheap, and you are paying for the unique experience.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled solo
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12  Thank move360
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 18, 2012

"the maze" is a great place which offers a unique experience in rio.
It is located in a friendly maze-like neighbourhood (tavares bastos) with touch of a village atmosphere. staying at this place (or visiting the jazz session hold every 1st friday, a month) will offer you a side of rio different from anything what you could usually get as a tourist.
the host, life-experienced englishman Bob, offers not only a fantastic breakfast buffet but also tons of stories about his life as a musician, painter, journalist and filmmaker. his lovely wife and personell add to the friendly atmosphere.
staying at the maze has been an experience I do not want to miss, in no case, and I will surely go back, when in rio again.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with friends
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5  Thank max p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 13, 2012

Spent 5 nights here with my girlfriend in Feb 2012 before flying back to the UK. Previous reviews have set the scene for this unique place and its owner Bob Nadkarni and family. Yes, the Maze is in the middle of a favela however this area is very safe and I would go as far as aying it is one of the safest places to be after hours anywhere in the city. Bob is a great host, full of stories and jokes. There is a huge fridge full of beer that you can make use of and pay for at when you leave. One of the previous reviews suggested that it was not entirely clean. We had the top room and it was clean. The courtyard I agree could do with a lick of paint as could other areas of The Maze but I think that this only adds to its appeal. A few practicalities that you need to be aware of. The Maze it at the top of a very steep hill. Walk it by all means but I would get one of the VW minivans that go up every 5 minutes or so and costs 2.5 reals each (only 1 real each going down). the Metro station is a five minute walk from the bottom of Rua Tavares Bastos. Bob will give you a map that explains everything. If you want the top room then it is a bit of a hike up the stairs including a narrow spiral stairway but the view from the balcony is superb. The favela is a noisy place at night and at dawn you may be woken up by dogs barking, workmen building or cockrells crowing. Breakfast is good and usually a relaxed affair. Malu, the lady of the house, will cook you some great eggs if you want. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and liked the relaxed feel about the place. Don't be shy or nervous, get to know the favela, have a drink in a few of the many bars there and enjoy the fact that you are staying somewhere different in Rio.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank stevebrosnan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2012

A truly unique pousada in a unique location, run by the equally unique Bob and his family. Genuinely one of the highlights of our travels around Brazil. What Bob has achieved with this place is inspirational.

If you can handle being a little distance from the overly touristic, overly expensive and rather souless (in my opinion) beach areas and looking for a real insight into the real Rio, then this is an absolute must. Besides, the beach is a mere 10mins by metro, time paid back many times over by the alternate benefits of The Maze.

The environment is casual, the atmosphere friendly and the rooms clean and entirely comfortable. Breakfast in particular is a time to sit back, enjoy the view and enjoy the usual eclectic range of conversation topics.

Ignore any concerns around the safety of the area. Not once during our time were the locals anything but friendly and welcoming.

I hope to return to Rio and The Maze at some point, and when I do, I hope to find it exactly the same as the period of our stay.

PS. The view from the top floor double with private veranda is unbeatable. Take if available.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Samuel T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2012

If you want to go somewhere completely different & immerse yourself in the local culture, then I highly recommend a visit to/ stay at The Maze Inn in the Tavares Bastos Favela.

The rooms are basic but comfortable, the views over the Favela, Botafogo Bay & Sugar Loaf more than make up for the limited facilities. Remember, this is not your usual Inn, this is in a favela! If you keep this in mind, your experience will be one of the best of your life.

It's the safest Faveala in Rio thanks to all the hard work of Bob Nadkarni, his family & the locals who have worked tiredless to clean up the Favela & take it back from the drug gangs. Keep an eye out for the Elite Police force, The BOPE as they train there. Senor Bill & his lovely wife & children are welcoming & great fun. They will tell you all about the Faveala & the history of the Maze Inn.

Getting around the faveala is great fun, a true labyrinth of alley ways. Use the mini bus or bike taxis to get up & down the hill to the main street. So cheap & it supports the local community.

This is a truly humbling experience. Every one who goes to Rio should visit the Maze Inn.

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Hammy1901
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2011

This hotel is in the "favelas", one of the poorer areas of Rio, (now called "Communities") but the hospitality and ambience is superb. You can only go so far by taxi, then you have to climb up various steps and windy footpaths to reach the Maze which is nearly at the top of the "community". The views are breathtaking, and the jazz evenings have great groups and a brilliant atmosphere. If you want 5* de-luxe don't go there, but if you want something completely different which you will remember long after you've left Rio, this is the place. It was started a few years ago, but a British guy - see the web pages, one actually walks you through the route!

Stayed: October 2011, traveled with friends
1  Thank mau083
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Maze Inn

Address: Rua Tavares Bastos 414 _ 66 | Catete, Rio de Janeiro, State of Rio de Janeiro 22221-030, Brazil
Location: Brazil > State of Rio de Janeiro > Rio de Janeiro
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Kitchenette Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #46 of 338 B&Bs / Inns in Rio de Janeiro
Price Range: $70 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
National Geographic describes The MAZE as "Unique and Original". Designed and built during 4 decades by Bob Nadkarni (Stanley Kubrick's sculptor-2001 A Space Odyssey). The architecture reflects the Atlantic Forest, the foothills and the sweeping bays which surround it. Situated in a Rio favela, it reveals the source of Brazil's creativity whilst being the safest location in Rio de Janeiro. The MAZE is a family home, family run. It's typical guests are architects, writers, photographers, artists, musicians and adventurous souls. Probably not for anyone with serious mobility difficulties or cat phobia however. The view is probably the finest in Rio. The Breakfast is big. Guest chat'n'mingle is wonderful and stimulating. The MAZE is a fine-art museum with a jazz night celebrated (4 years running) by US DOWNBEAT Magazine amongst the "World's Top Jazz Venues" The owner, ex BBC TV correspondent, ex war cameraman, painter, writer and jazzman welcomes you into his home and his world. The MAZE is a place to lose yourself and find yourself. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
The Maze Hotel Rio De Janeiro
The Maze Inn Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

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