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Hotel Santa Teresa Rio MGallery By Sofitel Hotel 5 star
Easyexperts
R ALMIRANTE ALEXANDRINO 660 SANTA TERESA Rio de Janeiro, Brazil -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

The Santa Teresa is a charming new hotel tucked away in the charming district of the same name located above Rio and criss-crossed by the typical yellow tramways. The hotel is now also a member of the prestigious Relais et Châteaux group, a sign of character, charm, courtesy, tranquillity, and fine cuisine. The gardens and panoramic pool terrace at the hotel are particularly pleasant. An ideal destination for a romantic break.

This hotel review is a translation from the French version published on our French site Easyvoyage.com.

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    • Hotel Santa Teresa Rio MGallery By Sofitel

      Santa Teresa Rio MGallery By Sofitel   -   © Carlos Rodrigues / EASYVOYAGE

    • Hotel Santa Teresa Rio MGallery By Sofitel

      Santa Teresa Rio MGallery By Sofitel   -   © Carlos Rodrigues / EASYVOYAGE

       
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    Location 7.0 /10

    The hotel is situated at the heart of the lovely district of Santa Teresa, known for its steep cobbled streets and colourful facades, on the hillside above Rio de Janeiro and on the way to Corcovado (a 15 minute taxi ride away). Access to the hotel is facilitated by the yellow tramways typical of the area. Located at 660 Rua Almirante Alexandrino, the Santa Teresa is a 10 minute taxi ride from the trendy Lapa district and the sambadrome where all the top samba schools have their parade during Carnival. The nearest underground station (Gloria), a 10 minute walk away, will quickly take you into Copacabana and Ipanema. The nearest railway station, Central Do Brasil, and domestic airport, Santos Dumont, are both 6 mi away, while Galeao international airport is some 12 mi away (with a transfer time of 30-45 minutes depending on the traffic).

    Accommodation 8.70 /10

    The spacious (35m²) and comfortable guest rooms feature brown wooden flooring and white walls. They are furnished with a large wardrobe, a wooden desk, original lamps positioned on large wooden bases, vases of flowers, plants, and 2 paintings of Rio, so there's certainly no lack of ambience here, and you're sure to sleep like a baby in the large comfortable beds! Having said that, there are no balconies or views of the sea, but the windows do overlook the pleasant tropical garden, which isn't a bad alternative! Amenities include a flat screen satellite television broadcasting 150 channels, individual air conditioning, a minibar refrigerator, a phone, free Wifi, a free large electronic safe, and room service available 24 hours a day. The slate bathrooms, meanwhile, come with a large tropical shower, a double wash basin, a toilet, a selection of Natura hospitality products (the Brazilian brand used in the spa), a makeup mirror, bathrobes, a pair of Havaianas, and a hair dyer. Some of the rooms also have a veranda where you can have breakfast should you so wish. If you happen to be honeymooning here, we'd recommend one of the suites with a 4-poster bed and large circular bathtub!

    Overview 8.70 /10

    The building dates back to 1920 but rest assured that the services and facilities on offer at this hotel, which opened in 2008, are of the most modern around! The reception, accessed via a lush green garden, simply oozes charm, partially thanks to its burnt cement floor and the recycled wood found pretty much everywhere. The coffee sacks you'll find lying around serve as a reminder that this building, now a listed historic monument, was once a coffee factory. The facade is original and the contemporary interior design is based on a journey through the lands and times of Brazil. The 44 guest rooms are housed in a 3 storey building that doesn't have a lift. Nestled amid the exotic gardens you'll find the beautiful rectangular slate semi-Olympic size swimming pool (25m long). The wooden terrace surrounding the pool overlooking the city affords beautiful panoramic views and you'll also find a whirlpool bath here, with towels provided free of charge. The pool area is surrounded by cushioned wooden deckchairs and parasols for the relaxing comfort of guests. The hotel's spa is open from 10:00am to 10:00pm and offers a variety of Natura (a range of Brazilian products) treatments in its 4 massage rooms, including a double room for couples. The spa is furnished with natural wood (coconut, bamboo, eucalyptus) and houses a hammam.

    Food and drink 8.95 /10

    The restaurant here is called Térèze, which is unsurprising really, what with the hotel being called Santa Teresa! As you would expect of a Relais et Châteaux establishment, the standards here are high. Indeed, the restaurant's French chef, Damien Montecer, has even worked with Alain Ducasse and serves up what is best described as French, Italian, and Brazilian fusion cuisine, accompanied by a selection of fine wines. A collection of some 300 different bottles (from Argentina, Chile, France...), separate the 2 dining rooms, which can accommodate up to 90 guests. Here too you'll find burnt cement floor, like in the reception area, and picture windows offering beautiful views of the city below. Breakfast is served from 6:30am to 10:30am and is an opportunity to sample some delicious fresh fruit juices (including guava, watermelon, and passion fruit), whilst the pineapples and mangoes are simply wonderful! Lunch is then served from 12:00pm to 4:00pm and dinner from 7:30pm to 11:00pm. The bar at the Santa Teresa is renowned for being the most romantic in the city, thanks in part to its brick archways. The sunset views from here are spectacular.

    Spa 8.2 /10

    The hotel's spa is open from 10:00am to 10:00pm and offers a variety of Natura (a range of Brazilian products) treatments in its 4 massage rooms, including a double room for couples. The spa is furnished with natural wood (coconut, bamboo, eucalyptus) and also houses a hamman.

    To know

    As its name would suggest, the Santa Teresa hotel is located in the district of... well, Santa Teresa, so there's no getting lost here! Having been the fashionable part of town in the 19th Century, it saw the rich and famous desert it for Copacabana in the 1960's, but is now enjoying something of a renaissance, with a number of French-run pousadas opening their doors. Its elevated position above Rio means the air is cleaner than in Copacabana and Ipanema. This boutique hotel is one of only 3 establishments in Brazil that belong to the prestigious Relais et Châteaux group. The hotel attracts a primarily Brazilian clientele (50%), though it is also popular with the French, who account for around 30% of the hotel's guests.

    Equipment

    • Shuttle bus
    • Car park
    • Handicap access
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning
    • Spa

      massage, beauty salon, sauna, hammam, keep fit, spa, Turkish bath, wellness

    • Swimming pool
    • Sports equipment

      gym, mountain bike, water-polo, fitness

    • Animals allowed
    • Whirlpool bath
    • Safe
    • Solarium
    • Meeting room

    advantage

    • The location in the charming Santa Teresa district
    • The cuisine
    • The lush green gardens and panoramic pool terrace
    • The charm of a hotel listed as a historic monument
    • Free Internet access

    disadvantages

    • The hotel is a long way from the beaches
    • The absence of a balcony
    • Three floors but no lifts

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    • Overall Score nc/10
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