When you think of Rio, you naturally think of the bustling Ipanema beach district so the bohemian Santa Teresa barrio might seem like a somewhat far-removed choice. But the Hotel Santa Teresa, a member of Relais & Châteaux, is a charming choice with a European feel.
The 44-room boutique hotel has a unique modern-colonial style that’s heavy on the luxury. The hotel opened in 2009 after a three year renovation and occupies a former coffee plantation mansion on 4,000 square meters of tropical gardens. Indigenous arts and crafts mix with iconic pieces from Brazillian modernist Sergio Rodgrigues. Guest rooms are uniquely designed but generally feature original flooring, planked wood headboards and whitewashed walls. Luxurious touches include the king-size beds have been imported from North America along with supersoft bed linens and large, slate-tiled bathrooms. The stunning loft penthouse suite features 360-degree vista over Guanabara Bay, a balcony and telescope.
The gorgeous pool lounge is a popular choice, where you can have a drink or a light meal. The hotel offers the popular restaurant Térèze as well as the Bar dos Descasados. The bar was originally the slaves quarters and is separated from the restaurant by a sweeping staircase. Nab a table under one of the five archways and enjoy the view while dining on Brazilian-Mexican fusion food from one of France’s finest chefs, Philippe Moulin.
The Hotel Santa Teresa is also known for it’s extreme level of service. Expect little touches like welcome drinks, fresh orchids in your room and free Havaianas wrapped up in a box.
Hotel Santa Teresa
Rua Almirante Alexandrino, 660
Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rooms from $305