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“a little piece of heaven”
Review of The Villa

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The Villa
Ranked #169 of 286 Hotels in Rio de Janeiro
Reviewed 22 March 2012

Traveling regularly to Rio de Janeiro, I warmly recommend Rio 180 Hotel where I've been staying 2 weeks in March 2012.

Actually, Rio180 is much more than a hotel : it is a real carioca house and lifestyle. Appreciate the paved road climbing up the artistic Santa Teresa hill, take time hanging around and chatting on a bench in the romantic garden of the hotel, discover Bahian food, laze along the nice swimmingpool admiring the Bay of Guanabara, enjoy the view on the Sugar Loaf from your design Hotel Suite, improve your portuguese with fluent english speeking and very welcoming staff.

On my opinion, the main reason to discover Rio 180 Hotel is that you will experience the authentic Rio de Janeiro you've been dreaming of for so long !

See you there!

Guilherme

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled on business
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Thank guilhermeParis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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141 - 147 of 369 reviews

Reviewed 18 March 2012

Firstly, we loved the location, set in gorgeous Santa Teresa. The view from the hotel was breathtaking, and the neighborhood is warm and unique. Do note the hotel is roughly five minutes by car from the 'centre' of town, and the iconic tram is not expected to be running again until 2014, so don't expect easy access to any restaurants or services.

This difficulty is worsened by the dislike taxi drivers have of taking fares to the area - reasonably so, as they likely return to the city empty and the streets are hard to navigate. We would get a taxi called by the front desk (which would sometimes involve a 30 min wait) to go out in Rio but when coming back drivers would not take us for less than double the metered rate. None we encountered knew of this hotel either, so be sure to have a map or know how to give directions there!

The rooms themselves we also quite liked, clean and a little quirky. No view from our room ('Copacabana') but you would step outside and it was right there. Gorgeous!

The biggest problem we had though was the staff. They were very friendly but for our first two days the desk was staffed by a young girl who had no English whatsoever. No 'welcome, congratulations on your honeymoon', no help getting wine for the room, no local advice. Worst still we were very hungry on arrival and she directed us to a closed restaurant (after we waited an hour for her to call around and the taxi to show up). Not their fault we have little Portuguese, but more effort could have been made to show us the room's features, or printed information in different languages should have been in the room itself. There were staff with some English later in our stay but by then it was little help.

In sum, do go - I'm glad we did. It was a side of Rio I felt lucky to get to know. But be aware of the potential difficulties with location and communication, particularly if you're not fluent in Portuguese.

  • Stayed: March 2012
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Thank BeenEverywhereChick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 January 2012

It was definitely not a typical hotel eperience, but for our family it was the most magical hotel we've ever stayed in. It is beautiful in a way that no chain hotel is able to be. The staff is like a friendly family, making you feel at home, greeting you with the warmest smiles and always doing their best to help you out and make you happy. The kitchen staff even cooked some things we requested for our baby daughter since she refused to eat Brazilian food, we had to cook something she was more accustomed to and they were so helpful! The room wasn't big, yet the space in the room was very well planned out to fit a huge jaccuzi and king size bed. I am into unusual interiors and this was perfect for me. A bit of tropical, a bit of european, a bit of modern and a bit of classical. The atmosphere of the place is very special, magical and romantic. We ordered dinner at the hotel a couple times and that was one of the best dinner experiences in my life, the service was friendly, the room was candle-lit and the restaurant has the most beautiful view of the city that the visitors get to enjoy every day. The chef is extraordinary, even if you pick a different hotel, I would still recommend getting a dinner reservation at this restaurant. As for our family, we fell in love with Rio and Rio 180 hotel, so on our next trip we'll definitely stay there again. Of course there are a few drawbacks, for example you would need to mind the taxi expenses that come with that hotel choice, it is in St.Teresa area but takes a while to find. Other than that it was clean, the service was great, nothing to complain about. Oh and we got our room upgraded as a compliment, plus little things like a free Brazilian food dinner or a glass of wine - of course we were more than satisfied! Special thanks to Regina who was extremely nice and helpful and contributed a lot to help make our visit more fun and special!

  • Stayed: November 2011
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Thank YuliaGR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 November 2011

This hotel had damp sheets and I found what appeared to be mouse/bird droppings on the sheets the morning after I had slept in them. There was only one member of staff to be seen who was very sweet, young and tried very hard but one person cannot provide a 4 star service.

Room Tip: Avoid all together
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  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled on business
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2  Thank LondonWelshDragon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 November 2011

This hotel markets itself as an upscale boutique hotel. Given its isolated location (which we were aware of when we booked and was actually part of the appeal) and room rates (we booked one of the mid-range rooms and were set to pay EUR 220 a night), we were expecting something modern, clean and a bit "special".

I started to have doubts about the hotel before we even arrived, when the promised airport transfer from Rio de Janeiro international airport didn't turn up. When I phoned the hotel to chase up on the transfer, the lady who answered the phone spoke neither English nor Spanish, so I had real problems communicating and explaining the problem. After around 20 minutes of trying to express myself in the most straightforward Spanish I could use, the lady seemed to understand and said a taxi would arrive in 20 minutes or so.

Some 40 minutes later, we were greeted by a somewhat chaotic female taxi driver. She was friendly enough, but hardly made a professional impression, stopping at traffic lights to paint her nails (!) and wearing less than entirely clean clothes.

On arrival, we were taken to the reception area. This was when we started to realise that Rio 180 wasn't going to be the sort of hotel we expected. The table at reception was inch-think with dust, some of the chairs were broken and couldn't be used and the whole area seemed to be a hang-out zone for a large number of staff members who didn't seem to be doing much. Again, language was a huge problem. I speak 4 languages and certainly don't expect to find fluent English speakers everywhere on the globe, but for a hotel on a continent that is predominantly Spanish-speaking, I did expect to be able to communicate satisfactorily in Spanish.

We were taken to our room, which was separated by only a glass door (hardly secure) from the pool area. We were only in the room 2 minutes when we decided to leave immediately. The stench of damp was overwhelming, the furniture was dusty and the jacuzzi in the room was truly filthy. There was no safe (not very encouraging in a city hardly renowned for its safety) and the shower/bathroom area was moudly. The whole room was extremely dingy and dark. Please note that it bore absolutely no resemblance to the images on the website, which show bright rooms with modern furniture (the furniture in our room was wooden and worn) and a "design" feel.

My husband and I have stayed in numerous hotels across Europe, the US and Asia that cost a fraction of the price of Rio 180, and we've never encountered such a horrible room. We left within 5 minutes and took a taxi to one of the big hotels on the Copacabana, where we hardly paid much more and had a lovely, spotlessly clean room in a central location with excellent service.

We really wanted to avoid the big hotel chains and experience something of the "real Rio" (as many of the other reviewers have mentioned), but we didn't expect to pay EUR 220 a night for - frankly - squalid conditions.

Anyone considering this hotel can, indeed, expect a great view, but has to be prepared to accept very basic standards and a lax attitude to cleanliness. It's also worth noting that the hotel's location is very isolated and that you will need a taxi to get virtually anywhere (with taxis generally costing EUR 15 upwards).

It will take some time before I can erase the mental images of this horrible room from my memory. Very disappointing indeed!

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Enchanted81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 September 2011

I just spent 1 night in Rio 180, after carefully comparing with other beach-based hotels. Rio 180 has of course a great view, but most of all it has this small X-factor that make you feel like home. There are only 8 rooms so the staff is very careful and available. The hotel is indeed away from beaches (15min taxi) but anyway the Copacabana and Ipanema hotels are so noisy and over priced… At Rio 180 you can feel the heart of Rio. You hear the neighborhood living, you watch the sun rise over the city. It's calm and relaxing. Of course the amenities could be in a better state, but it seems to be very hard to get a decent hotel standard in Rio and good cleaning staff. So all in all, it's better to choose a charming hotel instead of a crowdy and unpersonal chain resort.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled solo
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Thank miloli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 July 2011

A lovely hotel with beautiful views of Guanabara Bay. The girl on reception was very friendly and helpful alway answering my questions. I would definitely come back.

Stayed: July 2011, travelled with friends
Thank Nds1983
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Villa

Address: Rua Doutor Julio Otoni 254, Rio de Janeiro, State of Rio de Janeiro 20241-400, Brazil (Formerly Rio 180º Suites & Cuisine)
Region: Brazil > State of Rio de Janeiro > Rio de Janeiro
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#34 Family Hotel in Rio de Janeiro
#58 Luxury Hotel in Rio de Janeiro
Price Range: £56 - £98 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Villa 4*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the heart of Rio, in the historic and bohemian town of Santa Teresa, The Villa is an 11-room boutique hotel with a hilltop position and a million dollar view! From the hotels main terrace, guests can take in the sweeping vista over the Guanabara Bay and the green hills of Santa Teresa, while enjoying the view of world famous art deco statue Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf Mountain. The hotel is only 15 minutes away from the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema, the samba clubs of Lapa and the Sambodromo stadium. Described by those in the know as the South American Montmartre and one of Rio's hidden gems, Santa Teresa is packed with local artists, galleries, cafes and some of Rio's best small restaurants. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Rio 180
The Villa Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

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