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“A very nice experience”
Review of The Villa

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The Villa
Ranked #169 of 286 Hotels in Rio de Janeiro
Reviewed 21 April 2010

I can only recommend the Rio 180 hotel. After a long flight we were welcomed very nicely. Our own ticket office made a mistake but we got a very nice room. Even dinner was prepared for us. Breakfast was ok (not outstanding), and very friendly staff tried to help were possible. The rooms were big and very clean with beautiful views. If one looks for big nightlife, he.she would be in the wrong area, but that is clearly stated on the website and any city guide of rio. The staff (mainoy the manager) was there almost around the clock and try to help were possible. Finding a cab (and first check-out the driver) was no problem, very nice restaurants in the local area were proposed with amazing food (and affordable). Me and my partner felt both like being with friends. Next time we are in rio, we will go to Rio 180 again. For sure.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank loewe005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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158 - 164 of 370 reviews

Reviewed 4 March 2010

I think the best way to sum this up is to show the email I sent to the hotel- which I have never had a reply from:

Dear Sir

We recently stayed at your hotel and I would like to give you some feedback on our experience.

I made the reservation In June 2009. At this time you were recommended on TripAdvisor, and I was extremely impressed with both the website and the reviews you received there. Your website boasts of excellent cuisine and wonderful views, accompanied by spa facilities and a boutique hotel experience with personal knowledge of the local area and a guide and driver available.

When we arrived at the hotel it was evident that it was extremely quiet. Initially the person on reception told us there was no record of a booking, but eventually discovered the booking that had been made in June.
We were then asked to pay the room fee- as soon as we had arrived (we hadn't even been shown to the room).

The room was ok, clean- but with no fresh towels or toiletries- which I had to request.
We then asked if we could have some lunch, but were told that the Chef was not able to make any food as he/she was off work that day as there would be a big party the following evening. We found this very inconvenient. After making the point that we did require lunch, eventually the receptionist ordered some food into the hotel from a local take-away shop.

We asked about having a guide to take us to Corcovado (your website describes this as 'Our guide and driver services will take you to know the various attractions in Rio.'- but were told this service was unavailable but we could order a normal taxi to take us to the tram.

When we came to have dinner, which is described as 'Japanese inspired'. I was particularly looking forward to this- and it was the main reason for me booking the hotel (along with the views you offer). We were told by a member of staff that the kitchen was closed, and therefore we had to eat out. Apparently your chef is so incapable she had frozen the vegetables the day before!

Your website describes the outside area as:
"A privileged leisure space, the heated pool in winter (June to September) is a relaxing invitation after the sauna and the essential oils massage. You may also exercise by swimming in our pool’s counter current system"
I can assure you that the leisure space was poorly presented and the pool was dirty. We were told that the pool looked 'murky' because of the colour of the pool (which is not blue as shown on the photographs, but in fact blood red'). Having worked in the leisure industry for years, I can tell you that it was just dirty and required filtering. We asked for the filters and the jets to be turned on, and had to wait nearly 1hour for a 'pool attendant' to come and turn on the pump.
The sauna was so disgusting that we could not use it- an imagine that it had not been turned on for many months.

The bedroom stank of damp.

At breakfast the omelette was burnt.

I will not continue with my list of complaints but will offer you this:
If you do not wish this review to be posted on TripAdvisor or emailed to all the other UK travel agents then please issue a full refund for the room rate.
Your hotel is completely unacceptable- whether the management has changed or not, you should not lie about what you have to offer.

I look forward to your prompt response and any explanation you may have for these serious issues.

Regards XXXX

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank SophieNewt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
An Agoda Traveller
Reviewed 22 December 2009

  • Stayed: December 2009
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2  Thank An Agoda Traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Reviewed 29 November 2009

I should have known better when I received no return emails. My fiances 44th birthday wish was to go to Rio and have a special time. I looked and looked for a botique hotel with high ratings and a intimate feel so we could have a special romantic time. I chose the 180 because it looked on all the websites like a cozy, romantic place to go with good food (I am a chef/restaurant owner) and we were very excited about Rio.
I booked the room "Carnival" - the largest room with a private patio with hot tub - very excited.
I never received a confirmation email (after I entered my credit card info) so I was concerned - I emailed the hotel 5 times and did not receive a response, finally I called them and they said oh yes, we have your reservation. We emailed once again prior to our arrival to arrange a car to pick us up at the airport, again no response - but the car met us and the driver was kind and courteous - spoke no english what so ever - we did not know this as we asked him if we should change some money or if we could do it at hotel - to which he said "hotel" so away we went.
We got to the hotel and the driver asked for $80 reals. We told the hotel we hadn't changed money, as the driver said we could do it there - they said "we not do". OK -
The driver took $50 US dollars and was upset. I asked the girl at the front (also very, very little english) if he worked for the hotel- she said no, just driver.
We waited in the lounge for two hours for our room - (I had email we'd be there early 11am and check in was not til 3pm) so we were given a room early. Just the wrong room, the smallest room, but were charged for the suite. I said no, we booked Carnival - and again we wait for an hour - then given the right room - a little key and a point to the room, no instructions on anything, how to get to the pool, just a smile and that's it. Not very hospitable, but were in a different country - strange, but OK
While we were sitting in lounge, I kept getting bit by ants, then realized they were where I was sitting on the sofa - so I moved to a chair and told the girl about the ants. Nothing done. In our room, again ants. Also the room looked very little like the photo on the website - which is usually not a big deal at a big hotel - but in a hotel with only 8 rooms, and each room is "themed" - you expect what you are sold. We had one spotted with bleach chair at the table and a bean bag. Not very "suite" like - remember billed as "oh la la"
The room is really hot, like 80 degrees - My fiance found a remote to a unit high in the room - we turned it to 20 degrees celcius (18 was the lowest setting which should be between 64-68 degrees fahrenheit) but the room never cooled until the sun was down. We complained, nothing done - no response given besides "sorry" - OK fine.
Then the problems were worse and worse
The room had stained, dirty, cracked walls with missing chunks of plaster. The tables were not clean, with glas rings. The bed linens were not clean, they were stained, the towels were dirty - only 5 hangers in closet, the very worst thing - was the black mold in the shower. The entire wall above the shower had a black mold on it.
I called the front desk, at this point - not worried about being the "ugly american" and told them of this - I was told the manager would talk to us when she came in that night. Fine. So we went out and walked around the neighborhood, had some drinks, enjoyed our evening.
When we came to the hotel - no manager - we were tired so went to room and were called back to pay for room. I had given my credit card prior to visit and it was supposedly pre paid - so I thought for incidentals perhaps - although everything was supposed to be included other than phone calls - so we gave them our credit card and they charged us for the room again. (they claimed they don't really pre charge - I had never received a confirmation or anything - so this was OK, just strange they chose to do this at 9pm)
We woke up the next morning, had breakfast and waited for the manager - again a no show -
We went to the lobby and waited for a cab to take us to the open air market - it was my bf birthday so they girl asked us if we wanted a celebration drink while we wait - sure - little did we know we were charged for this. OK
We have a good day and get back to the hotel at 6pm, hoping to change to clean room or something, nothing is done. We call again and ask as when we get to the room its so hot that the only way you can get cool is to stand on the chair in front of a/c unit.
This is not a 5 star, maybe 3...
We decided that nobody cared and we told them we were going to move hotels the next day, then we were really treated badly. We made a reservation at the Sheraton, and repacked our bags to move. Well check out is noon, so at 11ish we go to the lobby and ask to call for a cab - the girl (very little english) asks us to check out - sure -
Well, we were told we had to pay for the entire week - I said no way, the room was unacceptable - Basically we were held hostage at the hotel until we agreed to pay, the big front desk guy was the driver that "didn't work for the hotel"... He said the "non appearing" manager said it's their policy, look at my confirmation, I didn't get one!
I didn't mind paying for the nights we stayed, we didn't even ask for a discount, we paid for the "celebration" drinks, the breakfast that was supposed to be included, the bottled water that was "complimentary"...And the five nights we were going to the sheraton.
We paid for the week, so we could leave and will dispute the charges.
What a scam!
That was the worst I have ever been treated. I have never written a bad review ever, I own a business and am very understanding - but believe you should practice honesty in business and this was not an honest place. No english, my portugese is limited, but travel everywhere and I get by. What an awful experience, awful place. Beautiful view, but that's about all I can say good.

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Ginavanna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 October 2009

we're not hard to please and we don't ask for much, just value for money and somewhere that lives up to it's reputation. rio 180 doesn't i'm sad to say. yes the rooms look great on the site and yes the rooms look good in the flesh but as for our experience, that's where it ends.

rio 180 hotel is well off the beaten track and if you do stay there take a map with the location on it and take it EVERYWHERE as you will need to give it to the cab drivers so you can get home. so it's up in the hills in santa teresa which gives it a magnificent view over rio and of corcovado and pao de acucar. it's also just down the road from a favela so cabs are definitely a good idea.

the guy on the desk couldn't speak english so checking in was a little farcical but we got there in the end. we stayed in the ipanema suite but had originally requested corcovado but were informed we couldn't have that room as "there was a little problem with it". we entered the room and were greeted by a strong smell of damp. our bags were dropped off and we were left to it. we weren't shown how to use the jacuzzi, cable or given any info about anything else. we can work those things out though plus there was info about breakfast on a placard so just the smell of damp. we opened some drawers that produced a pungent damp smell and there was also some of the previous guests hair in the jacuzzi. anyway, looking on the bright side we decided open windows and a through breeze would sort it out. it didn't and remained with us for the rest of our stay. the room was also missing a safe.

breakfast is great but you do have to ask for things as only a small selection is placed on display. one thing i will give the hotel credit for is the breakfast.

the pool area and outer walls of the hotel are a bit tatty and showing their age which is a shame as it is a nicely designed place with good attention to detail. it just seems to have fallen into a slight state of disrepair in some areas. although we can't comment on the other rooms as we didn't see them.

i get the impression something has changed at this hotel very recently as it just didn't compare to what previous reviewers had said. maybe a change of management or the departure of the soul of the place, who can tell but something was missing. it was probably a great place when it opened but it's showing signs of age now and something really needs to be done about the damp in the ipanema suite. the service from the management left us feeling cold. we checked out at 12 but our flight wasn't til 10pm that evening. the hotel let us keep our bags there and said it was fine to return later. when we returned we were treated to constant staring from someone who i think was on the senior management team and were refused a drink as "the kitchen was closed". it's worth mentioning the hotel doesn't have a bar as such but does seem to serve food & drinks on a kind of ad-hoc basis. we really felt disappointed with this and felt once they had our payment they no longer cared. which they didn't seem to do much of in the first place!

anyway lesson learned. it's a shame as brazil is a beautiful country and this was the end of our trip. it left a bitter aftertaste in our mouths but will not spoil an otherwise amazing holiday.

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank adrock85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 October 2009

Rio 180 is a beautiful, extremely chic boutique. I can not rave about this place enough. (Honestly, we enjoyed our stay so much that when we returned to Rio for our return flight we changed our a reservation from an Ipanema hotel so that we could stay at Rio 180 again.) The rooms are all different, and while I glimpsed one that looked rather small, the two rooms we stayed in were incredibly charming and a great size. The breakfast is great; the staff is incredibly helpful; the communal areas are beautiful. Only drawback is that sometimes it is a pain getting back at night, especially if you go out in Ipanema or Leblon. (Mainly b/c some cabs we took didn't know their way around Santa Teresa.) Overall, I highly recommend this hotel to anyone, especially young couples.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank highlowtraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 October 2009

We had booked to stay 4 nights at Rio 180 but left after just 1 night and alot of stress. IMPT PTS: THE HOTEL IS NOT ANYWHERE NEAR IPANEMA, COPACABANA OR LEBLON. Despite descriptions on various booking websites, it takes at least 25 minutes to get anywhere and even longer to get back because no taxi drivers can find it!! This was our experience:
1. First taxi driver had much difficulty finding the place and driving through the area was not pleasant - it's not a place you would to get lost in.
2. Room looked ok initially but on closer inspection, it was fairly run down. Rugs were dirty and stained, towels and linen were torn and the worst thing was the shower. Water took 5 minutes to warm up to a decent temperature. This lasted for about 5 seconds before the water then became boiling hot and then back to freezing cold - all without me even touching the tap!! By this time, I already had shampoo and soap all over myself and had no choice but to continue with a freezing cold shower. My boyfriend tried to adjust the temperature without any luck and both of us endured freezing cold showers.
4. The reception then recommended a local japanese restaurant 5 minutes away and the "hotel car" would take us there. The driver stopped outside a chinese takeaway on a deserted street and told us to get out. Clearly, we refused and instead showed him our guide book and asked to be taken to Leblon, thinking it was only 10 minutes away. The driver had no idea where he was going, made no effort to look in a map and ended up driving in circles for 1.5hrs until I took out my guidebook and used the map to navigate our way to a restaurant. We got to the restaurant at 11pm.
5. After dinner, we tried to get a regular taxi back to the hotel. Firstly we were turned down by 3 drivers who said they did not know the way. Finally, 1 driver agreed to drive us and even at 1am, it took him 20 mins to get back to Santa Teresa and then a further 30 minutes to find the hotel! Despite stopping to ask 8 times for directions, it was only when we came across a fire station that they were able to point us in the right direction.
6. Next morning we checked out and made complaints about the terrible experience we had endured and made clear this hotel had totally let us down. Further to my frustration, the receptionist (who could barely speak any English) made us pay a 30% cancellation policy with great attitude and bluntly refused to call her manager saying that they don't speak English! I was absolutely furious! How can ANY decent hotel, catering to tourists and have no English speaking staff other than the extremely rude and unhelpful receptionist?
We promptly left the place and checked into Marina Palace - IT FELT LIKE HEAVEN AFTER RIO 180!!!

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank travelbug2009London
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
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: £57 - £99 (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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