Just got back from an AMAZING time in Rio for the World Cup and some sight seeing. We went to catch a game (not huge soccer fans but wanted to experience it), and see the sites in Rio. We were lucky enough to book Casa Cool Beans in Santa Teresa. Just to give you a feel for our personalities, my boyfriend and I (27 and 28) and my mom (60) went, we are not high maintenance by any means but also weren't looking for a budget option either.
Casa Cool Beans was perfect! First of all, Lance (owner), Sergio (manager) and the rest of the gang are FABULOUS. They are super friendly, helpful, and happy to help you plan your stay day by day if need be. It felt like I was visiting friends more than a hotel experience. CCB has something like 10 rooms, and the office closes at 3 during the week (I think earlier on the weekend), so its definitely NOT a full service, concierge at the door to greet you at 2AM, order room service, etc. kind of hotel. But they have an awesome breakfast until 10:30 (Sandra makes some killer eggs, and there's a great spread of fruit, breads, etc.), are happy to do whatever they can to accommodate you, and the crew is at your service while the office is open, which is more than enough time to ask questions and plan your day. The property is beautiful, and gated, so no worries about safety there. We would often walk back from Largo do Gumaraes or Bar Gomez (both must sees while you're there), well into the night, never feeling unsafe or worried. A word to the wise, Santa Teresa is HILLY, and CCB is 3 flights with no elevators (the staff will help you with your luggage). I am from Florida, where the biggest hill in the state is approximately 3 feet high, so we are not used to all the ups and downs. Although there are a lot of [steep] hills, they should also not deter you from staying here unless you have a severe issue. I was a bit wary when booking because I have rheumatoid arthritis and my mom has some issues with her knees, and we were fine staying here.
The place is gorgeous. We stayed in two separate rooms (we took a trip to Iguazu in the middle of our stay and booked a different room upon return due to availability). Both were great! They both were uniquely decorated and had different things to make them special. Our first room (#4) was awesome (our favorite)-big, two queen beds with a separating curtain, and soaking tub. Our second room (#2) was split level which was awesome because of the privacy and space. Both had mini fridge stocked with snacks and drinks (mini bar style), fan, A/C, shower, table and chairs, etc. I would imagine each room is special and has its own little funky touch. Both rooms we stayed in were great because the space and privacy helped alleviate tension that sometimes arises in cramped rooms.
Other than the world cup, we had no set itinerary when we arrived other than wanting to see the iconic Christ the Redeemer. Lance sat with on our first day and gave us a detailed overview of Sta Teresa and how to get around, as well as Rio as a whole. He gave us the dos and donts, must sees, and educated us on the not-so-safe areas. He also helped us pick which things were more worth seeing than others. Some mornings we would run our plans by him and see his thoughts. We had a great time and his suggestions were all spot on! We ended up doing Christ the Redeemer (4:20PM reservation was awesome-really packed but beautiful photos-daylight, sunset, and night with Christ illuminated), Fan Fest for some games, Ipanema, Copacabana, Sugar Loaf, Centro, and Cook in Rio cooking class (amazing and a MUST if you have time! Simone is awesome!). Lance and Sergio both were instrumental in getting all of our plans organized, buying tickets in advanced, making reservations, etc.
As far as location-Sta Teresa is a bit removed from the hustle and bustle (which we appreciated, as we all were happy to come back to peace and quiet where we could relax and sleep). With that being said, you will have to get in and out of the area to see the sites. CCB is happy to call you a taxi if you like. Otherwise, there is a taxi stand about 5 mins walk away, and they can (or a better word may be "should") take you anywhere you want to go. You can also grab a cab (about R$10-15) to the Gloria metro station (R$3.50). The metro stations are clean and safe, and Lance can tell you of the less-safe stations, etc. There are also buses (R$3) that can take you to and fro. The cab situation is tricky-by law, they are not allowed to deny you a ride. But as a foreigner with a huge language barrier, what else can you do but give them the stink eye and move on if they say no? I say this because many times they don't want to come to Sta Teresa (bc they don't know the area, bc it is far and they likely won't have a return fair, etc.). But usually we would only have to ask 2-3 times before we would have a taker. Definitely memorize "Largo do Gumaraes," because none of the taxis we got in were familiar with Sta Teresa, and this was generally the only landmark we all could recognize. It works out great though, because its about a 5-10 min easy walk to CCB, and all the restaurants and whatnot are in that area anyways.
We all really enjoyed our time at CCB. I can't say enough about this place. If you have the opportunity to stay here, you definitely should take advantage!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Casa Cool Beans B&B-Santa Teresa! Beautiful B&B in the central district of artsy Santa Teresa. Each room with A/C, ceiling fans, free WiFi, frigobars and en-suite bathroom. Swimming pool with sun terrace. Just minutes to the Bonde, bars, restaurants & shops of hip Santa Teresa; metro and tourist attractions. Offering one of the best deals in Rio de Janeiro! ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Casa Cool Beans Hotel Rio De Janeiro
- Casa Cool Beans B&B Rio De Janeiro, Brazil