Rio's newest hote, the Hotel Santa Teresa, is also one of the best.
As soon as I got there I couldn't help but to think... WOW! It was much different (and better) than I could have imagined. All is done with impeccable taste. Take the pool, for instance:
What impressed me the most was the choice of natural and recycled materials in the decoration of the property. Examples: eucalyptus branches tied together form a rustic-yet-lovely space divider. The burnt ciment flooring was brushed with reclaimed truck oil, giving it a sepia-toned worn look. The lobby, spa, apartments and restaurants follow a sober colour palette: white (whitewashed walls), brown and bege. And that's all. A rustic-chic look which immediately reminded me of one of my favourite places in Brazil, the tiny Jacaré do Brasil Casas, in Trancoso.
The spa is open to the public. It is bright, airy and has two egg-shaped free-standing tubs and several chaise longues overlooking the rooftops of Santa Teresa. They use Natura products, a high-end Brazilian brand.
The Bar dos Descasados is the only colourful part of the hotel: playful, fun, with cute artisanal chandeliers and tiled floors.
I also ate at the Thérèse restaurant, but I'll save that report for another post...
Hotel Santa Teresa: Rua Almirante Alexandrino, 660, next to the Largo dos Guimarães, tel. (21) 2221-1406,