Rio de Janeiro was high on my travel radar for a couple of years. With the dust from the 2014 World Cup in Brazil finally settled, the US Dollar currently strong against the Brazilian Real, and the hysteria (and higher prices) of the 2016 Olympics just about a year away, I felt the timing was right to visit the Cidade Maravilhosa (Marvelous City). After researching many Copacabana lodging options through TripAdvisor, I decided upon Rio Guesthouse due to the large number of very positive reviews from former guests. I was pleased to discover later that Rio Guesthouse is also a recommended lodging option in Copacabana in the current edition of the Lonely Planet: Rio de Janeiro guidebook.
I contacted the owner, Marta Miller, through the Rio Guesthouse website. Marta responded nearly immediately and informed me that my choice of rooms (Topaz Suite) was unavailable, but provided me a different room option. After I told Marta that I really had my heart set on the Topaz Suite, she offered to contact the guest who had already booked the Topaz Suite to see if he/she would be willing to change. About 24 hours later, Marta contacted me again and stated that the Topaz Suite was available since the other guest graciously accepted the change request.
Since I had requested 9 nights in the Topaz Suite, Marta asked that I pay a deposit of $400 through her PayPal account to guarantee my reservation. It was quick and easy to pay the deposit, and Marta contacted me again to confirm the payment, my reservation, the balance due (to be paid in cash), and a complimentary pick-up from the airport upon my arrival.
When I arrived in Rio de Janeiro and exited the terminal, the individual responsible for the airport pick-up was present and holding a sign with my name and flight details on it. With traffic, the drive from the airport to Rio Guesthouse took about 30 minutes.
Upon arriving at Rio Guesthouse, I was welcomed by the housekeeper, offered a cup of coffee, and allowed to check-in about two hours early, which I appreciated since I hadn't slept much on the overnight flight and really wanted a shower and a nap. The housekeeper also connected me with Marta through cell phone, who was out for the morning running errands. At my request, Marta informed me of where I could find the closest money exchange location from the hotel. And during my entire stay, Marta was an excellent and helpful source of information for visiting sights/sites in Rio de Janeiro and, most importantly, how to buy tickets for a futbol match at Maracana Stadium.
Rio Guesthouse is located on the 10th floor of the 1950s-era Edificio Quintanilha, a building with a charming 1950s-era elevator with an accordion-style brass gate. 24-hour security staffs the entrance to the building, and buzzes people in and out. The building is located on the south end of Copacabana, and from Rio Guesthouse, the views of all of Copacabana (and Sugarloaf Mountain in the distance) are unobstructed and incredible. The General Osorio subway station is only a 10-minute walk from the building.
In the mornings, a communal breakfast of coffee, fresh-squeezed orange juice, bread, fresh fruit (grapes, pineapple, mango, watermelon, papaya, or strawberries), sliced meat, two sliced cheeses, and cooked eggs (scrambled or omelette) was served around 9 AM at the large dining room table in the guesthouse. It was more than enough food to get you started for the day, and it was pleasant to interact with other travelers and share tips about exploring Rio de Janeiro while having breakfast.
My room (Topaz Suite) featured a huge, firm, and comfortable bed with four pillows and clean sheets of great quality. An armoire for storing clothes, security safe (in the armoire), two bedside tables with lamps, ceiling fan, and cold air conditioning was also in the room. Satellite television was also provided, but I honestly can't say how many channels were available since I didn't turn on the television a single time while staying at Rio Guesthouse.
The en-suite bathroom featured great water pressure with ample hot water and clean towels of great quality. Housekeeping did a good job freshening both the bathroom and bedroom everyday, and both were generally clean throughout.
Although no common computer is available for guest use, Wi-Fi is available. For those of you who don't own smartphones of take laptops or I-Pads with you on vacation, and internet cafe is located five blocks north from Rio Guesthouse on Rua Miguel Lemos. The currency exchange business that I used (Rio Maximo Turismo Receptivo) is located three blocks north on Rua Almirante Goncalves.
A filtered water dispenser and common refrigerator for guest use is located in the upstairs kitchen. Umbrellas are also available for guest use on rainy days.
When my time in Rio de Janeiro was complete, the transfer from the guesthouse to the airport was also complimentary (due to the length of my stay).
For nine nights in the Topaz Suite, I paid around $1,400 USD. At around $155 USD per night for a beachfront hotel in Copacabana, this was a fantastic value, especially when you consider that many of the soulless hotels in Copacabana are easily charging $200 USD and more per night.
I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at Rio Guesthouse, and would readily recommend this lodging to other travelers heading to Rio de Janeiro. If I return to the city in the future for New Year celebrations or Carnival, I would definitely attempt to book this accommodation first.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- We offer and special service and are prepared to help our guests since the start of the preparation of the trip to Brazil. In a very spectacular location in front of the Copacabana beach, and with the most beautiful views. Our Guesthouse offers comfort and have a very family atmosphere, and Marta is there to help the guests to find the best places to enjoy the city. With experience in tourism, Marta can help you with the best indication of tours, restaurants and what to do in Rio. Welcome to Marta's and be home at our Guesthouse ! ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com so you can book your Rio Guest House ( Marta's Guest House) reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Rio Guest House ( Marta`s Guest House) Hotel Rio De Janeiro
- Rio Guest House ( Marta's Guest House) Rio De Janeiro, Brazil