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“Outstanding Value and Service”

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Rio Guest House ( Marta's Guest House)
Ranked #25 of 347 Rio de Janeiro B&B and Inns
Reviewed 25 June 2015

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.

Room Tip: Single gentlemen, Rio Guesthouse is NOT random-guest friendly, as it is also the private residence o...
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  • Stayed: June 2015, travelled solo
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank weatherman1974
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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21 - 25 of 288 reviews

Reviewed 22 June 2015

Having booked our flights to Rio, i was determined to stay on Copacabana. Starting to look at hotels, i soon realised that they were all chain hotels, with soulless rooms, expensive and even more expensive if you wanted an ocean view. Then i found Marta's Guest house and knew this was the place for us. The pictures do not disappoint! The terrace and view is every bit as wonderful as it looks. Marta is great fun, and Lucia keeps the rooms lovely and clean. We stayed in the Emerald suite, which was ensuite and had a king sized bed (so comfortable!). our room didnt' have a view, but we were quite happy to sit on the terrace watching the hustle and bustle of copacabana down below. Breakfast was a communal affair with all guests sitting around one big table.

Really enjoyed our stay and would highliy recommend

  • Stayed: June 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank jduguid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 June 2015

We had a wonderful stay at Marta's guest house. Since it was off-season, she had some empty rooms, so she immediately upgraded us. The penthouse has gorgeous views, and the apartment itself (the common area) is two stories with tons of seating/couches, etc. Marta was a gracious and personable host with a big personality, and I don't think she'd be offended if I said she reminded me of this guy (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d421HtI6Qms).

The location is ideal, right off the beach. Breakfast was simple and refreshing, and she made a special chocolate drink my kids loved. The rooms we stayed in were large and very clean. Would definitely recommend!!

  • Stayed: May 2015, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank lefishes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 May 2015 via mobile

The reservation process went very smoothly. Marta was very prompt in her responses.

Though my boyfriend and I arrived an hour earlier than anticipated, Marta greeted us like a friend, with open arms, a warm hug and big smile. She then showed us around her fabulous penthouse apartment and we were blown away by the view from her terrace of Copacabana beach - Absolutely Stunning. Just for the view and sheer privilege of staying in such a beautiful and artistically-designed apartment, the stay was worth every dime. On top of these, there's the warmth and friendliness of Marta who always makes us feel at home.

On arrival, Marta gave us recommendations on restaurants and places to visit. She even lent us a guidebook so that we can navigate our way around. She found out that we wanted to watch the football match at the Maracana Stadium that very afternoon and expressed concern that we were going to try to go on our own, since we were still new to Rio. She then kindly called the tour agency from the neighbouring hotel to check the availability of a tour to the football match and even negotiated a better price for us!

On the second night, we were very lucky that we had the entire apartment to ourselves. Marta found out that we wanted to eat in and though she was already on her way out, she enthusiastically provided us with lamps, candles, matchsticks and pointed us to the plates and cutlery. We had a most cozy and romantic candlenight dinner on the terrace overlooking the Copacabana Bay. What a setting.

We tried to repeat the same experience on the third night but there was a fog over the city and the bay, such that the city lights and beach on the left faded into darkness. It was like having dinner on the edge of the universe - also quite an experience.

By the way, the terrace is also perfect for watching a gorgeous sunrise over the city and Copacabana Beach.

Our stay was in the Aquamarine room. It was very spacious, perfect for our large suitcases. The bed was high, king-sized and very comfortable; my boyfriend who is 6'2 fitted well in it. Everything was very clean.

Staying at Marta Rio Guesthouse and meeting Marta is definitely one of the highlights of my Brazil trip!

Stayed: May 2015, travelled as a couple
Thank MayDay39
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 May 2015

Turned up at Marta's Guest House to find that the manager had forgotten our booking, leaving us stranded in Rio with nowhere to stay. She kept us waiting in the reception for 20 minutes with no idea what was going on before speaking to us, and didn't even come downstairs but told us over the apartment phone. She didn't apologise at all but claimed, with huge arrogance and despite a clear email trail to the contrary, that it must be our fault as much as hers. Three days later - when we had left Rio - she offered us 2 free nights, which by then was clearly useless to us. I have never experienced such poor service in twenty years of travelling around the world, including in India and Africa. Simply appalling. Many other hotels in the neighbourhood have equally good rooftop views over the beach and I would find one of them in future.

Stayed: April 2015, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Ian A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Rio Guest House ( Marta's Guest House)

Address: Rua Francisco Sa 5, Rio de Janeiro, State of Rio de Janeiro 22080-010, Brazil
Region: Brazil > State of Rio de Janeiro > Rio de Janeiro > Copacabana
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Shuttle Bus service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #25 of 347 B&Bs / Inns in Rio de Janeiro
Price Range: RM524 - RM1,075 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Rio Guest House ( Marta's Guest House) 4*
Number of rooms: 6
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 
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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

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