Shopping-the best of the best! (Granado Pharmácia)

We decided some time ago to upgrade the soaps here at Casa Cool Beans from the typical store-bought brand to something really nice and special.  Our friend Katia, a Carioca who knows the best stores and products here in Rio directed us to Granado Pharmácia and even took us for our first visit to the main store, Pharmácia do Centro at Rua Primeiro de Março, 16.  The building which houses this branch has been stunningly restored, thus worth a visit just to see the space, but oh the little treasures to be found!  Soaps, creams, powders, lotions, and more!  This is a great store to get gifts to take home that are uniquely Brazilian.

We selected a 100% vegetable Glycerin soap made of the natural extract of Castanha do Brasil (Cashew nut).   It has a light and refreshing sent and oh so Brazilian!  One of the biggest reasons we choose a Glycerin product is because it is a humectant, meaning it attracts moisture to your skin.  We want our guests to have smooth, moist skin! 🙂

Check out their website (link below) to view their multiple lines of products, find a store location, or just browse.  They even have a line of soap products for pets!  Founded in 1870 this is no fly-by-night pharmacy.  Reminds us of one of our favorite stores in New York City, Kiehls (soaps and skin products); which interestingly enough was an old-world apothecary founded in 1851!

Crazy packed Rio beaches (Jan 9th, 2011)!

Happy hump day (Wednesday)…..if you are experiencing snow and cold like much of Europe, US and Canada…..let us warm you up!

Check out this online gallery of how packed Rio’s beaches were Sunday…CRAZY PACKED!!!!!  Yum!!!!

Thanks to Daily Rio Life Blog for bringing this to our attention.  I LOVE “DRL”‘s blog…..she really knows how to reach us expats and break it down for us…..check it out!

New linens and towels for Casa Cool Beans!

Yey!  Finally we’ve received the new linens, sheets and towels for Casa Cool Beans.  We wanted to add a luxurious line and color and decided upon the espresso color for the sheets and room towels and a fun, bright orange for the pool towels.

Espresso sheets and room towels, orange sunset beach towels and Mousse!

Amy Winehouse staying in Santa Teresa

While we REALLY are not celebrity gawkers (we worked at The Four Seasons Hotel in NYC after all) BUT we must admit that it has been cool to have some (ok, lots of) paparazzi on our street and such a high-level celebrity here in Santa Teresa within a couple blocks of Casa Cool Beans for the past few days.  Amy Winehouse is here in Rio performing two shows and chose to stay at The Hotel Santa Teresa while here.  (We love the Hotel Santa Teresa too!)

According to information on, the two shows will be at Arena HSBC in Rio de Janeiro.  The first show sold out on January 11th, so a second show on January 10th was added recently.

Some sites that have some great shots and information on Amy’s stay here in Santa Teresa:


YouTube posts

Mail Online (UK)

Estadao dot COM,amy-winehouse-ja-esta-hospedada-em-santa-teresa,662341,0.htm

Amy, welcome to Santa Teresa!  Have a couple great performances!!!

Two million people joined party in Copacabana

The fireworks with soundtrack thrilled Cariocas and tourists!  New Years Eve 2010/11….

And yes, Casa Cool Beans was there and it was spectacular! We got our guests onto a bus here in Santa Teresa and down to our 8p-9p Metro entrance (pre-paid cards required) with ease and fun!

Ride on bus from Santa Teresa (Casa Cool Beans) down to Carioca Metro

But the real party was of course on the beach. Click on the Rio Official Guide’s article link below for thrilling photos and great reporting (January 5th, 2011)…..

THE BEST English websites on Rio

THE BEST English websites to prepare you for your trip

to Rio de Janeiro!

The Official Guide of Rio de Janeiro

This online version is super and updated monthly!


Rio Gay Guide

Absolutely the best guide for the LGBT community in Rio!

*** OR

(An insiders guide to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) OR

These guides are SO extensive and we have been using them for years!


lonely planet guide

A staple in travel agencies and backpacker pockets



Your guide to what’s happening in the most exciting cities on the planet.

***SIKE!!!  While TimeOut Guides are our favorite, they have yet to publish one for Rio de Janeiro!



Has taken over the Internet!  Great source for reviews on hotels, restaurants & just about anything “Rio”.


Travel Channel

More insight into the Cidade Maravilosa!


Travel+Leisure Magazine

Short but sweet guide……



Lots of helpful information for the samba lover!


Rio Carnival Services

Hands down the best website with up to date and correct information on Carnival venues, times, traditions, etc.


The Rio Times

Great English online newspaper; weekly edition


Trendy Rio

Fun, fresh commentary on Rio happenings.


Daily Rio Life

Another GREAT blog on life in Rio.



No we didn’t forget Fodor’s!


YAHOO! Travel

Pretty good guide…..


Happy New Year!

Wishing all a very Happy New Year!

Below is a photo of our wonderful guests on New Years Eve prior to heading to Reveillon celebration on Copacabana beach…it was a blast!  We hope you can join us next year!!!

Here was the official website for the celebration: