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Dolores THE "Buggy Tour Lady"

You might have read about DOLORES on TripAdvisor or seen her mentioned in the Guide Books….she exists and she is FABULOUS!!!

Lonely Planet states, “Dolores Leao is a lively guide who speaks English, Spanish, Italian and French.  Her Buggy Tours are highly recommended by many readers”.

When our clients come back from one of her 1/2-day or full-day tours they are ecstatic that they booked her.  She charges R$110 per person for 4-hours; 6-hours R$150; 8-hours R$180.  50% more if there is only one person.  Due to the size of her “buggies” her buggy tours can generally only accommodate three people.

Her tag line, “Buggy Tour- The best way to know Rio” is spot on.  Taking a tour with Dolores is the best way to know Rio.  All her tours are customized to YOU.  But she is eager to share secrets and tidbits along the way to provide you an “insiders” view.  Below are some guests of Casa Cool Beans about to embark on their tour with Dolores (in the middle).  For guests of Casa Cool Beans, she lives down the street so has quick, easy access to the Guesthouse.  But be careful to book early as she is very popular!  You do not need to be staying with us at Casa Cool Beans….simply ask the hotel or guesthouse where you are staying to contact Dolores for the booking….you will be glad you did!

Dolores "The Buggy Tour Lady"

Shopping-the best of the best! (Amazônia Soul)

How would you like to visit the first Amazon store of the world?  You can if you visit Rio de Janeiro!

More of a small bistro with art to purchase, Amazonia Soul is located in Ipanema on Texeira de Melo, 37.  This is on the south side of Praca General Osorio, where the Metro exit is located.  Consisting of GASTRONOMY, ART & CULTURE….this is really a charming store not to be missed.  Craving that Acai?  No better place to sample it than right here!!!  Want a unique piece of art from the Amazon as a gift for yourself or someone special….lots of choices here.  Grab a bite to eat from a list of items that are more than tantalizing…yummy!

CHECK IT OUT!  YOU WON’T BE SORRY!!!!

Amaxonia Soul

Teixeira de Melo, 37- Praca General Osorio

Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro-RJ

(21) 2247-1028 or 2523-0270

Fall weather in Rio de Janeiro (March-May)

The weather is SO NICE right now in Rio de Janeiro.  I love it!!!  Proof is on the iPhone…:)…see below.  Most resources state that the fall starts out hot, rainy and humid (March) and ends mild and less rain (May).

From the RDJ.com website:

Rio de Janeiro Fall: March-May
March is one of the rainiest months in Rio de Janeiro. Fall in general is hot, with temperatures and humidity levels dropping slightly from the subtropical heat of summer. Rio de Janeiro weather in the later part of fall is one of the best times to visit.

So what are you guys waiting for?  Perfect weather is already here!

Rio de Janeiro is #5 Top Destination in the World

TripAdvisor’s Top 25 destinations in the World just came out… and Rio de Janeiro is #5!  No surprise, but there is some tough competition.  Rounding out the top five are #4-Paris, France; #3-Machu Picchu, Peru; #2-Sydney, Australia; and #1…..drum roll…..please……Cape Town, South Africa.  But enough about them….let’s get back to Rio….

#5-Rio de Janeiro
Whether your curiosity is piqued by the International Olympic Committee’s selection for the 2016 Games, or you’re heeding the call of the famous twin beaches Copacabana and Ipanema, Rio offers more than you can imagine, and offers it at all hours. With breathtaking views from Corcovado Mountain and breathtaking deals in the city’s endless malls and markets, Rio de Janeiro is a vacation paradise, whatever it is you travel for.
Don’t miss
  • Corcorvado
  • Sugar Loaf Mountain (Pao d e Acucar)
  • Copacabana and Ipanema beaches
  • Santa Teresa
Plan your trip to Rio de Janeiro….(Casa Cool Beans is #1 in the B&B category below……)

Shopping-the best of the best! (chocolate….)

Yum…..one of our favorite indulgences…chocolate.  And Rio de Janeiro has some very good chocolate shops.  Three of our favorite are listed below.

CHEZ BONBON-chocolate gourmet

Oh my goodness…..whether it is a single piece of deliciously decedent chocolate, macarons, or a designer box of truffles…this store has it all.  Convenient location in Ipanema at Rua Barão da Torre, 247, loja B.

http://www.chezbonbon.com.br/

Chez Bonbon

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Cacau Show-Um show de chocolate

We are SO happy these shops are located all over the city (several shops just in Centro and Copacabana alone)…for an easy chocolate fix, regardless of the neighborhood PLUS they offer chocolate in so many varieties.  In addition to loads of great chocolate candies, they offer all kinds of hot and cold chocolate beverages, chocolate fondue, and even a variety of chocolate ice cream.  Truly a chocolate-lovers dream!  The Centro-Saara location is quite convenient to Santa Teresa; Rua Bueno Aires, 180.

http://www.cacaushow.com.br/

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Chocolates Kopenhagen

Founded back in 1928, Chocolates Kopenhagen can now be found in over 60 cities and 275 locations featuring more than 300 products.  It was again our dear friend and colleague, Katia, who turned us onto this store and several of their tempting treats.  Chocolate lovers are not to miss!  Convenient locations in Ipanema (Rua Visconde de Pirajá, 197 AND Rua: Visconte de Pirajá, 550), Copacabana (Rua Xavier da Silveira, 40 AND R. Figueiredo de Magalhães, 131) and throughout the city.

http://www.kopenhagen.com.br/site/default.aspx

Chocolates Kopenhagen

Casa Cool Beans hits #1 on TripAdvisor!!!! (May 3rd, 2011)

Can it really be so???  After just 5 months of operation we have hit #1 on TripAdvisor for all of Rio de Janeiro B&B/Inns (out of 68 properties)!!!  We are SO HAPPY that our guests are loving what we are doing and find that we usually exceed their expectations.  But no resting on our laurels…..there are so many other wonderful Guesthouses here in Rio that we are surely going to bounce back and forth; hopefully always in the top 3 or so!  We have major plans to continue our renovations and improvements which have been warmly welcomed by our clients.  To seal the moment in time, we have a link below to a PDF of the page from today’s TripAdvisor….and now we are off to celebrate with a glass of champagne or two!  Thanks to all those that have helped us get here…friends, family, staff, and guests!

Preview of “Rio de Janeiro Accommodations- Read Reviews for Inns and B&Bs in Rio de Janeiro – TripAdvisor”

B&Bs / Inns travelers recommend
Casa Cool Beans
#1 of 68 B&Bs / Inns in Rio de Janeiro
35 reviews
“ Best specialty lodging in Rio, maybe in all of Brazil.” May 1, 2011
“ Brilliant Place!!” Apr 28, 2011

TripAdvisorTopRankingsMay2011

Shopping-the best of the best! (Gilson Martins)

Part of the excitement of going on vacation and being in a new location is finding a trinket, accessory or special reminder of your visit.  We would like to provide you with some of our favorites, SPECIAL (read UNIQUE) shops here in Rio that you should not miss; most are “Carioca original”!  We’ve already posted on Granado….now this post is about the accessory designer, GILSON MARTINS.  Gilson’s inspiration comes from the visuals he encountered growing up in Rio de Janeiro, now translated into hip, quirky collectible purses, key chains, & wallets which can be found in NYC at MOMA’s Giftshop and of course here in Rio de Janeiro.

http://www.gilsonmartins.com.br/home.html

The key chains we use for the guest room keys here at Casa Cool Beans are from Gilson Martins as they are stylish and feature prominent Rio de Janeiro sites on their products; VERY COOL.  With three locations to choose from your travels in Rio should have you in close proximity to one of their stores.

Ipanema- Rua Visconde de Piraja, 462

Copacabana- Rua Figueiredo Magalhaes, 304-A

Atlantica- Rua Atlantica, 1998

Gilson Martins (Ipanema)

Even the first family, The Obamas’, were recently presented with some Gilson Martins (March 2011)…..

http://www.gilsonmartins.com.br/asultimas-obama.html

An article in The Rio Times from October 26, 2010…..

Carioca Style From Gilson Martins

WE LOVE GILSON MARTINS……and it is obvious by the MANY Gilson Martins bags discarded at Casa Cool Beans that our guests we send there do too!!!  Keep on “Carioca” shopping!

Happy Birthday Mousse!

Yes we are going to throw a party here at Casa Cool Beans for Mousse this week…..he is 12 dog years old…..and depending on who you believe that is anywhere from around 60 to almost 80 “human years”.  He has been our dear companion for 10 years so the least we can do is throw a party!  We are inviting all our guests and to accompany the cake we will be demonstrating how to make Caipirinhas!   Here are some recent photos of Mousse with our dear friend and business colleague, Katia here at Casa Cool Beans.  Birthday party photos to come later this week! 🙂

Katia & Mousse at Casa Cool Beans
Katia & Mousse at Casa Cool Beans

Sorry for the delay as I thought we had posted these few photos of Mousses Birthday Party some time ago……

Lance at Mousse's Birthday Party
Lance demonstrating how to make caipirinhas to all the Casa Cool Beans guests

Saturday afternoons in Santa Teresa A “Must Do Tour” by RioGuide

Bonde ride through Santa Teresa

* Foto: Pedro Kirilos|Riotur

Saturday afternoons in Santa Teresa A “Must Do Tour”: beauty and charm of the tropical Montmartre The charming quarter of Santa Teresa has quite special peculiarities which render the visit unique and a must. Arriving by cable car, the attractive restaurants and bars, the hospitality of its dwellers, their artistic penchant, its architecture with remarkable French inspiration, render this part of the city a whole other story among the beauties of Rio. You don’t have to leave the quarter of Santa Teresa to find several choices of open air tours. How about traveling by cable car through the narrow streets of the quarter? There are also lots of small crafts shops, ateliers, bars and restaurants to go, and there are two spots that you must not miss visiting: the Convento de Santa Teresa convent – built in the 19th century and which gave the quarter its name – and the most famous stairway in the city – Selarón, with its 215 steps covered in ceramic tile mosaics. Another positive aspect of the quarter is its proximity to the South Zone and Lapa, which offer several options for entertainment during the whole week.

How to get there:

By cable car: Estação de Bondes (cable car station) – Rua Lélio Gama street, s/nº – Centro – Phone: 2332-6614

By bus: bus line – 206 A, 206 B, 214 – On the main avenues downtown;

By car: From Glória, Laranjeiras, Rio Comprido and Rua do Riachuelo street.

Casa Cool Beans…by Eléna Claire

One of our lovely guests during Carnival 2011 was Eléna Claire.  Here is her fabulous blog (in French) of her stay here at Casa Cool Beans……Thank you Eléna!!!

Casa Cool Beans

Durant mon séjour à Rio, j’ai logé avec mon amie Frida dans une pousada que je vous recommande chaudement.

Elle est située à Santa Teresa, Rua Laurinda Santos Lobo, 136.

Son ancien nom est Pousada Pitanga, les propriétaires étaient 2 expatriées françaises qui ont vendu en fin d’année 2010.

Elle a été reprise par 2 américains et rebaptisée Casa Cool Beans.

Lance et David sont des hôtes vraiment charmants.Le chien de la maison s’appelle Mousse.

L’endroit est ravissant, cosy, très propre.

J’ai disposé de ma chambre dès mon arrivée très matinale, le petit déj a même été servie plus tot pour l’occasion et j’ai pu quitter ma chambre jusqu’à l’heure de mon départ en début de soirée.

A mon arrivée, justement, j’ai trouvé sur la table un mot d’accueil personnalisé et une boite en bois enrubannée contenant des produits cosmétiques Granado. J’ai trouvé l’attention vraiment délicate.

Les chambres sont assez spacieuses. Et équipées d’une salle de bains et toilettes, air climatisé, frigo, un grand buffet pour ranger ses affaires, une table de chevet de chaque côté du ou des lits, une lampe de chevet sur chacune, une petite plante sur la table.

La télévision est dans une salle commune, avec un canapé blanc très confortable.

La piscine est parfaite pour faire un grand plouf, mais trop petite pour nager. Des transats vous attendent et des serviettes sont mises spécialement à disposition.

Le petit déjeuner est servi sur la terrasse en bordure de piscine, petit déjeuner avec café, lait, eau et jus de fruits, fruits frais variés, gateaux et croissants, pain, beurre, confiture, jambon, fromage, oeufs sur le plat ou brouillés préparés à la demande par Sandra.

Lance et David sont toujours à l’écoute, et vous donnent conseils et bonnes adresses. Le personnel est toujours souriant et très serviable.

Un jardin très agréable apporte un peu de verdure et le salon vous permet de vous détendre en plein air.