Maiko's Pick of the Week – Nov. 20th-25th



William Kentridge
A well established south african artist in the international scene which has some of his works at Louvre, Paris or MoMa, New York. Videos, pictures and sculptures are presented. Also an opportunity to visit the Instituto Moreira Salles, built in one of the beautiful mansions in the pleasant Gávea neighborhood.

Tue to Sun 11am – 8pm – until Fev 17th 2013

Instituto Moreira Salles, Rua Marquês de São Vicente 476 – Gávea



O Globo da Morte de Tudo (“Globe of Death of Everything”)
Two Globes of Death connected to four walls of steel racks, with six feet high, where it was deposited more than 1,500objects, bought and collected over the last six months.

Mon to Fri 10am – 8pm, Sat 12pm – 6pm Galeria Anita Schwartz – Rua José Roberto Macedo Soares 30 Gávea




*Design de Favela (Favela’s Design)
Inventions in the Favela’s communities of Rio de Janeiro become art.

Mon to Sat 11am – 8pm Nov 22 th – Dec 20th

Centro Carioca de Design

Praça Tiradentes 48 – Centro, Rio de Janeiro

Free – (Debut on Nov 22th Thursday – 7pm)




The bigest Black Music Festival in Latin America bringing together national and international attractions

Friday Highlights:

Martinho da Vila and Martnália – 9pm

Lauryn Hill – 12:30am

Saturday Highlights:

Naná Vasconcelos – 9:30pm

Hugh Masekela -12:40am

Sunday Highlights:

Gal Costa – 8pm

Fatoumata Diawara – 11:40pm

Estação Leopoldina (capacity 4000 people), Av. Francisco Bicalho, Centro.

Entrance fee: R$150 and R$370 (three days)

*This area might be unsafe; please discuss with us before going!

Maiko's Pick of the Week

Maiko’s (the Concierge at Casa Cool Beans) choices for this week:

Nov 12th to Nov 18th 2012


*Brazilian artists in Italy

95 paintings of some of the most important Brazilian artist who stayed in Italy for a cultural interchange program in the 19 century.

Tue to Fri 10am – 6pm, Sat to Sun 12pm – 5pm – until Nov 25th

Museu Nacional de Belas Artes, Av. Rio Branco 199, Centro



Augusto Malta

Different photographers interpret images taken by the famous brazilian photographer Augusto Malta on Copacabana on XIX century

Tue to Sun 14pm – 6pm

Espaço Sesc – Galeria, Rua Domingos Ferreira, 160, Copacabana – until Fev 03rd



Dance (in Santa Teresa!)

O barão nas árvores (The Baron of the tree)

A Brazilian group theater called Intrépida Trupe plays a mix of music, dance, chant and circus presentation.

Wednesday, 8pm Nov 14th

Centro Cultural Municipal Parque das Ruínas

Rua Murtinho Nobre, 169, Santa Teresa.





Representative band of Rio’s revelry opens the pre-season carnival

Wednesday, 11pm Nov 14th

Fundição Progresso – Rua dos Arcos, 24 Lapa

Entrance fee: R$60 (first batch), R$80 (second batch)


*Maria Bethânia

One of the famoust popular Brazilian singers plays old and new songs

Sunday, 9pm Nov 18th

Vivo Rio, av. Infante Dom Henrique, 85, Parque do Flamengo.

Entrance fee: R$100,00 (sector I)


Classic Music

Festival Vila-Lobos

A famous guitar player, Yamandu Costa plays Brazilian regional songs in the beautiful botanical garden

Friday 8pm Nov 16th

Espaço Tom Jobim – Rua Jardim Botânico 1008. Jardim Botânico

Entrance fee: R$20,00


*This area might be unsafe; please discuss with us before going!

Taxis in Rio de Janeiro

Taxis in Rio de Janeiro are inexpensive and abundant (difficult to find when it rains though!) It is one of the quickest ways to get around the city.  Some important points and information:

– ALWAYS take taxis at night….do not take public transportation or walk; it can be unsafe.

– You must wear the seatbelt if you are riding in the front seat, it is law.  You will want to wear the seatbelt in the rear seat as well!

– Never slam the door, it seems like no insult is graver to a Carioca cabdriver. The real reason is that the quality of the cars is not very good and the cars are very fragile.

– Always try to take taxis from the street and ask for taxameter, the taxis parked outside of nightclubs for instance will offer you a fixed higher rate.

– Avoid taking taxis that don’t have a company name written on them; all should be yellow with a meter!

– Make sure they actually know where you want to go. This can be a bit tricky because all of them will pretend to know the address, confirm one more time.

– To get to Santa Teresa from anywhere, tell them first Santa Teresa and then Largo do Guimaraes…..Casa Cool Beans is just a few blocks from there!

– There are two different rates, the cheaper is rate 1 and is everytime except: Mon-Sat from 9PM until 6AM, Sundays, holidays and the whole of December when it is rate 2.

– The yellow cabs are the regular ones you should take. There are more expensive special taxis that are blue, red or white; for example, the really expensive Radiotaxi from the international airport.

– Taxis in Rio are sometimes in a really bad state, try not to catch the crappiest.

– The best taxis to catch from the International airport are with the Aerocoop or Aerotaxi companies. In order to get these you have to go outside the airport building and find one there, they are yellow and should go on the meter. There are a lot of other yellow cabbies outside that all will try to get you pay a lot.

– If the cab driver picks up a list, which adds money on top of what’s on the meter, he is most likely not trying to shaft you. He is just waiting to get his meter calibrated with this year’s new prices. There is a sticker in one of the windows and if it is from the previous year he has the right to use this list. If you have a lot of luggage they also have the right to add a certain surcharge.


GRINGO-RIO.COM & Maiko Nizzo-Concierge @Casa Cool Beans

Maiko Nizzo joins Casa Cool Beans team to become the first Les Clefs d'Or Concierge at a Rio de Janeiro Guesthouse!

Hi, my name is Maiko and I am a Carioca (born in Rio de Janeiro). Raised in Copacabana, I am passionate about Rio de Janeiro. I consider myself a lucky guy to live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world and I feel extremely fortunate to have a job that focuses on helping people enjoy this “marvelous” city!

After working a few years as a Concierge for some of Rio’s most popular hotels, I began attending meetings of the most respected international Concierge associations, the Les Clefs d’Or. A few years after that I was awarded the coveted golden keys, making me an official member of the Les Clefs d’Or Organization.  You can recognize Clefs d’Or Concierges by the keys they display on the lapels of their uniforms. These crossed gold keys are more than just the symbol of the organization; they are the symbol of guaranteed, quality service. Les Clefs d’Or, pronounced, “lay clay door,” is French and literally translates as “keys of gold.”   Les Clefs d’Or members have dedicated many years of hard work and training to the concierge profession. They have their fingers on the pulses of their cities, able to advise guests on restaurants, nightlife, sporting and theater events, sightseeing tours, shopping and more. They can direct guests to any location, any product, at any time of day or night. Les Clefs d’Or concierges are motivated by a genuine desire to serve. Whether requesting something simple or complex, you can be sure they are a trusted resource to business travelers and vacationers alike. Always keeping guests’ safety, enjoyment and satisfaction in mind.

While attending an international concierge congress in Canada, I met several Les Clefs d’Or members working in small properties, which for me was new and very interesting!  So, after returning home, I began to think that maybe it was time for me to do something different. So, that is exactly what I did last week when I joined the Casa Cool Beans team.

Now, for the first time in history, a guesthouse in Rio de Janeiro has its own Les Clefs d’Or Concierge. I am a very lucky guy to receive the opportunity of working at “TripAdvisor’s Best Guesthouse 2012 Travelers’ Choice” of Rio de Janeiro! The team at Casa Cool Beans, owners Lance and David, manager Sergio and the rest of the staff are already doing an excellent job.  I feel honored to be part of this outstanding team!

As the first Concierge at Casa Cool Beans I will do my best to assist guests to enjoy the city and give them the best tips possible so they can become adamant fans of Casa Cool Beans AND the city of Rio de Janeiro!

Maiko Nizzo

Rio's 15 coolest places to stay (TimeOUT Rio Online)

Rio’s 15 coolest places to stay (a few for under R$300):

The city’s most interesting hotel and hostel rooms and the coolest bed and breakfasts for those on a budget

Press image

Casa Cool Beans

The Maze Inn

If the warmth of innkeeper and raconteur Bob Nadkarni’s welcome to his guesthouse in the Tavares Bastos favela doesn’t snare you, the view from the upper terrace (itself conjuring up visions of a young Luke Skywalker’s Ator home in Star Wars) surely will. It’s worth knowing that the creative mind at work behind The Maze was once the props designer on the set of 2001 A Space Odyssey. His creative attentions have now turned to the building that began as an art workshop, became his home, and is now also an inn in the truest sense of the word, complete with Bob’s original artwork adorning the walls. Backpackers, artsy types and, indeed, world famous Hollywood stars are treated equally, for it is here that The Incredible Hulk was filmed and that Tim Roth proclaimed makes the ‘best cup of tea in Rio’. If all that doesn’t add up to ‘cool’ credentials, we need to buy a new yardstick. R$180 per night (deluxe suite).


Botafogo was once home to the slightly grotty but never dull traveller hostels and student bars and clubs, but with the arrival of bars Meza and doiZ and now the hostel Oztel (all from the same owners), things have taken a turn for the chic. That’s not to say this is exactly a glamorous spot, but cool and funky room designs, unusual exhibitions and events (monthly cocktail-making classes, anyone?) and some great bars and restaurants nearby make this a bit of a must for those keen to stay out of the usual tourist traps. Grab the tropical room and share it with a friendly couple of jungle birds. R$200 per night (double with en-suite).

Carmen e Fernando B&B

Another of Santa Teresa’s unmarked wonders, the front door of Carmen and Fernando’s house leads into a world of piled up records, vaulted ceilings and the kind of terrace from which Sugarloaf mountain should always be seen, complete with plunge pool and bar. The living room is comfortably big enough for all-comers (the owner’s quarters are found just off it up a small staircase), though other nooks, like the mini-mezzanine above the reception, offer more privacy if needed. Just off the dining area, a steep spiral staircase leads up into the tiny loft-style room. The tight, low-ceilinged quarters are not for the big of stature or luggage, but a cosy spot complete with its own little terrace and the best view in the house. R$200 per night (loft room).

CasAlegre Art Villa

The Italian-run CasAlegre gives off the laidback air of its affable Italian owner, the central courtyard providing calming respite from the Santa Teresa cobbles. From here the small gallery space can also be seen, with a different artist invited each month to show off their wares. Attracting a creative bunch, the house has some imaginative touches including rows of plastic bottles collected in conjunction with children from the nearby Prazeres favela that are cut open, filled with plants, and hung along the outside wall. The slightly pricier Presidential Suite is the one to opt for, with a small balcony overlooking the street below, a large living space complete with kitchen essentials, and a separate bathroom and bedroom, but all have their own charms, and can be rented long-term. R$250 per night (Presidential Suite).

Casa Cool Beans

Cool in every way (possibly bar the name), the American-run guesthouse has an enviable location in the middle of the Santa Teresa action close to the time-honoured Bar do Gomez. The gardens of this beautiful bed and breakfast are the first thing to charm their way into your attentions, quickly followed by the stylish rooms courtesy of designers including Patricia Brasil and Gilson Martins, and upper-deck swimming pool and massage area. Also to be found up here, complete with private veranda overlooking the full glory of Santa Teresa below, is the best suite in the house designed by the artist Alemão, but with full wi-fi, a killer breakfast and the owners’ chilled-out Californian charm, for once it really doesn’t pay to be choosy. R$260-R$340 per night (suite no.7)

Friendly, laidback lodgings in boho Santa Teresa

Silvia Garcia

Chilled out, impossibly helpful and exuding all the charm of their native California, Cool Beans’ American owners have set about creating a near-legendary experience in Santa Teresa, thanks as much to their outlook as their beautifully reworked property. Close to a few notable local hostelries like Bar do Gomez and a short walk from the heart of the ‘hood (this neighbourhood is exactly the sort of place you want to be strolling around in order to capture its true essence), the gardens and pool deck may grab the attention first, but the bedrooms also echo the original charm at the heart of the building. The private veranda of the top-floor suite takes the plaudits, but the simplicity and all-inclusive attitude of the staff mean that any room is worth the (very reasonable) price.

The luxury travel guide to Rio de Janeiro (we didn't make this list!) from

The luxury travel guide to Rio de Janeiro

With World Cup and Olympic fever gaining pace in Rio, Chris Moss provides his guide to the city’s most stylish haunts – get there before the crowds do.


The Niterói Contemporary Art Museum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro’s Niterói Contemporary Art Museum; a number of new cultural attractions now complement the landmark. Photo: Alamy

By Chris Moss

10:36AM BST 11 Oct 2012

Why go now?

The epitome of glamour in the 1930s and 40s and rock ‘n’ roll sexiness in the 1960s and 70s, Rio is back in vogue. Preparations for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games mean revamps of everything from stadia to favelas, as well as protection orders on the colonial architecture. If São Paulo is Brazil’s economic powerhouse, Rio remains its cultural and hedonistic hub, with new arts spaces such as Movimento and the Bhering Factory and the renovation of the Theatro Municipal complementing landmarks such as the Niterói Contemporary Art Museum. The verities endure: Rio’s dreamy beaches, set against granite and quartz morros, and a proper wilderness just a 15-minute taxi ride away at Tijuca Forest Park. The cariocas, Rio’s residents, enjoy a frenetic social life and exude a natural grace, whether heading out for cocktails at the latest new bar in Santa Teresa or crossing the coast road in an otiose swimsuit. With London 2012 now over and the World Cup due to be hosted in the city in 2014, international focus is now turning to Rio – now is the time to go to beat the crowds.

Where to stay in Rio

The Hotel Fasano Rio de Janeiro in Ipanema.

The Hotel Santa Teresa opened three years ago in its namesake district – a newly fashionable area of tree-lined, cobbled streets. It’s away from the beachside bustle, with a pool, lovely gardens and furniture by Sergio Rodrigues, Rio’s most daring designer. Marina All Suites on Avenida Delfim Moreira, in Leblon, is expensively funky; its new Club Floor has spectacular, cleanly designed rooms with ocean views and its Bar d’Hotel is one of Rio’s hippest. Fasano has become one of South America’s most stylish hotel groups and its Ipanema hotel which wears the Starck signature well, has suites from which you can see the Atlantic from your bed. Staying at La Suite on a cliff in Joatinga, is akin to being at a friend’s place, though that friend is a millionaire modernist who loves pop art and Baccarat chandeliers.

Where to dine in Rio

Rio is perhaps best known for informal pé sujo (dirty foot) dining, sweet and salty comfort food and early drinking – a 10am bottle of Brahma beer is completely cool – in laid-back pubs called botecos. But it’s in the high-end restaurant scene that the city has seen its most obvious renaissance. La Fidúcia has been praised by cariocas for rebooting the classily romantic vibe along Copacabana’s Rua Duvivier, and the contemporary Italian menu – with Brazilian classics such as feijoada available at weekends – is one of the best in town. Le Pré Catelan at the Rio Sofitel (00 55 21 2525 1206, is the best hotel restaurant, where Roland Villard oversees a trilogy-themed starter menu that features sensational seafood entrées such as lobster ravioli and bisque, and langoustine tartar with tomato and mango, and main courses that range from Amazonian tambaqui fish to Angus ox chops. A classic on Avenida Atlântica is Restaurante La Fiorentina which is popular with carioca celebrities and artists and ideal for a pasta or pizza evening with ice-cold beers. On the walls, black-and-white photographs of past diners, including Rita Hayworth, Rudolph Nureyev and Brigitte Bardot, evoke the charm of old Rio.

Where to go out in Rio

If you can’t make it for carnival, don’t despair. Rio is always up for a dance. Studio RJ, which opened in October, is Ipanema’s hot new live venue, hosting performances of carnival music by acts inspired by blocos (street bands). Rio Scenarium, in the lively Lapa district, is an old fave where the choro, forró, samba and everything in between are danced, on three storeys of dancefloors in a space crammed with old furniture.

Need to know:
What: Rio de Janeiro was Brazil’s capitaul until 1960 and is its second most populated city (6.3million), after Sáo Paulo.
When: January to May are bright and dry and the spring months of September and October are Wonderful. Carnival takes place during Lent – great if you love crowds but horrendous if you don’t.
Fly: Direct from London with BA or TAM in 11 hours.

Rio de Janeiro nips New York’s heels as hottest gay travel spot (Sept 2012)

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which will host the Summer Olympics in 2016, is gaining ground on New York City as the world’s most popular destination for GLBTQ tourists.

Marketing firm Out Now released findings of its GLBTQ tourism study on Monday. The study shows New York retained its ranking as the No. 1 global destination for GLBTQ travelers. Rio replaced Sydney, Australia, in the No. 2 spot. Sydney slid to No. 3.

New York scored 198 out of a maximum of 200 points in the study, based on surveys of travelers around the world regarding which places they’d like to visit in the next three years. Rio’s score was 194, with Sydney earning 191 points.

Rounding out the top 10 cities for 2013 were:

4. London (previous rank: 6).

5. San Francisco (previous rank: 5).

6. Paris (previous rank: 4).

7. Buenos Aires, Argentina (previous rank: 7).

8. Tokyo (previous rank: 8).

9. Amsterdam (previous rank: 12).

10. Los Angeles/West Hollywood (previous rank: 11).


Among favored countries, France topped the list, up from the No. 2 spot in 2011. In second place was the United Kingdom, which moved up two notches from last year. The United States dropped to the No. 3 position from No. 1.

Making up the rest of the top 10 countries for 2013 were:

4. Italy (previous rank: 5).

5. Spain (previous rank: 3).

6. Australia (previous rank: 7).

7. Germany (previous rank: 6).

8. Canada (previous rank: 8).

9. Greece (previous rank: not ranked).

10. Argentina (previous rank: 9).

Darren Cooper, a senior consultant at Out Now, said in a news release that moving up or down even one notch on the list can mean hundreds of millions of dollars in tourism revenue for a destination. Out Now’s research indicates total tourism spending by GLBTQ travelers will exceed $165 billion in 2012.

“Interestingly, London was the top European destination for many markets, such as the U.S. and Australian (study) samples, but respondents from Latin America were generally more interested in Paris than in London,” Cooper said. “It was also quite noticeable this year that Latin American LGBT respondents in particular have turned away from the United States as a desired travel destination for 2013 and beyond.”

Santa Teresa: neighbourhood guide (August 2012-TimeOut Rio de Janeiro)

Discover a romantic land of cobbled streets a world away from Ipanema


While the majority of Rio’s new arrivals will head straight to the golden sands of Ipanema and Copacabana, Santa Teresa has become a rival for the more adventurous tourists’ affections over the past few years. Cobbled streets, idiosyncratic architecture and its remote hillside location make Santa an enchanting diversion from the high-rise apartments of Zona Sul.

Eating and drinking

Culinarily speaking, Santa Teresa is crammed with restaurants making the most of the scenic setting. Those feeling flush shouldn’t miss the opportunity to check out the view from Térèze, the sublimely romantic bar and restaurant in Hotel Santa Teresa but a “treehouse” booth in nearby Aprazível with its views of Centro and beyond, makes for a memorable meal too. Hearty dishes to suit more modest budgets can be found at Simplesmente or Bar do Arnaudo, both close to Largo do Guimarães, while seafood lovers are in for a treat at both Sobrenatural and Amazonian specialist Espirito Santa (pictured) a little further down the track.

When the sun goes down the hillside springs to life again and the bohemian residents of Santa line the streets outside the numerous bars for a bate-papo (chat). Join them for a shot of artesanal cachaça at time-honoured Bar do Gomez, or admire the art on the walls of Bar do Mineiro while sipping an ice-cold beer. German-themed Mike’s Haus may not attract the same size of crowds, but the towering, juicy house Mike’s Burger is the perfect late-night filler to round off the day.

Around town

The best way to explore Santa Teresa is simply on foot, even if the cobbles do take their toll after a few hours. Start at Largo do Curvelo and drink in the sweeping view of Guanabara Bay before taking the short walk to Parque das Ruínas (pictured). This once-grand mansion fell into ruin after the death of its owner in 1946, and its innovative glass-and-ironwork restoration uses the shell of what was left in a striking fusion of the old and the new. As well as having a spectacular view of its own, Parque das Ruínas sits alongside Museu da Chácara do Céu, the neighbourhood’s principal art museum that includes works by Miró and Matisse and was the site of a famous robbery in 2006 when, during Carnival, works by Dali and Picasso were among those taken.

Largo do Guimarães is the closest thing this neighbourhood has to a centre. The flocks of tourists have precipitated a crop of stores and street stalls here flogging as much ten-a-penny jewellery as original artefacts you might actually want to take home with you, so a safer bet for art lovers is to ring ahead and make an appointment at one of the many studios such as the unusual Ateliê Pedro Grapiuna. Also worth a visit, the CasAlegre Art Vila, is one of the few spaces in Santa to host exhibitions, with guests and public alike treated to works of art from a new artist every month. The pousada also offers cooking courses, massage and yoga as well as the exhibition space in a beautiful old house.

There are many winding routes down from Santa to ground level. Some are safer than others, but a daylight wander down Rua Monte Alegre offers up the incongruous sight of the Russian orthodox church, Santa Zenaide (Rua Monte Alegre 210, 2252 1471), with it’s iconic golden dome. Further up the same road is the Centro Cultural Laurinda Santos Lobo (Rua Monte Alegre 306, 2242 9741), which has a rather haphazard selection of cultural events showing, from photographic exhibitions to yoga weekends.

The white Castelo Valentim is another striking curio, and at almost the highest point of Rua Almirante Alexandro is visible even from some parts of Centro. The fairytale castle, now divided into flats, was commissioned by a Belgian immigrant at the beginning of the last century and left to his architect when he died. It is not open to visitors but makes for some dramatic photos with its rich green backdrop of the forest. SImilarly stand-out from afar is the old Convento Santa Teresa (Ladeira Santa Teresa 52, 2224 1040). Though a pleasant enough building in itself, the convent is significant in this neighbourhood’s history as Santa Teresa itself developed after sisters Jacinta and Francisca Rodrigues Ayres gained permission to build the convent in 1750.


Santa Teresa is synonymous with bohemian living, and the largely arty population opens its studio doors to the public once a year for a weekend of festivities known as Arte de Portas Abertas (Open Door Art). Usually held around June or July, expect impromptu jazz in the streets and a feast of exhibitions all day (and night) long.

Getting there

Santa Teresa may be beautiful, but it’s also a bit of a pain to get to. Until August 2011, jumping aboard the rickety yellow trams to get to this secluded spot was a staple on the tourist agenda, but following a tragic accident in which six people died, all the trams have been taken off the road for major repairs. Your best bet is either to take the 006 or 014 bus from Centro, or see if you can persuade a taxi driver to make the climb.