Maiko’s (the Concierge at Casa Cool Beans) choices for this week: Dec 4th to Dec 10th 2012


*Burle Marx – A figura humana (The Human Figure)

The showcase at the Correios Cultural Center presents 120 designs and illustrations of Roberto Burle Marx, the famous Brazilian landscape architect who created many outstanding gardens like Aterro do Flamengo in Rio de Janeiro

Tue to Sun 12am – 7pm – until Jan 6th 2013

Centro Cultural dos Correios, Rua Visconde de Itaboraí 20, Centro


*Isabela Franco – Desencontros – (Mismatch)

The artist displays nineteen screens of different sizes. Most of them are paintings with impressions of the artist body, who, covered in paint, left her personal marks in the works.

Tue to Sun 12am – 7pm, until Dec 16th

Centro Cultural da Justiça Federal, Av. Rio Branco 241, Centro.




Palhaceata (The Crown Parade)

A sort of Clown Festival which will gather 100 artists from Brazil and 25 from outside performing in the streets and concert halls of the city. The traditional parade of clowns will leave Cinelândia and walk to Praça XV led by a Giant Octopus

Wed, 3pm

Cinelândia Square





The famous Brazilian composer shows his new album, Tropicália Lixo Lógico at the Festival Multiplicidade, a music festival of audiovisual performances.

Thursday, 8pm

Oi Futuro Flamengo, Rua Dois de Dezembro, 63 – Flamengo

Entrance fee: R$ 40,00


Bossa Jazz e Muito Mais (Bossa, Jazz & Much More)

The Brazilian bassist Alberto Continentino plays with his band Acoustic Bass, Vibraphone, guitar, drums and percussion in a Bossa and Jazz Night at Vista Restaurant.

Friday, 9:30pm

Restaurante Vizta, Avenida Delfim Moreira, 630 – Leblon

Entrance fee: R$40,00


Móveis Coloniais de Acaju (Colonial Furniture of Acaju)

A ten piece world pop brazilian band with one of today’s best live performance of its country.

Saturday,  10pm

Studio RJ, Av. Vieira Souto, 110 – Ipanema

Entrance fee: R$50,00




Velha Guarda da Mangueira

A “Roda de Samba” (Samba gathering) led by one of the most famous Samba Schools of Rio de Janeiro, called Mangueira.

Sunday, 8pm

Studio RJ, Av Vieira Souto, 110 – Ipanema

Entrance fee: R$30,00


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

Maiko's Pick of the Week – Nov. 27 – Dec 3


Roger Ballen *

Displays with more than 100 images in black and white of the American photographer who lives in South Africa is shown for the first time in Latin America.

Tue to Fri 12pm – 6pm

Sat-Sun – 12pm-7pm, until Fev 17th 2013

Museu de Arte Moderna, Av. Infante Don Henrique 85, Parque do Flamengo – Centro

Entrance fee: R$12,00


José Rufino – Ulysses*

“Ulysses,” (character created by Homerus) an immense statue all made of wood and demolition debris materials collected by the four corners of the Rio.

Tue to Sun 10am – 8pm, until Fev 17th 2013

Casa França Brasil – Visconde de Itaboraí 78, Centro




Por trás dos olhos – Behind the eyes

Spectacle of dance that includes aerial moves with tapes

Thursday 8:30pm; Friday 3pm, Saturday 8:30pm, Sunday 3pm and 7pm

Espaço Tom Jobim – Rua Jardim Botânico 1008 – Jardim Botânico

Price – R$30,00



Silvia Manchete

Brazilian singer that displays its mix of music, acrobatics performance

Wed 9:30pm

Solar de Botafogo, Rua General Polidoro 180, Botafogo.

Entrance fee: R$40,00



The “trio” shows their repertoire of samba, maracatu, rock, funk and soul.

Friday 10pm

Studio RJ, Av. Vieira Souto, 110, Ipanema.

Entrance fee: R$50,00



The band promotes interesting mix of musical genres as afoxé, jongo, maracatu, cumbia, rock and hip-hop.

Saturday 23:30h

Teatro Rival, Rua Álvaro Alvim 33, Cinelândia

Entrance fee: R$50,00


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

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.