Santa Teresa Graffiti Art

Having lived in New York City for 13 years, we were exposed to many elements of urban art.  One of our favorites is graffiti.  We were some of those that in the late 80’s & early 90’s were very upset when NYC Transit started removing the subway cars that were completely covered with graffiti art and replacing them with the new “graffiti-proof” cars.  Many consider this vandalism or scribbles, but we consider it an art form and we really love and appreciate it.  Fortunately, Santa Teresa has lots of tags (where a graffiti artist has left his work) and actually a high concentration within a few minutes walk of Casa Cool Beans.  Here are just a few of our favorites!  PS:  If you know any of these graffiti artists please let us know as we would love to meet them; we have some projects for them!

Here is a link to Rio Times Online which just featured Smael Vagner, one of our favorite artists here in Rio!

PRAISES! (about Casa Cool Beans…)

We would like to thank the many guests we have had in our short time as owners of Casa Cool Beans and the many wonderful compliments.  Here are some wonderful accolades that have come in through TripAdvisor or other means about Casa Cool Beans.  Thanks so much for the reviews; we have LOVED hosting you!


“Best pousada in 3 months of travel in south america”

5 of 5 stars
Date of review: Jan 2, 2011
Charlotte18041979- Paris, France

My partner and I travelled 3 months in South America (brasil, Argenitna, Chile and Bolivia) from Oct 2010 to December 2010. We’ve stayed in terribled, quite ok, good and excellent pousadas, hotels, guest houses. But the best place with the best service was definitly Casa Cool Beans. We’ve stayed there 4 nights mid-december just after Lance and David had taken over this pousada from Lydie, who was our contact before for the reservation.
The pousada is very well situated in the quiet and cute Santa Teresa neighbourhoood. It felt good and like at home to go back there after a day walking around crazy Rio.
The rooms are big, clean and very cosy. The breakfast is excellent and feels you up for the whole day!
But most of all, what made us loved so much casa cool beans is the service provided. Lance is so nice and he made our stay very special. He gave us lots of good tips to enjoy the most of Rio, he booked us a day tour with a wonderful guide the pousada is working with, Junior, who has spend the day sharing with us his passion for his native city.
After Rio, we went to Paraty and Ilha Grande and we had to spend one last night in rio but hadn’t booked any pousada. Lance didn’t have a room for us in Casa Cool Beans but he spent a whole morning making phone calls to all the pousadas around Santa Teresa to find us something.
And while we were off to Paraty and Ilha grande, he nicely kept some of our luggages we did not want to travel with.
Eventually we spent our last night in Casa Cool Beans because Lance had a cancellation. It was the best way to finish our 3 months trip… For sure, we will go back to Rio and for sure, we will stay at Casa Cool Beans again.

  • Visit was for: Leisure
  • Traveled with: With Spouse/Partner
  • Member since: October 08, 2007
  • Would you recommend this hotel to a friend? Yes

“OUTSTANDING CREW worried about your comfort and ready to support you on anything you need!””

5 of 5 stars
Date of review: Dec 29, 2010
igor303631- Sao Paulo, Brazil

Lance learned very fast how to make “Pão na chapa” (tosted bread with butter) better than many brazilians! The breakfast was excellent such as the room services everyday!
Santa Tereza is a great place to stay to walk around at night and get some souveniers. We wish that there was a lift straight to the beaches but it’s easy to by tax or vans, and it gets even easier if you make some friends around the neightbouhood. THe pool has the perfect temperature and Mousse is the coolest dog ever!!! Thanks for eveything guys, we had a great time!

  • Visit was for: Leisure
  • Traveled with: With Spouse/Partner
  • Member since: December 29, 2010

“Wunderbare Pousada in Santa Teresa”

5 of 5 stars
Date of review: Jan 12, 2011
Tuschky- Munich, Germany

Wir ( 9 Freunde) waren Ende Dezember 2010 für fünf Nächte in der Pousada die bereits unter der Führung von Lance und David stand. Die Pousada ist sehr schön und ruhig gelegen. Man fühlt sich direkt zu Hause. Die Gegend ist sicher und ein schöner Kontrast zu den Strandgegenden.
Lance und David haben uns wunderbar bewirtet und standen für alle Fragen rund um Rio und Santa Teresa zur Verfügung.
Ich kann die Pousada nur jedem empfehlen und freue mich auf den nächsten Aufenthalt.

  • Visit was for: Leisure
  • Traveled with: With Friends
  • Member since: January 12, 2011
  • Would you recommend this hotel to a friend? Yes

January 15, 2011
Hello Lance David and Mousse

we are now back in France or the temperature is 6 ° Celsius

I can not resist sending you a small photo of the house a week before we left for Brazil just to refresh you!

Laura and I wanted to thank you very much for your hospitality and your kindness.

We were very touched by your gesture for the bottle of champagne
And your address on the bars and restaurants have always been very good (especially the Aprazível leaving us with unforgettable memories)

We will recommend your pousada to friends who want to go to Rio

send a quick hello to the parents of David, who are charming

soon …….. we hope!

Pascal et Laure

Snow in France

Região Serrana floods

Our hearts, thoughts & prayers are with the thousands of people who have been injured, killed or touched by the recent flooding and mudslides in the beautiful hillside neighborhoods in Região Serrana, the scenic, mountainous region of the Rio state that includes the major cities of Petrópolis, Teresópolis and Nova Friburgo.  While we have been spared such devastation here in the city of Rio de Janeiro, we hope to offer support & hope.

For those wishing to help the flood victims there are many locations where one can donate.  This may include donations of non-perishable food, clothing, mattresses, blankets, hygiene products and monetary donations.  We appreciate the Rio Times for providing the list.

In Zona Sul (South zone), as of Monday, January 17th, donations can be given at the offices of either Christ Church or the British and Commonwealth Society (BCS), both located at Rua Real Grandeza, 99 in Botafogo. Hours are from 9AM to 5PM. Please contact the Church’s secretary, Karen, at +55 (21) 2226-7332, or the BCS’ Gaynor or Monica at +55 (21) 2537-6695.

In Barra da Tijuca, as of Sunday, January 16th, donations can be given at the Union Church, Av. Pref. Dulcidio Cardoso, 4351. Weekday office hours are from 8AM to 4PM. Please contact the Church’s secretary, Carol, at +55 (21) 3325-8601.

In the Metrô Rio, eleven stations have established collection centers: Carioca, Central, Largo do Machado, Catete, Glória, Ipanema/General Osório, Pavuna, Saens Peña, Botafogo, Nova América/Del Castilho e Siqueira Campos.

Monetary donations can be made directly to the municipalities in the region, to Rio State’s Civil Defense department, or to other funds set up to provide social assistance to the victims.

Prefeitura de Nova Friburgo
(Municipality of Nova Friburgo) Bank: Banco do Brasil
Agency: 0335-2
Account No: 120.000-3

Prefeitura de Teresópolis
(Municipality of Teresópolis) Bank: Banco do Brasil
Agency: 0741-2
Account No: 110000-9 (under the name “SOS Teresópolis – Donativos”)

Defesa Civil – RJ Bank: Caixa Econômica Federal
Agency: 0199
Operation: 006
Account No: 2011-0

Fundo Estadual de Assistência Social do Estado do Rio de Janeiro
(State of Rio Social Assistance Fund) CNPJ 02932524/0001-46
Bank: Itaú
Agency: 5673
Account No: 00594-7

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: