Santa Teresa Pousadas with Character

Santa Teresa Pousadas with Character

October 4, 2011 | Filed underTravel | Posted By Alison McGowan, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Santa Teresa neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro is perhaps one of the most popular locations for pousadas – a small bed & breakfast guesthouse or inn – due to both the number of large mansions suitable for refurbishment and the bohemian feel of the place. It is an area which is increasingly sought out by travelers who want to avoid mass tourism and feel part of the “real” Brazil.

Casa Cool Beans in Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, News
Casa Cool Beans in Santa Teresa, photo by Hidden Pousadas Brazil.

Perched high on a hill with panoramic views of the city on one side and Sugar Loaf and Guanabara Bay on the other, Santa Teresa is an ideal inner-city hideaway, full of historical character, bars, restaurants and an eclectic music and arts scene.

Santa Teresa boasts many pousadas varying in size and price. However, there are always a select few that manage to stand out from the crowd and offer just that little bit extra in style and hospitality.

Casa Cool Beans is one of them, and not least for its eccentric bright purple exterior. This newly refurbished mansion-pousada was opened in December 2010 by Americans Lance and David and is already a firm favorite for striking just the right balance between a peaceful, intimate and friendly atmosphere while still being right in the heart the action.

Seven beautifully designed suites decorated with local arts and crafts, a communal breakfast on the terrace, and a plunge pool are just some of the special touches that allow visitors to relax and unwind.

For the balance of the article please see link to article here:

Kravitz, Shakira, Maroon 5, Cold Play, Guns N' Roses & System of Down this weekend!!!

Rock in Rio has ROCKED the city of Rio with some of the BEST names in the music industry last weekend.  This weekend is the second of two 3-day-weekends with Kravitz, Shakira, Maroon 5, Cold Play, Guns N’ Roses & System of Down playing this weekend!!!

We had a number of guests which stayed with us that attended last weekend as well as Thursday and Friday night performances; according to them, in a word….SPECTACULAR!!!

By the way the 700,000 tickets for this event sold out months ago in just a few days.

In Rio de Janeiro, Juice Bars That Are More Than Juice-Frugal Traveler @ The New York Times

September 20, 2011, 1:27 pm

In Rio de Janeiro, Juice Bars That Are More Than Juice

If you caught the recent front page article in the Times entitled “Foreigners Follow Money to Booming Brazil, Land of $35 Martini,” you know how expensive Brazil has become. By some measures, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo are now more costly than London or New York or Oslo — amazing considering that some of their municipal services are more like those in La Paz or Dakar.

Needless to say Brazil’s booming economy and strong currency have made it a difficult place to travel on the cheap. I’ll never stop recommending Rio de Janeiro as a destination, but these days surviving a budget trip to the city requires a few tricks.

Fruit on display at Beach Sucos, at No. 198 on Rua Visconde de Pirajá, the main drag of Ipanema.

Foreigners Follow Money to Booming Brazil, Land of $35 Martini-The New York Times

Foreigners Follow Money to Booming Brazil, Land of $35 Martini

The New York TImes

Published August 12, 2011

RIO DE JANEIRO — Pondering the financial storms lashing Europe and the United States, Seth Zalkin, a casually dressed American banker, sipped a demitasse and seemed content with his decision to move here in March with his wife and son.  “If the rest of the world is cratering, this is a good place to be,” said Mr. Zalkin, 39.

For those with even the dimmest memories of Brazil’s own debt crisis in the 1980s, the global order has been turned on its head. The American economy may be crawling along, but Brazil’s grew at its fastest clip in more than two decades last year and unemployment is at historic lows, part of the nation’s transformation from inflationary basket case into one of Washington’s top creditors.

Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janeiro. Prices for prime office space in Rio became the highest for any city in the Americas this year.

With compensation rivaling that on Wall Street, so many foreign bankers, hedge fund managers, oil executives, lawyers and engineers have moved here that prices for prime office space surpassed those in New York this year, making Rio the costliest city in the Americas to lease it, according to the real estate company Cushman & Wakefield.


Hidden Pousadas Brazil reviews Casa Cool Beans

Tuesday, 20 September 2011
Review: Casa Cool Beans, Rio de Janeiro (Santa Teresa)

Casa Cool Beans opened in December 2010 and in less than 6 months rocketed up to the top of Trip Advisor so I was anxious to see what was so good about the place! It wasn’t difficult. Starting from the warm reception at the front gate you get the feeling that this is a place you want to be, where you are amongst like minded people in the heart of a city, but still have the peace and quiet and friendliness which comes with being in a small community.

There are seven suites at Cool Beans at present (with 2 more planned for the New Year) and each one has been beautifully refurbished with decoration by local artists and artisans under the watchful eye of American owners Lance and David and the ever accompanying dog, Mousse. Walk up the steps and you are surprised by a large terrace with communal breakfast area and bar and great plunge pool for those hot sultry days.

However the real difference of this place comes in the detail. Even before you arrive at Cool Beans you get an email telling you what will be on in Rio during your trip and when you get to the pousada you will find a whole host of other suggestions as well. Nothing appears to be too much trouble to arrange, although you might just find that the best option is sometimes what we did- forget it all and chill by the pool with a book and a super cool glass of local champagne.

Alison is an expert in Brazil travel and the inspiration behind Hidden Pousadas Brazil– a handpicked selection of some of the most wonderful pousada accommodation in Brazil – boutique hotels, guesthouses, inns and B&Bs. She has lived and worked in Brazil for over 30 years and is here to give you insider tips and advice on travelling in Brazil – where to visit, what to do, and where to stay. So what exactly IS a pousada? Click here to see the video!

TRAGEDY in Santa Teresa…Bonde crashes!

For those who have not heard, this past Saturday (August 27th, 2011) one of the famous little yellow Bonde trams crashed (runs from Centro to Santa Teresa and back) ….killing 5 people and injuring upwards of 60 persons!  More below in an article from The Rio Times…..such a tragedy for those people on the tram, their families, those of us that rely and enjoy the Bonde, etc.

Investigating the Bonde Accident in Rio

By Sarah de Sainte Croix, Senior Contributing Reporter (August 3oth, 2011)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Officers are investigating the cause of Saturday’s bonde (streetcar) derailment in Rio’s Santa Teresa neighborhood, which left five people dead and 54 wounded after the brakes failed on a downhill stretch of track. Preliminary findings suggest that parts of the brakes were being held together with wires instead of screws, and that there was evidence of recent soldering and substandard repair work to the brakes.

Santa Teresa's bonde (streetcar) accident left five people dead in Rio, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Santa Teresa’s bonde (streetcar) accident left five people dead in Rio, image recreation.

Both the ICCE (The Carlos Éboli Forensics Institute) and CREA (The Regional Counsel for Engineering and Architecture), who were called in to investigate the accident, have speculated that a combination of poor maintenance and overloading of the vehicle (the bonde was carrying 62 passengers when its maximum safe limit is 44), were to blame for the accident.


Read more “TRAGEDY in Santa Teresa…Bonde crashes!”

Rio de Janeiro aims to become world capital of gay tourism

Brazilian city’s diversity week follows a series of gay-friendly government schemes to capitalize on the growing market.

See our post about Diversity Week by clicking on this link:

Gay pride at Rio de Janeiro

A gay pride march in Rio de Janeiro: the city’s tourist board wants to boost its appeal to gay tourists.
Photograph: Globo/Getty
Tom Phillips in Rio de Janeiro
The Guardian, Mon 11 Jul 2011 17.15 BST
The theatre lights dim and a Brazilian supermodel takes to the stage, tanned legs emerging from a skintight miniskirt.
In the audience, an A to Z of Rio de Janeiro’s great and good: pop stars, sports stars, soap stars and would-be stars, flanked by an army of local paparazzi. Clutching a microphone, the model addresses the crowd. “My name is Lea and I am a transsexual,” she says, triggering a frenzy of applause and whistles.  The model in question is Lea T, Brazil’s first transsexual supermodel. And this is the champagne-soaked launch party for Rio’s inaugural diversity week – a celebration of the city’s cultural and ethnic differences and an attempt to position Rio as the global capital of gay tourism.
Read on………

Building a business in Brazil (Lance being interviewed by Molly; April 2011)

Although Casa Cool Beans has only been open just seven months now, we have had hundreds of guests, many we would consider friends. Nellu and Molly are certainly two of those friends. They came to stay with us for a few weeks back in April 2011. At one point, Molly inquired if she could interview me (practice on me); which I quickly granted her request. Below is the video she taped; “Building a business in Brazil”. (I was a bit upset that the wardrobe and makeup staff did not show up on this particular day!) I might add that we have encountered more drama than anyone can imagine (both before and after this interview), but we remain ecstatic that we made the choice to relocate here to this fabulous bohemian village of Santa Teresa in the middle of Rio de Janeiro to open Casa Cool Beans! Thanks Molly!

Building a Business in Brazil from Molly Mazilu on Vimeo.

and also on vimeo. There are actually two:

It’s customary for journalists, at the end of an interview, to ask if the interviewee has anything to add, mostly to make sure you’re not missing a critical part of the story. When I asked Lance, he gave me a response that needed to stand on its own. (If you’re a budding entrepreneur, you might want to keep this video close at hand and listen to it every morning you need a pep talk.) -Molly