Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, South America

The Rio Diaries – Days 5 & 6

April 12, 2010
Pool at Hotel Santa Teresa

This day marked my departure from Iguassu Falls in Argentina and my return to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The day began without excitement – spent it packing my suitcase, catching up on emails and updating Facebook, having a quick lunch in the hotel (worst french fries and hamburger I had in my entire life), and heading back to the Brazilian side of the border to catch my flight back to Rio.

The flight was long and I found myself unusually grumpy but alas, I finally arrived back in Rio, found a cab, and was soon off to paradise – Hotel Santa Teresa.

I fell in love with the neighborhood as soon as I saw it – steep, winding, cobble stoned hills, bucolic villas, the old trams passing slowly by. It’s considered to be a very bohemian up-in-coming area so passed by lots of nice restaurants, galleries, and shops. I thought my cab would not be able to make the steep ascent up the hill to the hotel but finally we arrived. When the guard opened the gate, my worries melted away in a heart beat.

The man at the front desk immediately had someone take my bags, provided me with some cold flat water, and started the check-in process. He helped me secure reservations for dinner and answered a bunch of questions for me.

Hotel Santa Teresa is a beautiful place – it’s a 5 star boutique hotel in a restored old villa. It has been redesigned my top designers and architects and decorated with tons of local artwork. They have a lovely pool with an awesome view of Rio, a 5 star restaurant named Tereze, and a nice spa.

After checking in, the man took me to my room on the second floor. He opened the door and I almost screamed in joy. I had a big room with a canopy bed, flat screen TV, big windows, and an awesome view of the city which included a view of an old church and far away castle. Such a refreshing change from the moldy smelly room I had at Hotel Carmen in Iguassu Falls. From hell to heaven in only hours.

I took a shower, got changed, and headed down to Tereze for dinner. I got a table by the window over looking the city. I sat back, had a glass or two of wine, enjoyed my meal, and continued my reading of The Blue Sweater.

Finally, retired to bed a very content and happy girl.

The next day, I woke up not feeling that well and also very tired. Spent the morning sleeping in and treated myself to a facial and massage at the spa. Relaxed by the pool, where I was served Caipirinha’s by a very cute pool boy who told me I was beautiful. 🙂

Later on that evening, I finally ventured off hotel grounds and had dinner at a Portuguese restaurant called Aprazivel with an amazing wine list. The restaurant is also located in a restored old villa with great city views. I saw a man propose to his girlfriend there! Almost too romantic of a setting to dine alone in — I felt a little lonely when that happened. Company would have been nice but alas, nothing to really complain about!

It was a lovely day and I felt like a princess.

Here are a few photos of the hotel:

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