Santa Teresa Hotel RJ - MGallery by Sofitel

Rio's design-forward hillside hideaway
Rio de Janeiro may be famous for its beach scene, but Santa Teresa Hotel RJ - MGallery by Sofitel offers an entirely different experience high in the hills of the city’s charming bohemian quarter.

The luxury hotel was once an 18th-century coffee plantation and is now a chic, rustic boutique hotel with unbeatable views of the city, the mountains and the Bay of Rio below. Neo-colonial décor and interiors feature design materials such as recycled tropical woods (jacaranda, cinnamon, ipe) and local golden slate.

The 42 design-forward guest rooms and suites have played host to a slew of globetrotting celebrities, including Richard Branson, Snoop Dogg and Alanis Morissette.

Térèze, the onsite restaurant, is considered one of the best restaurants in Rio, and the terrace bar is known for its selection of Brazilian rums. Brazilian arts and crafts are scattered throughout the hotel and a small selection is available for sale at the hotel’s boutique.
Our Inspector's Highlights
  • From its hillside perch, Santa Teresa feels removed from the boisterous beach scene below, but is still filled with Brazilian flair, starting with the mango and apricot trees found on the property.
  • The hotel’s glam pool — there’s a Veuve Clicquot champagne bar — is surrounded by tropical gardens. The views from the pool area are unbeatable and are especially enchanting at night.
  • The luxury hotel can arrange activities that show off the spectacular sites of the area, including a helicopter ride over Rio de Janeiro and rock climbing on Sugarloaf Mountain.
  • Indulge in a treatment at Le Spa by L’Occitane featuring the bounty of Brazil—natural oils and local ingredients take things to a luxurious new level.
  • Overlooking the city and the Guanabara Bay, the Pool Lounge is the perfect spot to try sip late-afternoon drinks.
Things to Know
  • The hotel does offer Wi-Fi throughout the property, though we recommended unplugging to enjoy the gorgeous surroundings.
  • While Térèze offers fantastic bites, if you just can’t tear yourself away from the views in your room, 24-hour room service is also available.
  • The Rio hotel’s interiors feature indigenous design materials such as recycled tropical woods (jacaranda, cinnamon, ipe) and local golden slate.
The Rooms
  • The reclaimed plantation mansion’s guestrooms have been transformed into chic, roomy spaces with a light, airy feel, white walls, wood furnishings and a mixture of indigenous and neo-colonial décor.
  • Design features include luscious silk drapes, sunlight-filtering shutters, slate showers and myriad surfaces and furniture made from Brazilian woods.
  • All rooms come with bathrobes, fresh orchids and giant wood-framed mirrors (some have king-size beds).
  • Room and suite amenities include Granado bath products, Havaianas flip-flops, iPod docks, 46-inch LCD TVs and original art by Brazilian designers.
The Restaurants
  • Térèze is a casual-chic spot laden with recycled wood furnishings, exposed brick, iron flooring, a glass wine cellar and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the treetops of Santa Teresa.
  • Brazilian food is prepared with traditional French methods — think salmon tartar with coconut foam, grapefruit chipotle and guacamole, and prime rib with potatoes, mushrooms and malbec sauce.
  • The stylish Bar dos Descasados, which was once slave quarters, has red-and-white-tiled floors and 100-year-old architectural arches.
  • A wide selection of Brazilian rums are available, as well as caipirinhas and caipivodka on ice, with tropical extras like acai, lychee and lime.
Getting There
Rua Almirante Alexandrino, 660 Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro, 20241-260, Brazil
GIG (18-28 min)  
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