A few years ago I moved to a new location in the iconic and relaxed Santa Teresa neighborhood overlooking Rio's City Centre and Lapa neighborhoods. The new house was chosen based on its central location within Santa Teresa - just steps from Largo dos Guimarães, Bar do Gomez, and Hotel Santa Teresa - and its potential for receiving guests.
Guesthouse remodeled in 2014 and refinished in 2016 with two lovely suites (each with its own full simple bathroom), glass sliding door w/ blackout curtains, balcony and a private kitchen--overlooking and with access to our saltwater swimming pool with waterfall and steam sauna. Spare room in the main house with direct entrance refurbished in 2017 in order to accommodate larger groups. And *new* barbecue grill now installed in kitchen.
For video featuring neighborhood, host and guesthouse search "Do you really know Rio?" by Kylie Flavell.
We are located in the heart of Santa Teresa, Rio's most charming and best preserved historic neighborhood. On a safe and quiet well-lit residential street with 24-hour patrol but only four minutes walking from the heart of Santa -- Largo dos Guimarães. Famous Santa Teresa tram runs from a 5 minute walk away into the city center, as well as buses which run one block away into the city center and various other neighborhoods, and we are a 20-minute walk on historic residential streets from the metro at Glória.
Rio Gaia is an eco-friendly option, with solar water heater, natural ventilation and fans rather than A/C, and recycling facilities available. There is an organic farmers market on Saturdays at Largo dos Guimarães nearby.
The owner works with urban planning and community development in Rio’s favelas. She is Brazilian and English/American. She can provide informal support to researchers, volunteers and visitors interested in local culture, favelas, & politics.
We offer basic modern facilities and comforts such as Wifi, a fan in each room, kitchen and washing machine. These are not luxurious accommodations but rather simple and practical. Room cleaning including towel switches occurs weekly. Extra set of pool towels provided. The pool is professionally cleaned twice weekly, though a few leaves may fall in on in-between days. Families have access to a stroller and travel cot/pack n'play. Entering Rio Gaia Inn feels like arriving home and guests have often referred to it as 'an oasis.'
Please note the guesthouse is not safe for children under 6 (though the spare 3rd room is fine) and children of any age must be watched carefully due to close room access to pool and stairs.
And remember, we're in the tropics and in a developing context! It can get hot in summer months (particularly January) so please choose us if your preferred method of cooling down is in a lovely salt water pool and waterfall ;) . We are also in a historic neighborhood that has not received proper attention from the authorities, so though we do the most to guarantee proper functioning of the utilities (water, gas, electricity, etc.) by having additional options available (cistern, solar, etc.), there are times when we will need you to be patient and understanding given the conditions in the neighborhood and quality of and availability of service personnel.
If something is important to you, like you particularly need extra implements for cooking, private parking, a certain type of supply, etc., please message us about this before you book so we can ensure we are able to offer them during your stay before we confirm your booking.
Please read House Rules prior to booking. We are an asthmatic no smoking household so please do not smoke anywhere on the premises. Note that there is plenty of safe and free street parking in front (with 24x7 security). Also note that we are constantly working to improve the units and the overall space so please make suggestions!
We look forward to hosting you!
Some of our favorite reviews, below:
Nadia said: "Highly recommend a stay at Theresa's house in Santa Teresa. She is a lovely, thoughtful and easy going host, who will immediately put you at ease. The neighborhood is a true neighborhood - a warm, friendly, interesting retreat from the more hectic parts of Rio. If you are a slightly adventurous traveler who can take of yourself, you will not find a better place to stay. If you are the more pampered sort who tends towards more luxurious travel and wants to be constantly taken care of...this is not the place for you. We could not have been happier with our choice. Thank you!!!!"
Scott said: "All I can say is: “Wow!" We adored this place. It's two side-by-side, second-floor lofts, each with its own bathroom. As a family of four, it was perfect - kids on one side, parents on the other, with one kid sleeping at ground level and the other in the loft that's reached by a ladder. The setting is gorgeous, idyllic. Beautiful salt-water swimming pool with turquoise tile. Beneath the balcony is an outdoor kitchen that was wonderful for cooking breakfasts. The location is superb, a lovely, safe neighborhood high in the hills, just a short walk from cafes and stunning views. Then, of course, there is Theresa, who couldn't be more charming and helpful. This place is a 10!"
Sylvie said: "We had a great time at Theresa's place, it is a real luxury to start or end the day with a swim in the pool. The area is a joy to walk around and definitely the best in Rio if you like a neighborhood with history, great views and architecture, and an easy mix of happy locals, expats and tourists. With lots of bars and restaurants nearby, the place is perfect as a base to explore Santa Teresa and the rest of Rio, and I warmly recommend it."Guest Access
Independent entrance and simple outdoor private kitchen. Saltwater swimming pool with waterfall and steam sauna.Interaction with Guests
Living in the main house on the other side of the pool, I interact with guests daily or as needed providing contacts, recommendations, and orientation. As such the outdoor areas are not completely private, though we do not use the pool or sauna during guest stays--leaving them to the guests.
I have been renting rooms here and in my previous residence since 2010. Please check out the reviews below. Occasionally I travel to visit family and when I do I have friends in the main house who can provide support as needed (though I am always available virtually). And as a city planner working with Rio's favelas I can also provide orientation on various urban issues, favela visits, and social programs. In fact, it is this AirBnB listing that makes my work in Rio's favelas possible, so thank you for choosing my home!The Neighborhood
The Santa Teresa hill, by the centre of Rio, is famous for its winding, cobblestone streets which are a favorite spot for artists and tourists and are full of personality, beneath the Christ and above the Sambadrome. It is perhaps the best preserved historic neighborhood in Rio. It is home to artists, art studios and galleries, with the annual two-weekend "Open Doors of Santa Teresa" event where artists open their ateliers to the public and visitors can go door-to-door visiting the exhibits. Santa Teresa also hosts the most authentic and fun street carnival blocks in Rio during carnival. The offer of restaurants and bars is also varied, including the best new pizza joint, some of the oldest Portuguese bars, Northeastern restaurants and handicraft shops.Getting Around
The famous Santa Teresa yellow tram is now working again from Largo Dos Guimarães, a 5-minute walk away, into the city center. Buses and vans run one block away into the city center and various other neighborhoods, and we are a 20-minute walk from the metro at Glória. Easy Taxi and Uber can be called and there is a good neighborhood taxi coop on the next block.Other Things to Note
Arrivals prior to 12 noon official arrival time, or departures following 11am official checkout time are subject to confirmation by owner based on availability, and will be charged on a pro-rated basis.
Not in the rooms, but available upon request: travel cot, stroller, hair dryer, additional coffee maker, books, and more. Please don't hesitate to ask.