Built in 1871, and exquisitely renovated by Frenchman Jean Michel Ruis, Mama Ruisa was once the home of the mayor of Rio, and is among the most historic mansions in the district of Santa Teresa.
Despite its small stature, space is not an issue here. High ceilings, amply sized rooms, and a cloistered pool area make for a comfortable stay. Service-wise, there's real flexibility and attention to detail.
Mama Ruisa is a very tranquil place to stay. Its location in Santa Teresa, a part of the city noted for its colonial architecture and thriving art scene, offers a very different experience compared to the bustling beachfront districts of Copacabana and Ipanema.
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Photos of Mama Ruisa
There are seven rooms divided between two categories, each of which is stylish and spacious, some of them with balconies offering views across the city and Guanabara Bay. Each room is decorated with objects curated by the owner from around Rio, while orchids and oil fragrances make for congenial touches. Garden-level rooms feel very private and offer easy pool access while those on the first floor are bathed in light and offer the best views. Several have private verandas.
Though scarcely 20 minutes from the beach, and closer still to metropolitan shopping streets and boutique art galleries, Mama Ruisa is an elegant and serene retreat, and an excellent alternative to Rio's more crowded beachfront hotels. Leisurely afternoons can be spent lounging by the tree-lined pool while evenings out can be spent enjoying the sounds of samba or dining at the nearby bars and restaurants.
Food and drink
Tropical breakfasts of delicious coffee, fresh fruit, and light fare are served in your room, in the common space, or by the pool. There's no restaurant at the hotel so lunch and dinner must be taken at one of the nearby restaurants. The hotel can arrange taxis for meals out: just ask at reception.
Facilities and activities
The tranquil and tropical pool and outdoor patio area are one of the highlights of the property. The hotel can also arrange spa services such as massages, pedicures, and manicures.