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Santa Teresa MGallery by Sofitel

Santa Teresa MGallery by Sofitel, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Our rating: First Class

The Santa Teresa, formerly the Guimarães Ranch, has passed through a lengthy process of careful restoration, preserving its neo-colonial style. It's located 50 m (164 ft) from Guimarães Square and is close to the bars, restaurants and artisan shops of the Santa Teresa district. Rio's most famous beaches, Copacabana and Ipanema, are approximately a 20-minute taxi ride from the hotel.

There are over 40 rooms and suites, many with views across the rooftops of historic Santa Teresa to the ocean beyond. Furnishing is modern but traditional, and each room enjoys a flat screen cable TV, telephone, internet, and air conditioning. The rooms and communal areas have been carefully thought through, and the attention to detail has resulted in a tastefully finished and stylish property reminiscent of the former coffee plantation the property sits on.

The hotel's floors are made of reclaimed wood, the tiles are Portuguese, and if you look carefully at the archways around the bar (previously the slave quarters), you'll see the original bricks used to construct this former mansion. Rooms are decorated with indigenous art, the sacred art of Rio de Janeiro's baroque period, or historical handicrafts from Minas Gerais and the northeast region.

There's an outside pool and the spa offers a range of services using the products of the established Brazilian ecobrand, Natura. The restaurant serves a tasty (if expensive) range of contemporary cuisine (the chef is reputed to be a friend of Gordon Ramsay, but Brazil doesn't work on quite the same speed of delivery, so do expect to wait a little while for your food.) The Bar dos Descasados has a good selection of drinks.

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Photos of Santa Teresa MGallery by Sofitel

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