By Alison McGowan
June 29, 2009

Casa Beleza, as its name suggests, is a beautiful pousada, housed in an exotic mansion which used to be home to the former governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro. Lovingly restored to its former glory in 2008 by present owners, Bindu and Antoine, a documentary filmmaker and musician respectively, the pousada has 3 rooms, two of which look out over the swimming pool and tropical gardens. Santa Teresa itself is a mass of windy cobbled streets and the first time you come to Casa Beleza, you wonder if you have come to the right place, it appears so hidden. Only when you get your bearings do you realise you have the luxury of absolute tranquility, with small monkeys and turtles for company, yet you are only a few minutes walk from all the bars and restaurants.

About the Location
Santa Teresa is a wonderfully hidden part of Rio de Janeiro, perched on a hill between the centre of the city and Zona Sul, where most of the beaches are. Long known for its bohemian culture, and infamous for being home for decades to Ronnie Biggs, of Great Train Robbery fame, the area is a delight of old colonial mansions, and cobbled streets, served by old style trams. The slower, more alternative” pace of life here attracts artists, musicians and writers, many of whom hang out in the numerous bars and restaurants dotted about the place. For travellers who prefer laid back charm and history to being right close to a beach, it’s a wonderful place to stay.

Not to be Missed
– samba in Lapa
– trip to Corcovado (Cristo Rendentor)
– walking around Santa Teresa
– Sobre Natural, Bar do Arnaudo and Aprazvel restaurants

* atmosphere of a small private house-party
* eco-friendly with solar heated water and natural spring water
* monkeys, turtles, butterflies and birds
* beautiful swimming pool

Try a Different Place…
… if you have mobility problems or you want to be right by the beach

Alison is a British writer, musician, and marketing consultant, based in Rio de Janeiro. She can be contacted on Visit her site at

Previous articles by Alison:

Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Bambu Bamboo Pousada and Spa, Parati, Rio de Janeiro
Random Ramblings on the Weather in Brazil
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Beijamar, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Hotel 7 Colinas, Pernambuco
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada dos Quatro Cantos, Pernambuco
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Estrela do Mar, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Vivenda, Rio de Janeiro
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada da Terra, Minas Gerais
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Mirante de Pipa, Rio Grande do Norte
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada do Caju, Alagoas
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada da Amendoeira, Alagoas
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Estalagem Caiuia, Alagoas
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Lagoa do Cassange, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Ponta do Muta, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Santa Clara, Boipeba, Bahia

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