Today I am delighted to talk about Casa Florence, a gem of accommodation in Rio de Janeiro run by my friend Alison McGowan, the director of Hidden Pousadas Brazil.
When Alison is in Rio (don’t take that for granted, as she spends a sizeable time of her time travelling around Brazil) she makes one suite of her penthouse apartment available to guests.
Bedroom and views
You can rent a beautiful bedroom with fantastic views to the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas and the Corcovado Mountain.
As well as your private bathroom, you will have access to an open-plan kitchen and a sitting room you are free to use. There’s free wi-fi and on the second floor you will discover a terrace with the most fantastic views of Rio.
On the terrace you will find a cool jacuzzi you are also welcome to use.
Still on the terrace, a shaded dining area makes for a beautiful dining room with views to the Lagoa on one side and the Pedra da Gávea on the other side.
Casa Florence is right in the middle of Leblon, considered by many the best neighbourhood of Rio. Many of you will have discovered that affordable (and quality) accomodation in Leblon or near-by Ipanema doesn’t come easy.
From Casa Florence it’s a short walk to the beach in one direction, the Lagoa right in front, or the Botanic Gardens in the other direction. All within walking distance! Leblon is very well connected to the rest of the city through a system of buses (including one bus taking you to Ipanema subway station).
Come the night, there is a great number of bars and restaurants in the vicinity of Casa Florence – never mind the rest of Rio de Janeiro!
To find out more
If you’d like to find out more about Casa Florence, visit Casa Florence @ Hidden Pousadas where you will be able to check rates and availability as well as some more additional information.
This is not a paid review nor I am being commissioned by Casa Florence. Go, check it out and if you think it fits your needs, go ahead with your booking. I definitely loved the place but then, different people, different likes and dislikes.
We hadn’t visited a restaurant for a while here at the blog. Today we are presenting a 100% off-the-beaten track food experience we had during our trip to Manaus.
We learned about the peixaria do Jokka Loureiro on a blog review (you’ll be pushed hard to find a mention to it on a printed guide, whether in English or in Portuguese) and thrilled with what we read we headed to the fish restaurant, in the São Raimundo neighbourhood, Manaus west (exact location of the restaurant on Google Maps).
The restaurant is at the end of a cul-de-sac. You ring the bell and someone will open the gate for you. The interior of the restaurant couldn’t possibly be more spartan: chairs and tables and hardly anything else. Well, not entirely true, from the height of the restaurant you enjoy a fantastic view of the river Negro which by itself would be a good enough reason to go as far as the São Raimundo neighbourhood.
In Manaus, do as the locals. We went to Jokka Loureiro to feast on some Amazon fish. There is no printed menu, and the options available are truly basic: tambaqui, pirarucú or tucunaré, the finest of the Amazon fish. We had heard of the awesome costillas de tambaqui (tambaqui ribs) and that was what we ordered.
Along with the fish we had some beer and rounded up the meal with dessert. The final bill for 2 reached R$55.
Jokka Loureiro is on Rua São José, 9. The safest and less stressful way of getting there is a cab. Approximately R$20 from the centre of Manaus. The restaurant only opens for lunch, from 11:30 to 15:30, Monday to Saturday. It seemed really popular with the locals.
NAME: pousada dos Meros
WHERE: Vila do Abraão, Ilha Grande, Río de Janeiro
IN ENGLISH: yes
PRICES ON THE WEBSITE: yes
LOCATION: in the Vila do Abraão, two blocks from the beach and a short walk from shops, restaurants and the main pier.
THE PREMISES: a two-storey building with all the rooms facing a small garden.
THE ROOMS: smallish rooms with a comfortable bed. A small tv and a mini-bar. Electric shower.
PRICES IN NOVEMBER 2008: we paid R$80 per room per night.
BREAKFAST: included on the price. Reasonable breakfast with sweet and savoury options.
FOOD: the pousada doesn’t serve meals. However, complimentary coffee and cakes are served every afternoon. There is a crepe parlour right next to the pousada.
RECEPTION: helpful and kind. If you book by email, print all the messages and take them with you, as the person who handles email communication with the pousada is not based in Ilha Grande.
CONTACT BY EMAIL: All our enquiries were replied to in less than 24 hours.
OUR OPINION: if being right by the beach is not a must, Pousada dos Meros is a good option in Ilha Grande, offering a correct balance between price and quality. The location is good and its staff is kind and helpful.
NAME: hotel Ibis Rio Vermelho
WHERE: Rio Vermelho, Salvador de Bahia
WEBSITE: Ibis Salvador Rio Vermelho
IN ENGLISH: yes
PRICES ON THE WEBSITE: yes
LOCATION: the hotel is located in the Rio Vermelho neighbourhood, right next to a tiny and secluded beach. Rio Vermelho is one of the bohemiam quarters of Salvador, with lots of restaurants and an active night life. To get to the center of Salvador (Pelourinho) from Rio Vermelho you have to take a taxi or a bus. The tourist Salvador bus stops right in front of the hotel. See the location of the hotel on Google Maps.
THE PREMISES: the hotel occupies a building attached to the Mercure hotel – belonging to the same hotel chain. It has the classic structure of most Ibis hotels, with a dining room and bar on the ground floor.
THE ROOMS: your standard Ibis room, correct. Separate bathroom. Tv and telephone. For our travelling needs, more than enough.
PRICES IN MARCH 2009: we paid R$109 per room per night.
BREAKFAST: not included on the price. It costs R$10 per person per day. We ended up having breakfast at the hotel to avoid being delayed. Breakfast is correct, it lacks the charm of a classic breakfast at a Brazilian pousada but it is more generous than a continental breakfast.
FOOD: available at the restaurant. We didn’t eat at the hotel.
INTERNET: the hotel offers paid wi-fi access. There is also a computer offering paid internet access.
RECEPTION: efficient and professional.
CONTACT BY EMAIL: we booked through the hotel’s website. All the options and charges were presented clearly.
OUR OPINION: those familiar with Ibis hotels are unlikely to be dissapointed. Comfortable accommodation with no luxuries attached at a very competitive price. Those wanting to stay at the Rio Vermelho neighbourhood will find the Ibis hotel an excellent choice. Being far from the center of town wasn’t a problem for us.
a city called Bahia
from Rio to Salvador
Salvador: photo album
map of Salvador
Salvador bus, visit Salvador from the top of a bus
SENAC restaurant, Salvador
sorveteria da Ribeira, top-quality ice-cream in Salvador
There are three youth hostels in São Paulo affiliated to Hostelling International:
- Praça da Árvore hostel. On a residential area on the southern region of the city. It is very close to the subway granting easy access to the most important tourist sights [location on Google Maps]
- São Paulo Hostel Downtown. In the centre of the city, which in the case of São Paulo it is a run down and troublesome area. We strongly advice against seeking accommodation on this part of the city [location on Google Maps]
- Sampa Hostel. On the bohemian quarter of Vila Madalena, with an abundance of bars and restaurants. A bit far from the subway (20 minutes on foot) [location on Google Maps]
There are also three independent youth hostels:
- Casa Club Hostel Bar. In the heart of the Vila Madalena, right where the action is. A bit far from the subway (25 minutes on foot) [location on Google Maps]
- Lime Time Hostel. In the Bela Vista neighbourhood, an excellent location close to the Avenida Paulista and the subway [location on Google Maps]
- Vila Madalena Hostel, in spite of its name, it is on the Pinheiros neighbourhood, not far away from the Vila Madelana. It is not close to the subway but there is easy and frequent public transportation nearby [location on Google Maps]
I haven’t stayed at the any of the hostels mentioned on this post. For that reason, I can only comment on their location and not on the services they provide.