Bliss In Santa Terésa | MGallery Santa Teresa Hotel In All It’s Glory

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The MGallery Santa Teresa Hotel, in Rio de Janeiro, is tucked serenely into the hills of one of the city’s most beautiful neighborhoods. A treasure trove of colonial Portuguese architecture, and a superb spot to find fantastic restaurants, art galleries and small bars – this area really is where those “in the know” go to get away from it all.

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Perched on a cliff with views over the entire city, the MGallery Santa Teresa Hotel is a chic and sophisticated locale where you can get lost in secret gardens and indulge in a host of fantastic, homemade food. I recently stayed here while visiting the city and it quickly became one of my favorite hotels in the region.

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This former coffee farm now offers quaint and elegant rooms that are dark and cozy, with views onto the hillsides and into the gardens. Peer over roses or hibiscus flowers in full bloom while inhaling wafts of jasmine from trees nearby. As you walk the hallways here, you don’t hear or see anyone else. It seems you’ve stepped into a home of a friend who happens to be have incomparable taste in art and furnishings.

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Upon arrival, I was checked-in promptly and led to a beautiful room on the second floor. Fruit and water waiting my arrival, and so did fresh coffee and tea at the room’s mini bar. Bathrooms are ample and offer robes and great amenities.

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Outside, the sun drips light on the pool and fountains, and huge jungle-like palm leaves hide dark corners of the yard.

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One of my favorite meals at MGallery Santa Teresa Hotel is breakfast. There is a long table with an array of local Brazilian fruit, specialties and baked goods. There is also a menu with incredible egg dishes and, my favorite, tapioca crepes with various fillings.

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Cakes and breads here are sinful.

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A plate of fruit, a croissant and a few other goodies and you’re ready to take on the day. The staff at the hotel and at the restaurants are friendly and attentive.

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I indulged one night at the restaurant on site, Térèze, which is a magnificent eatery headed by Chef Esteban Mateau. The menu is Brazilian with international flavors.

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Food served at the restaurant is medium sized in portion, yet fills you up with flavor and innovation.

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You can have everything from deconstructed salads to seafood, pork, Brazilian beef and fish.

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The furnishings are sark and are made from local wood, dim and low-hanging lamps and lights make the atmosphere sexy, while breezes roll-in from the Atlantic Ocean. Rio’s lights sparkle below.

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What most impressed me about the restaurant is how beautiful each dish is served. Each dish arrives in pure perfection.

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The wine list is international, but leans heavily toward Chilean, Argentinian and Brazilian varieties.

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And, of course, dessert – with Brazilian chocolate is out of this world. You can’t miss the opportunity to eat or stay here – it’s a destination on to itself and one that mustn’t be forgotten.

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