Accommodations and Food
Most of Teresópolis’s more interesting accommodations are amid the lush mountains surrounding the town itself. The best is the utterly charming Hotel Rosa dos Ventos (tel. 21/2644-9900, www.hotelrosadosventos.com.br, R$370–410 d). Located some 20 kilometers (12 miles) outside of town on the RJ-130 road to Nova Friburgo, it is Brazil’s only hotel in the exclusive international Relais & Chateau hotel chain. Accommodations are handsomely rustic yet luxuriously accessorized alpine chalets with fireplaces and balconies that keep you in constant contact with nature.
In fact, nature lovers need never leave the hotel complex, which includes 10 kilometers (6 miles) of nature trails for walking and mountain biking, two swimming pools, a lake for kayaking, and stables for horseback riding. Also on the premises are four gourmet restaurants and three bars.
For a more central and much cheaper option, try the Várzea Palace Hotel (Rua Prefeito Sebastião Teixeira 41, tel. 21/2742-0878, R$75 d). Although its elegance has faded, this formerly grand hotel (dating from 1916) offers clean and comfortable rooms in a retro setting.
If overexposure to fresh mountain air sends your appetite into overdrive, head to one of Brazil’s finest Russian restaurants, Dona Irene (Rua Tenente Luís Meireles 1800, tel. 21/2742-2901, noon–midnight Wed.–Sat., noon–6 p.m. Sun., R$60), for a feast fit for a czar. After starting off with a shot of house vodka, dig into the likes of borscht, marinated herring, chicken Kiev, stroganoffs, and varenikes stuffed with filet mignon. Reservations are required.
Manjeiricão (Rua Flávio Bortoluzzi de Sousa 314, tel. 21/2642-4242, 6–11 p.m. Thurs.–Fri., noon–midnight Sat., noon–11 p.m. Sun., R$25–35) serves up delicious thin-crust pizza baked to perfection in a wood-burning oven. The light and airy crust is the result of the dough being made with mineral water. All herbs and vegetables come from the restaurant’s own garden. One of most requested pizzas features basil, walnuts, garlic, cream, and parmesan.
© Michael Sommers from Moon Brazil, 2nd Edition