Feel like getting out of Rio for a few days to exploring some different historical towns in the mountains OR going hiking through waterfalls and venturing up some of the most beautiful trails? Drive (or take a bus) up to Itaipava, a town about an hour away from the heart of Rio situated in between Petropolis (18km) and Teresópolis (45 mins away) that is full of shopping malls, cute antique shops, restaurants and great nightlife.I stayed at Condomínio Spazio, an apart-hotel is about 30 meters from the lively town full of restaurants and bars and I would definitely stay there again. It is the perfect place to stay for a weekend trip: fully furnished 2 floor apartment (with free WiFi) in a full service building. The layout was very similar to a 2 floor loft in New York; the one I stayed in had an open kitchen, flat screen tv’s in living room and bedroom, and full bathroom on each floor (above). Just an FYI sneaking in that afternoon nap might be difficult since the neighboring school has really loud parties on the weekends that start in the afternoon and go till late. I am fully aware of how ‘old’ that makes me sound, but after a full day of hiking (check back!) a nap is exactly what I wanted. I must admit, Spazio’s common areas definitely trumped the ones I have seen in NY apts.
The common room is nice an cozy, a great place to curl up with a book or entertain some guests around the fire place. But it’s the spa, gym and outdoor facilities that are the real ‘perks’ of staying at Spazio. The spa is complete with a jacuzzi, sauna and steam room. If you want to use it, you will have to plan ahead as you have to call at least an hour before you would like to use it so that the building can turn everything on for you. This past weekend tt was freezing (high 40’s this weekend) so I enjoyed ending my day lounging in the sauna:) If you visit during the summer (December-March) you can hang by the pool (above) or have some friends over for a big barbecue (below) which even includes a pizza oven!
Some things to keep in mind:
CASH ONLY: It cost R$500 ($120) for the weekend including tax and cleaning but they do not accept credit cards, so make sure you hit the atm before your trip (FYI a lot of places in Itaipava do not accept credit cards).
No heat in Brazil: It gets very cold at night, it dropped into the 40’s when I was there so pack warm clothes and even throw in an extra blanket
Spazio Itaipava: Estrada Uniao Industria, 11540, Itaipava, CEP 27550-226, Brazil
Enjoy your trip!