4.4 on September 14, 2011
This was our 2nd trip to the Blue Dolphin. Technically, it was closed for significant improvements. (Having met John, the owner, during our previous stay, we convinced him to let us stay in spite of the construction, AND the fact that he was going to be out of the country! Although John's personality and knowledge of the area played a part in our first trip's success, his absence was easily filled in by his local team. The inn is chock full of travel guides (many loaded with photos taken by the owner himself, a former Time magazine photographer and writer), restaurant recommendations, and suggestions for "off the beaten path" activities. With the assistance of the Inn manager, we went deeper into Rio than we did our first time around. We had a fascinating tour of the Favella hosted by a young man that grew up there, left, and now has returned. We took an outstanding Brazilian cooking class, and went into downtown Rio where we found the most amazing 1/4 mile of "street art" by a local artist named Selaron. The Rio Dolphin Inn is small, quaint, and packed full of character. Its not the place you want to go if you prefer a 5 star hotel, but then, you wouldn't be reading this if that's what you want. With the construction, each bedroom has its own private bath, where previously there was one community bathroom for 3 bedrooms. When the Rio Dolphin is full, they have the ability to rent out a handful of other rooms very close by in this very safe and quiet gated community. When we were there, a previous guest purchased a beach bicycle and donated it to the Inn. We borrowed the owners bike and this community bike, and had a GREAT time seeing all that Copacaban and Ipanema had to offer. A bike is absolutely the best transportation in this beautiful beach town My only regret is that we had to leave long before the construction was finished. We can't wait to see the Rio Dolphin during our NEXT visit!
4.6 on April 14, 2011
I recently stayed at the Rio Dolphin Inn for a couple of days and had an awesome, and relaxing time. John was so helpful- giving me directions, providing recommendations, walking me around the neighbor, showing and drawing me maps. I enjoyed the coziness and eclectic feel of the guesthouse. The location is very central, within 3 blocks of the beach and in between Ipanema and Copacabana. As a single female traveler, I never felt unsafe in the neighbor around the guesthouse. When I come back to Rio in the future, I'll definitely be staying here!
4.8 on May 27, 2010
This cozy paradise is located right smack between Ipanema and Copacabana beaches, within easy walking distance of both, and was by far the highlight of our 6 week vacation in South America. The very personable owners, John and Nina, took us on a morning-long walking tour of the area on our first day, and were instrumental and very helpful in setting up the rest of our activities while we were there. John, who is also a very accomplished journalist, gave us fantastic advice on all things touristy and culinary, and Nina gave us great tips on what to do/see at night. The house itself is in a "villa," a small gated community about 4 blocks from the Forte de Copacabana, and is very secure. The decor is a delightful pastiche of surfer and marine-life art, with a lot of emphasis on dolphins, of course. Both rooms are comfortable and the bathroom is clean and spacious. Overall it was almost like a home-stay with very attentive friends; both John and Nina are very interesting people, delightful to talk to, and they were constantly concerned with keeping us well-informed and happy. They even went out for breakfast and to the beach with us a couple of times, and are fun to be around. The only reason I rated "dining" with 4 dots is that when we were there, which was last year, they did not have in-house cooking, but John pointed us to some great eating establishments in the neighborhood. I recommend Rio Dolphin Inn for anyone traveling to Rio de Janiero, it's our best vacation discovery in recent years!
4.8 on March 28, 2010
I stayed for couple of days in this unforgettable place in Rio - cozy, beautiful (and of great location). John and Nina know everything about the city, helpful, smiley, friendly people :) great memories from the place!
4.8 on December 14, 2009
We had seven wonderful days at the Rio Dolphin Inn,staying in the Cosy Corner,a self contained apartment in a security controlled block right opposite also owned by hosts John and Nina. It's smallish and has limited self catering but is clean and comfortable and is only a 5 minute stroll to both Copacabana and Ipanema beaches. On our arrival,John gave us a quick walking tour of the local recommended restaurants in Ipanema which we really appreciated. The "kilo restaurants" where you pay by weight on the food you choose were great in choice and value. It can be a great help to get John or Nina to assist with arranging airport transfers and sight-seeing with their local contacts if you have limited understanding of the language! A great place to stay in Rio. Thanks! Mike and Helen,England,UK
4.4 on November 27, 2009
Nina and John are exceptional. They actually host you not like clients but like firends whom they have not seen for quite a while... They create a very open atmosphere and involve you in Rio life as much as you only want. You can count on them and on their recommendations. And the Inn itself, so surprisingly decorated, that it becomes a tourist attraction itself :-) Last, but not least - perfect and safe location, half way between Copa and Ipanema beaches. We have spent there 3 wonderful days. Highly recommendable. Tomasz and Anna from Poland
4.6 on November 04, 2009
John and Nina were the perfect hosts. Having never visited Rio before, they filled me in on where to go and what to do to make my fairly brief stay as interesting and fun as possible. I feel like I now have friends in Rio. The Inn is so nice to return to after a busy day. Once you make your way through the security gate, all streets sounds are replaced by the sounds of birds. And close enough to the beach to walk (while carrying a surfboard). I highly recommend Dolphin Inn. I had an exceptional time in Rio - and I have John and Nina to thank.
4.2 on August 31, 2009
Staying at the Rio Dolphin Inn's 'Cozy Corner' was like having a charming, beach-y pied-a-terre in Rio. John & Nina were wonderful; it felt like having family friends right around the corner to help point out the way around the city. The location was fantastic as the Inn is where Copacabana and Ipanema meet. All in all, a great choice!
5 on July 22, 2009
John and Nina are super nice and super informative. They are the kind of people that you will stay in touch with when you leave. The place is very comfortable as well, and in a great location in Ipanema and next to Copacabana. Make it your first stay in Rio... -pt
4.6 on July 08, 2009
I am 23 year-old traveler who stayed at the Rio Dolphin Inn for 6 days with two friends. It was the most tranquil, beautiful, and idyllic place I have ever stayed. The owners, a charming couple with knowledge of every square inch of the city, have done a great and thoughtful job making their villa feel like home to travelers. My experience in Rio would not have been the same had I not had such comfortable accomodations. ~Jennifer Bassell
4.4 on May 05, 2009
We stayed at the Rio Dolphin Inn during April 2009 at the end of our 3 week holiday. Our room (the Cozy Corner) was across the street from the rest of the B&B and was a self contained apartment which was more than comfortable for the 4 of us. It is hard to determine whether the highlight was the location or the welcoming nature of our hosts, both of which were outstanding. The B&B is two minutes walk from Copacobana, Arpoador and Ipanema (our favourite) beaches. John and Nina went out of their way to assist us with advice on activities, dining options and anything else. If we were surfers, I'm sure we would have been shown some interesting spots as well. When we return to Rio, we will definately stay at the Rio Dolphin Inn again.
5 on October 10, 2008
John's Rio Dolphin Inn is a treasure. A charming little villa offering beauty, peace, comfort and tranquility in the heart Rio's Zona Sul, right off of one of the main corredors connecting Ipanema and Copacabana. Great proximity to beautiful beaches as well as easy access to transportation to all parts of the city. We stayed with John in June 2008, had a great time, and can't wait to return. John is an award-winning journalist and videographer with unlimited knowledge of the city and Brazil. He's very easy-going, welcoming and helpful, always willing to point out great nearby eating and hanging-out spots and help with logistics for getting around the city or even beyond Rio. Highly recommended, especially if you love dogs -- John's dalmatian is a sweetheart. Malcolm Northampton, MASS