By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – While many visitors to Rio immediately envision long sweeping beaches bustling with small bathing suits, the Cidade Maravilhosa has much more to offer, especially around the neighborhoods of Glória and Lapa. Three expatriates in Rio decided to establish a hostel in Glória to help travelers immerse themselves in Carioca culture while staying at their award winning accommodations.
The Discovery Hostel opened in 2012, by Enrique Fuentes (from Chile), Zion Fadlon (from Israel), Lorraine Coolidge (from the U.S.), who according to Coolidge, “started from scratch, creating our hostel from the ground up.”
The location is at Benjamin Constant 26, in a house originally built in the mid-19th century as the vacation home of the baroness of Rio Negro, Eufrásia Teixeira Leite. The Discovery Hostel sits just a half a block from the Metro (subway) station, and easy walking distance to Lapa and some of the most culturally interesting areas of the city.
Coolidge explains, “Our location in Glória, next to the metro has been one of the highlights of the hostel. Discovery hostel is walking distance to Centro, Lapa, Santa Teresa, Flamengo Beach and Park, Marina da Gloria and countless restaurants, museums, bars and nightlife. [for getting to] Ipanema and Copacabana? Jump on the metro and in ten minutes you can arrive at Copacabana and Ipanema.”
The hostel seems more like a warm guesthouse offering smiles and warm hearts to travelers, and has earned the 2015 TripAdviser certificate of excellence. Coolidge describes their approach, “As travelers we had one objective in mind, create the ultimate hostel of our dreams. We combine all our knowledge and experiences staying in hostels all over the world and created Discovery Hostel.”
She adds, “Because we all love to travel so much, we know what we want from a hostel, so it was easy to make that a reality in our very own place. We believe that our care for even the smallest details and our genuine love for our fellow travelers is what has given us so much success. We started out creating a hostel and we ended up making a home.”
The hostel which was custom designed, offers a fully equipped kitchen, computer lounge, reception and tourist information desk, living room with cable TV, bar and chill out patio for making new friends. For sleeping quarters they offer customized beds, with what the hostel describes as thick mattresses and plush pillows.
Guests can choose from their 9-bed and 6-bed dorm rooms, or their 6-bed Women’s suite. Also travelers can upgrade and stay in private rooms with shared bathrooms, air conditioning, fans, towel service and free breakfast are included.
All this in nestled between Flamengo, Lapa, Santa Teresa and the waterfront. Glória (once called “The Paris of Rio”) enjoys a superb location and views of the Guanabara Bay. Its 10,000 residents stroll through the main corridor, Rua da Glória, which connects with two important streets, Rua do Catete and Rua da Lapa, brimming with grocery stores, restaurants, pharmacies and snack shops filled with ample customers and lively conversation.
As far as the future, Coolidge shares, “We are continuously improving the hostel as we listen to our guests suggestions. We want to keep making travelers happy and be the best at what we do.”