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Jean Michel Ruis was born in France but his soul is more carioca *than a lot of Brazilians themselves. He grew up in Africa due his father’s work and as an adult, he became a curious traveler searching new destinations or rediscovering the classical ones.

“The first time I visited Rio de Janeiro, I felt immediately in love with the city and I decided to stay. I bought the house and start working on each detail of the hotel.”

The chosen property was a luxury mansion, that used to be the city Governor’s residence in the heart of Santa Teresa neighborhood, built during the Portuguese colonialist period; ten minutes away from the crowded Copacabana beach . During the last five years, it has been focused by artist and intellectuals.

At Mama Ruisa, the  sightseeing of the mythical Bahia de Guanabara from the veranda, the mix between Tropicalia spirit and cosmopolitan glamour, the voice of  Marlene Dietrich from the old gramophone and the original ’60’s furniture signed by famous Brazilian designer Ricardo Fasanello… make this place the perfect spot to spend time in the “next Olympic” city. Twelve rooms (distributed in two floors) were conceived by the owner , each one with its own style, with a tribute to his personal icons: Jean Cocteau- decorated  with his original manuscripts and signed ceramics-, Carmen Miranda – her beautiful pictures and  framed vinilos on the walls-, Colette and her portraits…” I wanted to create a very cozy atmosphere for the guests, my idea is to make them feel at home”, says Jean Michel while offering me a caipirinha** and the soft sound of samba*** gets from the streets into Mama Ruisa.

* people born in Rio de Janeiro
** local drink made with sugar cane alcohol and limes
*** traditional music, play specially during Carnival season, January and February

– Simona Martinez

Mama Ruisa website www.mamaruisa.com

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