With its luscious tree-lined roads, jacaranda-scented gardens and grand colonial houses, the leafy, elevated residential district of Santa Teresa has provided a welcome and cool refuge from Rio’s downtown bustle since the 19th century, when aristocrats came to the bosky enclave to build grand retreats. After fortunes declined, artists moved in; more recent gentrification has seen new streets and a recently restored tram system, while back streets buzz with samba and cachaça bars. This summer, a 19th-century ochre villa in the heart of the area will be transformed into a pop-up members club and party venue for the duration of the Olympic Games, within easy reach of both Copacabana and Maracana stadiums.
The expansive house will be available for private hire (from $90,000 for the entire venue for 200 people plus, including all staffing and food and drinks), with accommodation in the adjacent villa, as well as throwing a small number of private parties hosted by key personalities from Rio’s social scene. The cool colonnaded rooms can house up to 600 guests for a party in its tea salon and clubhouse, which overlooks Sugarloaf Mountain and Guanabara Bay. Gardens and a swimming pool offer some respite from the summer heat.
The members club is the latest project from NP+Co, a Soho-based production and consultancy agency. Past events include a pop-up “bakery” with a speakeasy bar for Grey Goose vodka and a party for Miu Miu at London’s In and Out club. Working with local firm Atropik, the club is fully furnished, but can be customised – they will even repaint it if the client so desires.
“The Lodge Rio has been conceived for a brand, group or individual that wishes to entertain to a super-premium level in Rio during the Olympic Games; we can guarantee them a sophisticated and perfectly positioned experience that we hope is tastefully and emotively representative of Rio and Cariocan culture,” says Nigel Peters, of NP+Co. “Corporate hospitality during global sporting events tends to be formulaic, overtly branded and lacking in local culture,” adds Peters. “This opportunity to collaborate with local talent and create an environment representative of and respectful to Brazilian and Cariocan culture is genuinely exciting.”
The lodge will be partnering with local company 3 Na Cozinha for food and drink. Menus will comprise contemporary and classic Brazilian snacks and dishes – fresh, locally sourced and as healthy as possible.