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Where to Stay for #WorldCup: Ronaldinho's $15,500 Crash Pad, and other Rentals

June 2, 2014

Sorry, Ronaldinho won’t be staying at his Rio listing during the World Cup. (Courtesy: Airbnb)

On June 12, the World Cup will kick off in Brazil, and the 12 host cities will fill with over 3 million people there for the most popular sporting event in the world. That’s a lot of lodgings that have already been booked.

But don’t worry—there are still plenty of places to stay, from sailboats to mansions. Just don’t forget to leave your digs in between games and enjoy everything Brazil has to offer. Here are some unique properties in the host cities from HomeAway, FlipKey, VRBO, and Airbnb. (Note: At publication time, all of these were available for at least some of the World Cup.)

Ronaldinho’s Mansion
Rio de Janeiro

After being left off the roster for the Brazilian team, soccer legend Ronaldinho announced last week that he will not be staying in town to watch his former teammates play.  Instead, he’s renting out his home on Airbnb to the World Cup fan that can afford it. For just $15,500 a day, you could stay in the five-bedroom, six-bathroom mansion. The house comes with hammocks, a yoga room, treehouse, pool, and soccer-inspired art. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with a guarantee of meeting one of the best players of his generation. “I will not be in Rio during period,” he wrote in his rental description.

(Courtesy: HomeAway)

Tropical Farmhouse

Natal is known for its tropical climate and hot, sunny days. In fact, the city is nicknamed Cidade do Sol. This farmhouse will let you experience all that sun and Amazonian-like ambience up close. Sitting right on a river, outside town, the house has a dock, a pool, a pool table, five Spartan bedrooms (complete with crosses on the wall), and all the sun you could want. It claims to accommodate up to 30 people while costing just $66 per night.

(Courtesy: Airbnb)

Sailing Yacht
Rio de Janeiro

Why stay in one place when you could stay in a yacht and sail up and down the Brazilian coast to all the participating host cities? This boat sleeps nine, though you might want to get comfortable with your bunkmates, and it comes with an experienced crew to navigate. You may be expected to pitch in with the sailing chores, in between enjoying drinks on the sunny deck, and you should check dock availability before you roll up to Curtiba or Recife looking for a place to disembark. The cost: $1,198 per night.

(Courtesy: FlipKey)

Rainforest Villa

In the middle of the rain forest away from the World Cup crowds, you can stay in this luxury villa outside Salvadore. Sit in the infinity panoramic pool and enjoy the view or shower outside while the birds and monkeys play above you. Dune buggies are popular on the nearby beach, as is boating down the river to the market at Mangue Seco. For $357 a night, everything is taken care of for you by a caretaker, housekeeper, and local contact/concierge. The only problem is, you might forget you’re here to watch soccer games.

(Courtesy: HomeAway)

Straw-roofed Lounge

Half-treehouse, half-hammock-filled-country-retreat, this home by the Manaus airport is one of the quirkiest houses you can stay in. With a whole lot of 1970s architecture, this place is about one thing: lounging. The pool has a waterfall, the kitchen is outdoors, and there may be more bars than bedrooms. As you make your way to the two-level treehouse with straw roof, just don’t trip over anyone sleeping in one of the dozens of hammocks around the courtyard. Oh, and it comes with parrots.

(Courtesy: HomeAway)

Historic chalet
Belo Horizonte

These 12 chalet cottages are offered individually as rooms in an inn in the heart of Belo Horizonte. They were built, along with the nearby artificial lake, in the 1940s as part of the modern Brazilian architectural movement. This is all part of the Pampulha region of the town, which was designed by Oscar Niemeyer to be a center of leisure activities. There’s a nearby zoo, trails, art museums, the church of St. Francis of Assisi, and of course the historic stadium. Enjoy chalet living.

(Courtesy: VRBO)

Sao Paulo

On the inside, there isn’t much to look at in this poolside chalet, but this rental isn’t about luxury amenities or 21st-century furniture. This is all about location and pool access. The two-story poolhouse has two bedrooms, with another two in the guest house. And, as the owner points out, there are plenty of hammocks for sleeping. Grill on the barbeque, use the ancient foosball and ping-pong tables, and swim. This mountain-inspired poolhouse is up in the forests outside Sao Paulo, offering an old-school getaway from the city crowds.

(Courtesy: HomeAway)


If you want a lavish lap swimming pool, a sauna, and your own beach volleyball court, then you’ll want to stay in this uber-modern, uber-luxurious mansion in Brasilia. The five-bedroom, seven-bathroom mansion is right on the river and close to the airport. And, it only costs $10,900 per week.

(Courtesy: Airbnb)

Rio de Janeiro

Staying the in the famous Rio favelas is becoming one of the hottest spots for the World Cup. It’s cheap and you certainly know you’re getting an authentic experience. It’s become so popular that one businessman started The Favela Experience to give tours and broker rentals. This studio is in the Rocinha favela. With 300,000 people, it’s the biggest favela in Latin America and is known for its local food, art, and music. The rental comes with an owner who’s a local tour guide (and DJ!) happy to show you around real Rio.

(Courtesy: HomeAway)

Beachfront Resort

Sure, this beachfront resort is usually rented out for weddings and events, but that doesn’t mean you can’t live in luxury with just you and your closest friends. There’s a large pool, stone deck, and green lawn that spills down through the palm trees onto the sandy Recife beach. It sleeps 15 and has five bedrooms (and costs just $450 a night), but really it’s all about the extra amenities. Use the spacious terrace that overlooks the beach to host a viewing party or post-match celebration.

(Courtesy: Airbnb)

The Most Beautiful Street in the World
Porto Alegre

The street Gonçalo de Carvalho in Porto Alegre, in southern Brazil, has been deemed the most beautiful and greenest street in the world. The tipuana trees have grown over decades so that they now tower above buildings and halfway up large apartment complexes, creating a tunnel of green at the street level. This small apartment sits at the top of the lush street in downtown Porto Alegre. Walk under the canopy as you come and go from games.

Want to know more about Airbnb? In World 3.0, a new Yahoo series from Global News Anchor Katie Couric, Airbnb CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky reveals how he plans to take over the travel industry, the lessons he’s learned along the way and even offers tips on how to create the perfect listing. Check out the story here. And keep coming back every day for Yahoo Travel’s series on the #WorldCup, with guides to the host cities, advice on safety, and great tips and insider information you won’t find anywhere else. You can also check out all our World Cup coverage here.