Take a look at the best boutique hotels in Sao Paulo.
The 57-room Hotel Emiliano is a luxurious hotel in the upscale Jardins area. Despite being a boutique, the hotel has numerous features -- a spa, a 24-hour fitness center, a restaurant and two bars, a staffed business center, and even a rooftop helipad for guests arriving in style (though no pool). The mod rooms are sexy and sleek: Picture wood-paneled walls, clean lines, Charles Eames furniture, and high-tech marble bathrooms (the toilet has buttons.) However, some may find the minimalist style in the lobby and restaurant a tad stark. Nonetheless, this is a fabulous hotel with with excellent freebies (including a 15-minute massage), and the location is a short drive from downtown Sao Paulo.
The 60-room Hotel Fasano is a luxury boutique in the upscale Jardins neighborhood. It offers impressive features, including a solid fitness center and an intimate, Zen-like spa. In addition, there are several popular restaurants and bars: The Italian fine dining restaurant is highly acclaimed, Baretto bar offers excellent live music, the lobby bar has art deco style, and the casual restaurant serves three meals a day. Rooms have cool, retro-modern decor -- including funky leather furniture and striped rugs -- as well as flat-screen TVs, DVD players, and iPod docks. Business travelers may also want to consider the nearby (and very similar) Hotel Emiliano, though it lacks Hotel Fasano's chic indoor pool.
The 95-room Hotel Unique is a trendy pick near Sao Paulo's equivalent of Central Park. The rooftop bar, restaurant, and pool all overlook the park and have beautiful skyline views. The all-white rooms have a bit of a South Beach vibe and feature sexy open bathrooms with separate showers and soaking tubs (though some guests might think they lack privacy). In-room amenities include big flat-screen TVs, different pillow treats every day, and 24-hour room service. Hotel highlights include a large, open lobby with patterned rugs, funky furniture, and a nice lobby bar. An indoor pool, fitness center, steam room, and sauna are all available on-site. While this boat-shaped hotel is not located in the most central neighborhood, it is near attractions such as the Modern Art Museum, Ibirapuera Park, and restaurants.
Maksoud Plaza has been a well-known establishment in Sao Paulo for decades. This storied four-pearl hotel with 416 rooms and suites has a vibe that oscillates between vintage and, perhaps too often, dated. Nothing about the hotel is boring -- one-of-a-kind features include a vintage bar named after Frank Sinatra, an indoor pool, and a habitable art installation. While the history and grandeur might dazzle at first, the devil is in the details: carpets are worn, furniture is old-fashioned, bathrooms are overdue for updates. It’s true that some elements don’t live up to the upscale category, but when considering all the hotel offers at reasonable prices, the Maksoud becomes an appealing option with charm for days. A much more modern luxury alternative is the Tivoli Mofarrej -- but prices are higher.
In the heart of Sao Paulo's business district, conveniently located a few blocks from Paulista Avenue, the Estanplaza Paulista is a straightforward, reasonably priced business upper-mid-range hotel with 120 rooms spread over 15 floors, all of which have practical, but not unattractive, decor and private balconies. As it caters primarily to business travelers, the hotel has free buffet breakfast, on-site dining, a fitness center, and free secure parking in underground garages. There's also a pool on-site, but it's too small to swim laps in. If this is an issue, note that the pool at the similarly priced Comfort Hotel Downtown is larger.