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Unearthing an urban oasis in the heart of Sao Paulo

June 30, 2019

Food & DrinkHotels & SpasLifestyle | by Baldwin Ho


For a city as populous as Sao Paulo, it is somewhat surprising they don’t have more 5-star hotels in the city centre considering the number of visitors and events that occur on a weekly basis. Perhaps it is the cost of real estate that deters developers from creating more luxurious hotels. However, of the few that are available, one to consider is Tivoli Mofarrej São Paulo hotel. The central location is the most convenient amongst the leading hotels of Sao Paulo being next to Parque Trianon and within short walking distance to Avenue Paulista which is the beating heart of the city. The shopping district, the best bars, and restaurants are all in the proximity of the hotel.

The discreet concrete exterior is contrasted by the light, extravagant, marbled interiors designed by Paulistano, Patricia Anastassiadis. The glass ceiling creates a conservatory look for the whole lobby which is dotted with tasteful floral arrangements and occasional showcases of contemporary artwork from local artists. The garden space and swimming might be small but much appreciated in a city that is more known as a concrete jungle rather than a green oasis.

The building might be thinly shaped but the rooms are of a decent size including comfortable king-sized beds with the finest Egyptian cotton. Sound-proofing could be improved though as we did hear building works nearby. Although, if you ask for a room that is facing south away from the main room, this might not be an issue. Nespresso machines and iPod docks are all present which is to be expected these days at 5-star hotels. Budget permitting, try and upgrade to the penthouse suite, which is reputedly the largest in Latin America.

For those who are into wellness, you should check out the Anantara spa, which is the only one in the Americas. It offers holistic treatments that blend Thai traditions with Brazilian influences. I would highly recommend the Anantara signature, which uses a signature blend of oils to help sooth the body and improve body circulation.

The real highlight of the hotel is, however, their signature restaurant, Seen on the top floor of the hotel with 360-degree views of the city. It is often the place to see and be seen for the fashionable Paulistanos. The menu has a pleasing mixture of the casual to the finest with dishes like lamb croquettes to Parmesan truffle spaghetti and sliced wagyu. They have a dedicated sushi menu for those looking for lighter offerings, although it was interesting to see they’ve incorporated Mexican influences such as lobster tacos. The breakfast option is also in the same restaurant with a mind-boggling array of English and Brazilian choices and not to be missed.

If you want to go out in the city and explore their culinary offering, one place to consider is Ânima Mea, which translates to “my soul” and is the brainchild of talented Peruvian chef, Alex McGregor who has brought the influences from various kitchens he’s worked at around the world to this restaurant including countries like Morocco, France, and the United Kingdom. The menu might look slightly chaotic but it is the initial sketching from the chef himself to explain the composition of his dishes. There is a great deal of variety which reflects the chef’s experience and include popular dishes like tiradito, steak tartare, lamb rump and a special dry-aged black Angus cut.

Sao Paulo is probably one of the most underrated cities in the Americas, as with such a large population, they have some of the finest, trendiest restaurants and cultural establishments around and you can easily see more tourists visiting the city in the coming years.

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