Luxury Travel Sao Paolo
Luxury Travel Sao Paolo
Waiting for a flight to Sao Paolo is already an instruction on the ways of Paulistas (as denizens of Sao Paolo are called). Glamorous girls in high heels and full makeup-the sort of getup you only see behind closed doors in Iran or the streets of Beirut, and men in spiffy business attire waiting for their flights distinguish themselves from the sun-kissed, casual air of the Cariocans you’d gotten used to. Sao Paolo is a city of superlatives- (some) shopping destinations and hotels have their own private helipads, the national jeweller H. Stern sells over-the-top jewellery in a city where it’s unthinkable to wear them in public and where the congregation of creative and fashion-types is so intense you almost suspect a hot-housing of sorts. The tangible manifestations of Sao Paolo’s virtues are manifest in its shopping avenues, restaurants and hotels. Rue Oscar Freire, a pleasant, uppity shopping boulevard is a tome to shopping as an activity. From Clube Chocolate, a sleek boutique bearing all the trademarks of architect Isay Weinfeld to Galleria Melissa, a veritable showcase of trip-hoppy footwear, the neighbourhood, with its various high-end boutiques, award-winning restaurants and the legendary Hotel Fasano close by, this neighbourhood provides a sampler of some of the best shopping in Sao Paolo. For something more surreal, head for Daslu, a shopping centre within a house that is a destination unto itself. Take a tour around the themed excesses of Sao Paolo- an architecture and design tour takes you to the different museums, the public works of Oscar Niemeyer, furniture stores selling the works of local designers (including the works of the most famous contemporary export- Campana brothers), works of hot, contemporary architect Isay Weinfeld and be based in that most fascinating of hotels- Hotel Unique, designed by Ruy Ohtake. Or take a gastronomic tour of Sao Paolo, with its many fine dining options, reflecting the ethnic diversity of its inhabitants. Be sure to base yourself at the Hotel Unique if statement-making architecture and a blood-red swimming pool captures your imagination, the Hotel Fasano if understated old world luxury is more your thing or the Hotel Emiliano(catapulted to mainstream consciousness through its appearance on the Brazilian leg of reality series ‘Amazing Race’) with its glasstop spa and helipad.