Helicoptering in to the rooftop of Tivoli São Paulo Moffarej is the ultimate arrival.
Editor’s Note: Last week we highlighted São Paulo, Brazil. This week Mary takes us inside one of our top picks.
Flying in to São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport can be pretty chaotic. Many flights arrive simultaneously, and Brazilians returning from shopping trips to New York, or elsewhere in the USA, usually have, well, lots of enormous checked luggage. Patrick, my travel companion, and I were met right at the British Airways’ door, jettisoned through immigration and customs, and driven about a mile to the waiting helicopter. And where it would have taken at least 90 minutes to drive into town, a mere ten minutes by chopper landed us on the top of the 23-floor, 220-room, Tivoli São Paulo Moffarej.
Is Tivoli the only hotel group named after a theater, I wonder? The company’s charming CEO, Alexandre Solleiro, says the first hotel was indeed named for the theater across the street, on Lisbon’s Avenida da Liberdade. Tivoli took over this São Paulo building in 2009 after a complete re-do. Bedroom 1611, about 550 sq ft, looks out over the surrounding Jardim Paulista area. It is somewhat Italian in design clad in sleek taupe colors. The oh-so-comfortable king size bed, a company standard, faces a big white orchid plant, and a wall of windows that open.
There was lots of eating and drinking during my stay. Breakfast both mornings was a magnificent fresh, healthy buffet in Bistro Tivoli. I am only sorry not to have been able to dine in Arole Vintetres, run by Sergi Arola, best known for his two-star Michelin La Broche in Madrid. My room service lunch, customized from the main menu, was exact, tasty, and came with more orchids and a big smile.
Thank goodness there was time to visit the Banyan Tree spa, an Asian haven of dark colors and bamboo trees. My massage therapist Lucy, from Phuket, was memorably proficient. Next visit, I commit to trying the oval swimming pool on the outdoor terrace, and to venture out to nearby retail.