Helicoptering in to the rooftop of Tivoli Sao Paulo – Moffarej, Sao Paulo, Brazil, is the ultimate arrival for any gal (or guy).
Flying in to São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport can be pretty chaotic as 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 bags.
As always (thanks to my divine Porsche-labelled Rimowa wheelie) handbaggage. Patrick, my travel companion, and I were met right at the British Airways’ door, and VIP-ed 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 later we landed on the top of the 23-floor, 220-room, Tivoli Sao Paulo – Moffarej, where two senior staff members awaited, one to guide Patrick to his room, and one to guide me. After an overnight flight from London, the first thing I needed was a workout and shower, and then I looked around my new home (wow, two nights here, what a treat!).
Is Tivoli the only hotel group named after a theatre, I wonder? The company’s fabulously charming CEO, Alexandre Solleiro (that is him, wearing his Brasil football shirt, but that is another story), says the company’s first hotel was indeed named for the theater across the street, on Lisbon’s Avenida da Liberdade. Tivoli took over this Sao 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, sleek taupe and mole colours, and the television on a ceiling-high metal rod. The oh-so-comfortable king size bed, a company standard, faces a big white orchid plant, and the wall of windows that open: the low bedhead wall forms the back of the ten-foot long desk-table, to the right of which I have a glass-fronted minibar and a Nespresso machine.
There was lots of eating-and-drinking during my stay (I was in town for a gathering of Global Hotel Alliance CEOs, meeting here, but that is yet another story… watch this space). 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 – he also oversees restaurants in Hotel Arts, Barcelona, Spain, and Ritz-Carlton Santiago, in Chile). My room service lunch, customised from the main menu, was exact, and 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. Therapist Lucy, from Phuket, was memorably proficient. Lovely. There was also time for a couple of stints in the really-serious gym, K@2 (Cybex) and running in the park a block away. Next visit, I promise to try the outside-terrace oval swimming pool, surrounded by Moet-logo cabanas, and to venture out to nearby retail.