After spending a few nights at the Sheraton in Sao Paulo, I was ready for a change. I had two nights booked for the weekend at the Renaissance Sao Paulo, and I was excited to check it out. Renaissance might be my favorite hotel chain, especially internationally. In the USA, most Renaissance properties are pretty nice, but abroad I typically find them to be outstanding. I really like both the Renaissance Shanghai Zhongshan Park and the one in Mumbai. The one in Sao Paulo didn’t let me down.
The hotel is located not far from Paulista Avenue in a good part of Sao Paulo called Jardins. You can walk right out the door of the hotel to plenty of good shopping and restaurants. In terms of major chain hotels (Hyatt / Hilton / SPG / Marriott), the Renaissance has the best location in Sao Paulo, in my opinion. The others are located in the WTC area in the Brooklin neighborhood. That’s a business area where a lot of corporate offices are. That may be good or bad for you, depending on your plans. If you’re there for business and your meetings are over there, then good – if your meetings are somewhere else or you want a place where you can access the heart of the city on foot, then those locations are less optimal.
Walking up to the Renaissance is quite impressive. It is one of the taller buildings in the area, and the outside is striped in a way that looks very cool. When I walked in, I was immediately impressed by how friendly the staff was. Before I even got to the check-in guest, I was greeted multiple times. The lobby is quite large, with a cool bar in the front and the restaurants in the back. There’s a spiral staircase leading to the Havana Club, their swanky bar.
I was at the hotel early in the morning, and I didn’t expect to have a room ready yet, but I went to check in to see what could be done. The woman who worked there was extremely nice, and she told me that there was a special check-in for platinum guests in the lounge, but that because it was so early it was still closed. She asked me if it was okay if I was checked in downstairs. Haha of course that was no problem. She indicated that there wasn’t a room ready for me quite yet, but they would prepare one for me right away. I was instructed to go to the lounge for breakfast and to leave my baggage downstairs. Once a room opened up, someone would bring me a room key. Perfect! I went up to the lounge, and I was very impressed. It was massive, and the quality of food in there was really high. The picture below only shows a part of the lounge.
Additionally, there is an absolutely fantastic view of Sao Paulo from up there as the lounge is on the 23rd floor. Here’s a pic of the view, and if you want a high res version, just click the pic!
The lounge had an excellent selection of breakfast food. There were eggs, sausages, toast, pastries, cold cuts, and a large selection of fruit and cheese.
I sat in the lounge eating breakfast, preparing a presentation I had to give later that day, and surfing the internet. The internet speed was really fast. After working for thirty minutes or so, an employee came up to me and gave me a room key with my room number. Great service! I went down to my room, and I found all of my luggage to already be in there. The room was not a suite, but it was a large room, and it had all the space I needed.
I actually really liked the curved desk that was against the window. It was huge, with enough room for a room service tray, a computer, and then some. The desk also had a huge set of ports so I could plug my laptop into the HDMI port and get video on the television screen. This was great… as I was able to watch Step Brothers on the TV that night while working on my computer :-).
The bathroom was equally nice. There was a shower, a tub, a sink, etc… and everything was perfectly clean.
Of course, there was one odd thing that I’m not used to seeing. There was a “mystery foot pedal” in my shower. I really had no idea what it was for, and I made a game out of avoiding it. Maybe it was a trap door??? Maybe… it… I have no idea. In any case, I forgot to press it. So I have no idea what this foot pedal does!
After a long day, I came back to the hotel, and I went to the gym. Bad hotel gyms are a pet peeve of mine, and I was very pleasantly surprised by how nice the gym at the Renaissance was. In fact, it’s less of a gym and more of full featured fitness center. Check out the pics!
If it’s not clear from the pictures, the gym was awesome. I used it a few times over the weekend. My rate actually included a free dinner one night at their restaurant so I tried that out, and I must say that i had some of the best ravioli I’ve ever had before.
If you haven’t been able to tell from my review thus far, I’m a huge fan of this hotel. If you’re coming to Sao Paulo for business, take a look at where your meetings are and plan accordingly, but if you’re coming to Sao Paulo to see the city or just hang out for a bit, then I really think this is the best hotel of all the main chains. The location is awesome, and it really has all the amenities that you would want from a top tier property.
I’m sure that I will visit again in the near future!