Tried & Tested

Hotel check: Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo

27 Jan 2008 by Mark Caswell

WHAT’S IT LIKE? Opened in 2002, this is currently the only Hyatt in Brazil. The five-star property is located in the same business district as the Hilton, demonstrating the appeal the area has for business travellers. The Grand Hyatt immediately feels upmarket as you enter a calming driveway lined with palm trees and then pass into the high-ceilinged lobby area, with gardens behind.

WHERE IS IT? Just down the road from the Hilton Sao Paulo Morumbi (see review). (My room had views from the 22nd floor looking straight back at the Hilton hotel.)

HOW MANY ROOMS? 470, including 365 Grand rooms, 71 Grand Club rooms (on floors 19 to 22), 29 Grand Suites, three Diplomatic and two Presidential Suites.

ROOM FACILITIES Rooms have a more relaxed feel to them than the business-ready rooms at the Hilton. Décor is light and minimalist, with soft Egyptian cotton sheets and modern prints on the walls. Workdesks are smaller than at the Hilton, reinforcing the impression that this is an area to relax in rather than work. The bathrooms are spacious, with double basins, mosaic floors, and large rounded glass showers with rain-shower heads and separate baths. All bathrooms have a selection of free full-size soaps by Brazilian company Granado (in Grand Club rooms guests can order from an extensive soap menu including Honey, Ylang-Ylang and Guarana). All rooms are at least 41 sqm, have floor-to-ceiling windows, and include air conditioning, satellite TV, laptop safe, minibar, wired and wireless internet access (charged at R$45 for one full-day access, R$28 for two hours and R$15 for 30 minutes), bathrobe and slippers, digital scales, hairdryer and turn-down service. Grand Club rooms also include a DVD player with DVDs available from the Club Lounge on the 20th floor, which also offers free breakfast, cocktails and canapés from 6-8pm, a computer with half an hour’s free internet use, and a meeting room with one hour’s free use for Grand Club guests.

RESTAURANTS AND BARS There are six options for eating and drinking at the hotel, most of them are housed in a separate building to the right of the lobby area. For restaurants, fine-dining Eau offers contemporary French cuisine with an open kitchen and outdoor terrace, and Grande Caffe serves Italian all-day dining with a coffee bar which overlooks the gardens and pool. There is also Kino, an excellent Japanese restaurant (Sao Paulo has around two million Japanese inhabitants – the largest population outside Japan itself), again with an open kitchen where I sat mesmerised watching the chefs prepare sushi and sashimi dishes. The Wine Library offers a menu of some 2,500 bottles, all displayed in a two-storey wine wall, while the Upstairs Bar and Lounge (as the name suggests) is located on the second floor and offers signature versions of the Brazilian national drink, the “caipirinha”, and live jazz music in the evenings. Finally there is a snack bar poolside going by the name of NU Bar.

BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES All the hotel’s conference facilities are housed within Espaço Grand Hyatt, a separate two-storey building adjacent to the hotel, with its own entrance and reception area. There is over 3,000 sqm of meeting space, with two ballrooms, which can each be divided into three. The larger room can accommodate up to 1,500 delegates theatre-style. Ten smaller meeting rooms on the second floor range in capacity from 12 people boardroom-style or up to 75 guests for a cocktail party, and several of the rooms open out onto the Palm Terrace for outdoor events. There is wifi internet access throughout and the business centre (located on the ground floor) includes internet workstations, fax and photocopying services, and laptop rental. It is open 7am-11pm weekdays, 11am-7pm Saturdays and holidays and 12pm-8pm Sundays. For large events, there are 600 parking spaces on site.

LEISURE FACILITIES They may not have the great views of the Hilton pool and gym, but the Hyatt’s leisure facilities are nevertheless excellent. There are two swimming pools – an outdoor one with a sun deck, connected to the building by a lift and covered walkway, and an indoor pool within the main leisure complex on the second floor. Add to this a gym, steam room, beauty salon and the Amanary Spa with eight treatment rooms (each with it’s own rain shower and changing room), and there’s plenty to occupy business travellers during downtime.

VERDICT An excellent hotel, from the rooms and the leisure facilities to the range of eating options.

PRICE Internet rates for a midweek stay in early February started at US$213 for a Grand King (24-hour cancellation).

CONTACT Avenida das Nacoes Unidas 13301, Sao Paulo; tel + 55 11 6838 1234;

Mark Caswell

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