WHAT’S IT LIKE? One of only two Hiltons in Brazil – the other being in the northern city of Belem – the Hilton Sao Paulo forms part of the CENU business complex. The hotel is situated in the 28-storey East Tower, with the other two towers housing offices including a Microsoft headquarters and a shopping centre.
WHERE IS IT? On Avenida das Nacoes, in the city’s Berrini district. Very much a business location, it’s around 45 minutes from Guarulhos International airport. There are a couple of large shopping centres within walking distance – Morumbi Shopping and the Market Place – but given Sao Paulo’s sprawling layout, everything else is a taxi ride away.
HOW MANY ROOMS? 485, including 372 Deluxe rooms, 80 Executive rooms, eight Relaxation rooms, ten Executive suites, 14 Residential and one Presidential suite.
ROOM FACILITIES All rooms are split into relaxation and work areas, with the latter signified by a change from carpet to laminate flooring. Hilton says this is also the reason it does not offer wifi internet access in the rooms, as it would encourage guests to take work into the bedroom. Wired internet access is available in the rooms (R$50 / £13.50 for a 256kbps connection, or R$96 / £26 for 512kbps, both for a 24-hour period) but wifi only in the public areas (R$20 / £5.50 per hour). Deluxe rooms measure 35 sqm and all rooms include a large workdesk with ergonomic chair, air conditioning, TV with satellite channels, radio alarm clock with CD player, laptop safe, minibar, bathrobe and slippers, and a separate bath and shower. My Executive room was on the 23rd floor and also had an armchair with footrest and table, access to the 26th-floor business lounge (with free wifi, breakfast, and an hour’s use of the meeting room), and a DVD player with free DVDs available from the lounge.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS There are three food and beverage outlets, the most impressive being Canvas bar and grill. Modelled on an artist’s studio, the restaurant has a wrought-iron staircase running through the middle, leading to a walkway along which guests can admire work from local artists, all of which is for sale. The restaurant offers “contemporary food with a Brazilian twist” and live music in the evenings. Sol and Sombra is next to the lobby and has an international menu. The hotel uses a colour-coded system for its breakfast dishes – it looks like the “cheeses” from a Trivial Pursuit game but actually relates to food groups such as low fat, low cholesterol, high fibre and high energy. Finally, Caffe Cino offers Brazilian coffee and paz de queijo (the amazingly popular cheese bread balls).
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES There are 11 rooms located on the second floor including the Morumbi ballroom, which holds up to 600 guests theatre-style or 370 for a banquet. Most rooms have natural daylight and all have wifi internet access. The business centre is on the same floor and is open 7am-10pm Monday-Friday and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.
LEISURE FACILITIES You’ll need to go to the top floor to find the leisure facilities but it’s worth it. The 15-metre glass-roofed pool offers spectacular views, and the warmth from the greenhouse effect gives it a tropical feel. The Living Well Health Club has a gym, sauna, spa bath and relaxation room, and the Sensory Spa offers face, body and massage treatments.
VERDICT Good facilities, both in the rooms and public areas.
PRICE Fully flexible rates for a midweek stay in early February started from US$231 for a Deluxe room with breakfast.
CONTACT Avenida da Nacoes Unidas 12901, Torre Leste, Brooklin Novo, Sao Paulo; tel +55 11 6845 0000; hilton.com.