Renaissance Sao Paulo: Luxury Hotel in Brazil's International Mega-City

  • 01 of 08

    A Quick Look at Renaissance Sao Paulo Hotel in Brazil

    ©Renaissance Sao Paulo

    What is Renaissance Sao Paulo Hotel Like?

    Renaissance Sao Paulo Hotel is a premier hotel in the heart of South America's most international city, sophisticated Sao Paulo in Brazil.

    The hotel's Renaissance name attracts quite a few American visitors. Renaissance is a high-end label within the Maryland-based Marriott International hotel family, whose uppermost level is Ritz-Carlton.

    What Do Guests Love About Renaissance Sao Paulo Hotel?

    Renaissance Sao Paulo Hotel is a large but not massive hotel, with 343 rooms and suites. It is popular with luxury travelers as well as business executives. They value this hotel for its exceptional comfort, design, location, and service.

    A personal note: I stayed in Renaissance Sao Paulo Hotel after experiencing several other hotels in Sao Paulo, so I was able to compare in-depth. And I found Renaissance Sao Paulo a true luxury hotel. I didn't want to leave.

    The hotel's 24-story tower -- not rare for Sao Paulo -- was constructed in 1997. Its interiors underwent a complete renovation in 2012. In Sao Paulo, new design means cutting-edge technology and Amazon-inspired colors and textures.

    Renaissance Sao Paulo Hotel has a decidedly Brazilian flavor. A range of caipirinhas, the lime-flavored Brazilian cocktail, is on offer in the lobby bar. Breakfast features exotic Brazilian fruit and pastries. And there's a lobby sushi bar that showcases Sao Paulo's strong Japanese presence (the most popilous outside Japan).

    Location of Renaissance Sao Paulo Hotel

    One of the world's mega-cities, Sao Paulo is beyond huge; 20 million people live here. Traffic and getting around can be a headache for visitors as well as residents. So location is a critical consideration when choosing a hotel.

    It would be hard to beat Renaissance Sao Paulo Hotel's location in the desirable Jardims Paulista neighborhood. Here, streets are safe and pleasant for pedestrians. Among this hotel's conveniences:

    • It is set one block from Avenida Paulista, Sao Paulo's skyscraping business center
    • The designer shopping street, Rua Oscar Freire, is a 10-minute walk away
    • International fine-dining restaurants surround the hotel in every direction
    • Two subway stations of Sao Paulo's impressive Metro system are nearby (the Metro is big, new, safe, fast: a showpiece for an emerging superpower)

    Take a look at the modern Brazilian design of Renaissance Sao Paulo Hotel >>

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  • 02 of 08

    Design of Renaissance Sao Paulo Hotel

    ©Cris Molina/Renaissance Sao Paulo

    The Look of Renaissance Sao Paulo Hotel

    Renaissance Sao Paulo Hotel communicates style and prestige.

    The urban environment of Sao Paulo is generally unattractive: jarringly commercial and a hodgepodge of aesthetics. But Renaissance Sao Paulo feels like an oasis of visual order and stylistic harmony. The hotel was refurbished from 2010 through 2012 in a fashionable, contemporary design.

    The hotel's public spaces are expansive and high-ceilinged, and its rooms uncluttered and serene.

    Its appealing lobby features varieties of colored granite and marble, Brazilian hardwoods, tropical plants, and stainless steel staircases. Striking lighting effects lend nighttime drama. The alabaster stone that composes the lobby bar is illuminated from within, casting a golden glow on handsome Brazilians' faces as they sip their caipirinhas.

    The lobby offers seating areas with free wifi, a welcoming touch. Privacy can be found behind the curving bank of elevators in the "Individual Zone." This quieter space is cozily low-ceilinged, with Eames chairs arranged on a textured wood floor. A bank of flatscreen TVs show news and sports. Here, guests read magazines, tap on laptops, or conduct quiet business meetings. An in-tune Kawai grand piano is available for playing – presumably after business hours.

    Renaissance Sao Paulo Hotel has numerous meeting and event spaces, and is typically busy with conferences. Business and leisure travelers alike make use of the in-house currency exchange office and American Airlines ticket bureau.

    See what Renaissance Sao Paulo's guest rooms & suites are like >>

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  • 03 of 08

    Guest Rooms & Suites at Renaissance Sao Paulo Hotel

    ©Fabio Bustamante/Renaissance Sao Paulo

    Accommodations at Renaissance Sao Paulo Hotel

    Renaissance Sao Paulo's 343 guest accommodations range from standard rooms to the sprawling Presidential Suite. Every room and suite was renovated in 2012.

    Rooms are comfortable and sensibly laid out. They are attractively done in soothing natural tones, with contemporary furniture of Brazilian hardwood. Floors are polished stone accented with area rugs. All rooms and suites feature:

    • A cushy king bed (or two doubles) with fine white sheets and duvets, plus five pillows
    • An exceptionally restful mattress
    • A stone surface desk with a Herman Miller-style metal-and-leather adjustable chair
    • A built-in hanging closet with drawers and laptop-suitable safe
    • An iron and ironing board (not normally found in Brazilian hotels
    • Excellent bedside lighting for reading at night
    • Flat-screen TVs with a full range of channels, many in English
    • Blackout curtains to darken the room at night
    • Minibar
    • Robes and slippers in some room categories
    • Electrical adapters for the benefit of North Americans

    The bathroom includes:

    • A huge bathtub
    • A separate shower of stone and glass
    • A granite sink counter with plenty of room for toiletries
    • A freestanding makeup or shaving mirror
    • Premium Roca toilet and fixtures, plus a bidet
    • High-style faucets and hardware
    • A patterned granite floor

    Rooms provide but charge for:

    • Bottled water
    • Wifi

    Executive Club Floor at Renaissance Sao Paulo Hotel

    Renaissance Sao Paulo's 23rd-floor Club Level delivers the expected perks of club floors:

    • Complimentary coffee, beverages, and finger food throughout the day
    • An evening cocktail hour with wine, beer, and salgadinhos (Brazilian tapas)
    • Plush lounge seating
    • TVs, books, magazines
    • Spectacular views in all four directions
    • Concierge service
    • A business center with four PCs and a good printer (Internet connection was slow, however)
    • A lounge with upholstered chairs and sofas
    • Complimentary coffee, beverages. and finger food throughout the day
    • A cocktail hour in the evening with wine, beer, and salgadinhos (Brazilian tapas)
    • Private offices for business meetings

    Will you be pleased by the service at Renaissance Sao Paulo Hotel >>

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  • 04 of 08

    Service at Renaissance Sao Paulo Hotel

    ©Cris Molina/Renaissance Sao Paulo

    Standout Service at Renaissance Sao Paulo Hotel

    Service is what really stands out at Renaissance Sao Paulo, from checkin onward. Staffers are fully conversant in English. In my opinion, Renaissance Sao Paulo meets this site's criteria for five-star hotel service.

    The hotel's reception desk is manned by eager-to-please young people. They ease guests into their hotel with offers of a cafezinho, water, or juice.

    Guests notice employees' extra efforts. "I have never stayed in a hotel as nice as this," Antonio Cancino told me. An IT expert based in Santiago, Chile, Cancino visits Sao Paolo regularly for work, and stays at Renaissance Sao Paulo.

    "I go to the breakfast room and they know I order eggs Benedict," he told me. "They leave a bottle of water in my room and they know I like it bubbly. I check in and they say, 'Hello, Senhor Cancino.' I go, 'How do you remember my name?'"

    A server at the lobby bar spoke up to answer the question. "We have a lot of training," she said. "We notice what guests like." She added, "This hotel is a very good place to work."

    I had a similar experience to Cancino's. When I checked in, staffer Nina welcomed me with a big smile. Luigi, the bellboy, promptly brought my luggage to my room. After that, for the five days of my stay, both Nina and Luigi recognized me and greeted me by name. My server in the breakfast room, Vinicius, likewise remembered me and what I had ordered the day before.

    Minor glitches are resolved quickly and satisfactorily. One night during my stay, the alarm clock went off in the empty room next door. A staffer turned off the alarm within five minutes of my phone call.

    When it was my turn for a wakeup call, it came, and right on time.

    What can guests expect from Renaissance Sao Paulo's restaurants? >>

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  • 05 of 08

    Dining at Renaissance Sao Paulo Hotel

    ©Sergio Kovacevick/Renaissance Sao Paulo

    The restaurants at Renaissance Sao Paulo Hotel are not a compromise for guests. They are excellent by any dining standard.

    A sushi restaurant and bar, Living Lounge Bar & Sushi, adjoins the lobby. The chef, Paulo Uehara, is Japanese-Brazilian, and trained in Tokyo. On my lunchtime visit, he prepared a chef's tasting menu of sushi and cooked dishes. The food was delicious and beautifully presented.

    The hotel's high-end international restaurant, Terraço Jardins, serves contemporary cuisine. I dined heartily on filet mignon in red wine sauce, and flank steak with pureed potatoes for my guest. The menu offers numerous vegetarian options as well, unusual in meat-happy Brazil.

    Wine can be ordered by the bottle or in three smaller pours, served in a decanter.

    Havana Club is a bar and lounge with a full cocktail and wine list that specializes in rums and rum-based cocktails like mojitos and a daiquiris. A complete dinner menu offers many tasting and sharing plates.

    Bytes Café, alongside the hotel's spa, serves healthy dishes like wraps and Brazilian fresh-fruit shakes called sucos.

    Breakfast is served at Terraço Jardins. Its buffet offers Brazilian dishes like chicken croquettes, pão de queijo cheese buns, and açai-yogurt smoothies. North American dishes on the a la carte menu include classic eggs Benedict.

    See what Renaissance Sao Paulo Hotel rooms & suites are like>>

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  • 06 of 08

    Spa & Fitness at Renaissance Sao Paulo Hotel

    ©Cris Molina/Renaissance Sao Paulo

    Spa at Renaissance Sao Paulo Hotel

    The Spa at Renaissance is luxuriously appointed, with an airy, indoor-outdoor layout. The spa offers a full range of services for women, men, and couples, including:

    • Several styles of facials
    • Body treatments (Seaweed hydration, Renaissance Hamman, Silk body wrap, etc.)
    • Rituals (treatments over 3 hours)
    • Indian therapies (Abhyanga, Ayurvedic Shirodara)
    • Japanese baths
    • Hydrotherapy pools, hot tubs, steam room
    • Fitness and yoga classes and on-on-one training
    • Posh locker rooms

    Fitness Center at Renaissance Sao Paulo Hotel

    The staffed fitness center is used by locals as well as Renaissance Sao Paulo Hotel guests. It features:

    • 23 LifeFitness cardio machines with individual TV monitors (treadmill, elliptical, Stairmaster, rowing, etc.)
    • 24 Cybex circuit-training machines
    • A stretching area with mats, etc.
    • A free-weight zone for serious lifters
    • Complimentary towels and bottled water
    • Bytes juice bar and café
    • Trainers by appointment
    • An outdoor pool suitable for splashing, but not lap-swimming

    Will you, personally, like staying at Renaissance Sao Paulo Hotel? Take the quiz >>

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  • 07 of 08

    Will You Like Renaissance Sao Paulo Hotel?

    ©Renaissance Sao Paulo

    Are you the Kind of Traveler Who Stays at Renaissance Sao Paulo Hotel?

    Renaissance Sao Paulo's repeat guests have these desires in common. They:

    • Are either leisure travelers or business-tripping executives who want to stay in the heart of Sao Paulo's central business district
    • Dislike feeling lost in a massive hotel, but appreciate the buzz and activity of a medium-sized property (this is 343 rooms)
    • Don't want to chance an unknown hotel brand, and know what to expect from Renaissance
    • Value Marriott Hotels' commitment to hospitality service
    • Will make use of good restaurants and a full-service spa on-property
    • Will like the hotel's clean, modern design and Brazilian flair

    Renaissance Sao Paulo may not be your ideal Sao Paulo hotel if you:

    • Are looking for an independent, one-of-a-kind hotel, not a branded luxury hotel
    • Would prefer to stay in a flavorful residential neighborhood, not the business district
    • Prefer vintage, traditional, grand hotel style to a sleek, modern look
    • Or are looking for a small, intimate boutique hotel
    • Or you want a hotel that delivers over-the-top, five-star-hotel luxury, with private butlers, plunge pools, and the like
    • Are traveling with kids, and need a hotel with programs for them

    Connect with Renaissance Sao Paulo Hotel >>

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  • 08 of 08

    Renaissance Sao Paulo Hotel Info & Contacts

    ©Cris Molina/Renaissance Sao Paulo.

    Where to Learn More about Renaissance Sao Paulo Hotel & Start Planning a Visit

    • Renaissance Sao Paulo's website
    •  Oon Facebook
    • Renaissance Sao Paulo reservations by phone from North America: 888.236.2427
    • Renaissance Sao Paulo Hotel
      Alameda Santos, 2233
      Sao Paulo, Brazil 01419-002

    As is common in the travel industry, the Guest Author was provided with a complimentary stay for the purpose of describing the hotel. Whie this arrangement did not influence his article, About.com believes in editorial transparency. For more info, see our site's Ethics Policy.