Sao Paulo, Brazil
Today was our last day together so clearly the focus was just spending time together. We contemplated heading into the centre of the city to see some historic sites but the post card test* didn’t turn up anything ‘must see’ and according to the information available, Sao Paulo is more notable for what it tore down rather than what it put up.
The concierge staff at our hotel were beyond useless in providing advice so we decided to head to the Faseno hotel, another offering by Philipe Starck, for a more pleasant experience, if only for a cup of coffee. It turns out that our hotel weren’t even capable of giving us correct directions, nor was the taxi driver we subsequently asked. Luckily the pharmacist almost knew where it was but ultimately, we found it ourselves. The minute we stepped through to opulently oversized doors into the warm wood and leather interior, we knew we should be staying there instead (if not for the $700/night price tag).
Having still not left the Jardins Paulista area and deciding to ditch Centro, we concluded we were still at risk of a technical ‘Bratislava’ given the sheer size of the city. We had to at least see one other area if we were to wax lyrical about Sao Paulo in the future. Accordingly we headed over to Vila Madelena with little to no real information about what we hoped to find there or how to find it beyond a vague description of it as an arty enclave. We must’ve gotten out at the wrong spot because there was no immediate evidence of that fact. We walked the streets until we saw an increasing number of hipsters in skinny jeans and graphic tees and knew we were getting warmer. Not longer after we found a street that would’ve been great at night when it was all open. Luckily a few places were so we settled in for a long and lazy lunch with a few beers and confusing buffet.
Back to our hotel to get all dolled up for one last hurrah and the next stop in our tour of hotels that are better than ours – this time, the Skye Bar at Hotel Unique. Far more modern and less stuffy than Faseno, we’d both identified this as the ideal hotel before the trip, again, if not for the $700/night price tag.
The bar was beautiful and beautifully appointed with panoramic views of the city (yep, we were seeing it all now!). We had a few cocktails and a final malbec for old times sake before calling it a night so Bec could prepare for her early morning departure. Although it’s imminent, I refuse to think about it before the moment it happens.
*the postcard test is a small test I’ve developed to help determine site-seeing priorities. Look at the stands of postcards available for your destination – that will give you a quick overview of the most note-worthy tourist attractions. In the case of Sao Paulo – the only cards available were arial views showing the density of the buildings and not even particularly attractive ones either. Please do not plan your trip using this method, it is only intended as a guide in situations of ill-preparedness.