Hotel Unique

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 17 February, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 17 February, 2004, 12:00am

Where? In Sao Paulo's fashionable Jardins area, close to the business district, the impressionist-stuffed Museum of Modern Art, and upscale shopping (think glinty emeralds from Brazilian jewellers H. Stern).

Does it live up to its name? Absolutely. Designed by architect Ruy Ohtake, the 95-apartment hotel looms over the city like an abstract Noah's Ark, complete with porthole windows, funky furniture and modern artworks.

Dramatic, then? On arrival, cars ascend a large circular driveway before reaching sleek side doors, where hulking doormen escort guests to a light-filled atrium for a welcoming glass of bubbly.

Any famous quaffers? Athina Onassis, Snoop Dogg and Coldplay rock singer Chris Martin have all stayed since the hotel opened in 2002.

What are the rooms like? Located on six floors, and linked by curvy black corridors, the white-on-white guest quarters have leafy views, wooden floors, plasma TVs and remote-control drapes. The turn-down service includes freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, and each of the 12 suites has a see-through tub and living room shaped like a ski-jump.

Are the public spaces similarly swish? Actually, the look is more rock'n'roll, thanks to the owner's passion for popular music. The lobby bar is called The Wall, in homage to Pink Floyd (there's also a huge wall that holds hundreds of different bottles of spirits), and the all-glass penthouse restaurant has been named Skye after Morcheeba vocalist Skye Edwards.

Presumably, barbecued beef is a menu staple? Nope. Eurasian fare is the order of the day here. Breakfast is a healthy yoghurt and fruit ensemble, and dinner is a flighty mix of French cuisine, sushi and pizzas cooked in a wood-fired oven.

Anything else we should know? The roof-top terrace, complete with red-tiled swimming pool, is the best place to sip the house cocktail (a lethal combo of Blavod black vodka and Limoncello liqueur), soak up the views and hob-nob with the city's beautiful Paolistas.

Rooms from 825-6,500 reais (HK$2,186-$17,225). Avenida Brigadeiro Luis Antonio, 4700 Jardim Paulista, Sao Paulo, CEP 01402-002, Brazil, tel: [55] 11 3055 4710;


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