American Airlines 777-300ER Business Class New York to Sao Paulo
Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo
American Express Centurion Lounge Sao Paulo
GOL Smiles Lounge Sao Paulo
American Airlines Admirals Club Sao Paulo
Delta 767 BusinessElite Sao Paulo to Detroit
Delta 767 BusinessElite Detroit to Sao Paulo
Hotel Caesar Park Sao Paulo Airport
American Airlines 777-300ER Business Class Sao Paulo to New York
We had arranged a hotel car to take us from the airport to the hotel just to be on the safe side. It was my first time in Brazil and for my mother’s peace of mind I figured that made the most sense, given how many rumors there are about Sao Paulo being unsafe. From looking at a map online it looked like the airport was only about 25 miles from the hotel, so I nearly crapped myself when the driver told us it would take about 2.5 hours with the traffic conditions.
I wasn’t mentally prepared for that long of a drive, and after about an hour nearly jumped out and wanted to walk the rest of the way. On second thought, that would have probably been faster.
I can’t even begin to describe how happy I was to arrive at the hotel, and it really is a gorgeous property. The Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo is a Category 3 Gold Passport property, making it just 12,000 points per night. Given that revenue rates were over $400USD per night, that was an absolute bargain.
The lobby of the hotel feels “grand,” with super high ceilings and a bright interior. There was no queue at check-in, and we were both efficiently issued our room keys and escorted to our King Club rooms. We received that upgrade on account of our Gold Passport Diamond status, and were also reminded we’d receive complimentary internet. Lastly, we were given the choice between a welcome amenity and 1,000 Gold Passport points; naturally I chose the latter.
The bellman insisted on helping us with our bags, and familiarized us with the hotel on the elevator ride up.
I was assigned room 1905, a King Club room on the 19th floor (one floor below the Grand Club).
The room was beautifully decorated and furnished. There was a wide entryway that led into the bedroom. Immediately to the left of the entrance was also a door to the bathroom, which could be accessed from either side of the room.
The room wasn’t huge though perfectly sufficient, and featured a king bed and two nightstands. It faced a flat screen TV, a desk, and a bit of an oddly placed chair and ottoman.
Sliding doors led to the bathroom, which was probably a third the size of the rest of the room.
The bathroom was well designed and spacious, and featured a sink, walk-in shower, soaking tub, and toilet.
The toiletries were hotel branded and fairly high quality, I thought.
Back near the entrance of the room was the minibar and coffee machine.
The room boasted nice views of the surrounding area, including of the Octavio Frias de Oliveira Bridge (that’s a mouthful!).
The room was lovely and spacious, and the wifi speed was fairly good as well, which I never take for granted at international properties.
In terms of the hotel’s other facilities, they have quite a nice spa with a gym and both indoor and outdoor pools.
The gym was well equipped and featured separate cardio and weights rooms. For what it’s worth a major European and major Middle Eastern airline put up their crews here, and as an aviation geek I was just mildly giddy when the two pilots for the Middle Eastern airline got on the treadmills next to me and “talked shop” about the flight. For what it’s worth I only knew these two airlines put up their crews here because next to the gym is a “crew lounge” with the logos from both airlines.
Like I said, the spa also had an indoor lap pool, which was fairly nice.
Then there was an outdoor lap pool, though the weather wasn’t especially nice while I was there, so I didn’t see anyone using it.
The Grand Club is located on the 20th floor, and physically was a great space with similar views to what I had from my room.
The Grand Club has soft drinks available all day, as well as a small selection of snacks.
Complimentary alcohol was available in the evening, in addition to a fairly modest food spread. There were lots of small things to nibble on, though nothing really substantial as you may find in an Asian or European club lounge, for example.
Breakfast was served in the Grand Club in the morning, and while everything they served was good, the spread was definitely on the “continental” side. There was a single hot dish. I’m not much of a breakfast person, so a continental spread works great for me.
Service throughout the hotel was very good for the most part. The employees I interacted with were all friendly and eager to help. My one disappointment was that in the club lounge we asked for a recommendation for a good Brazilian steakhouse, and they recommended Fogo de Chao, a chain restaurant that’s even available all over the US. So we did our own research online instead, and ended up deciding on Jardineira Grill, which was two miles from the hotel. Traffic was literally bumper-to-bumper, so we decided to walk.
As we left we asked the bellman how long it would take to walk there. He looked at us with pure horror and said “you’re going to walk there?!” We said “yes, is that a bad idea?” He said “the hotel doesn’t recommend walking outside.” We asked how long it would take in a taxi. He guessed 45 minutes. Meanwhile he said it would probably take 30 minutes to walk, if we decided to do that. We did decide to walk, and I can’t say I really felt uncomfortable walking (for the most part). I’ve been to a lot of places considered “unsafe,” though this is the first time I’ve literally been told that it’s not recommended to walk outside.
Anyway, the steakhouse was detrimentally spectacular. There was a buffet with all the non-meat items, and then they keep coming around with meat till you tell them to stop. Mmmm…
The next evening we drove back to the airport, though since it was a Saturday traffic was much better than on the outbound, and the drive only took 40 minutes.
On the whole I was really pleased with the Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo and would return in a heartbeat. For being such a huge market Sao Paulo really lacks options among chain hotels, in my opinion, so I’m happy Hyatt has a presence here and that it’s such a good value on points.