Review: Marriott Sao Paulo Airport

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Introduction
Booking Korean Air SkyPass Awards Online
Korean Air Check-In Los Angeles Airport
Korean Air First Class 777-300ER Los Angeles to Sao Paulo
Marriott Sao Paulo Airport
TAM First Class Lounge Sao Paulo Airport
TAM First Class 777-300ER Sao Paulo to New York
Hyatt Union Square New York
Hyatt Times Square New York
British Airways New York JFK First Lounge & Pre-Flight Dining
Cathay Pacific First Class 777-300ER New York to Vancouver
Fairmont Waterfront Vancouver


I was through immigration by about 10:40AM and headed towards the curbside where the shuttles depart from. The Marriott Sao Paulo Airport shuttle was pulling out just as I arrived, though I managed to flag it down.

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Sao Paulo Airport shuttle center

The ride to the hotel took about 10 minutes. It’s basically immediately across the highway from the Hotel Caesar Park Sao Paulo Airport, which I stayed at several times during my last “crazy” Brazil trip.

The hotel looks really run down from the outside, but is gorgeous from the inside. The contrast is almost bizarre.

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Marriott Sao Paulo Airport exterior

Once inside the lobby, check-in was located to the left, and I was quickly helped by an associate that managed to check me in even though it was four hours before check-in time.

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Marriott Sao Paulo Airport lobby

As I was checking in an American crew was checking out, and they seemed to be BFFs with everyone working at the hotel, because just about every crew member exchanged kisses with just about everyone working there. Ultimately I was pleasantly surprised to see that, since it’s the first time I’ve seen a smile from an American crew working a Sao Paulo flight. 😉

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Marriott Sao Paulo Airport lobby

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Marriott Sao Paulo Airport lobby

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Marriott Sao Paulo Airport lobby

I had booked an executive room, which was about $40 more than a standard room (~$200USD). I’m totally not a Marriott person, so this was my first time staying at a major chain hotel without any status. I figured it was worth the $40 extra to be able to review the club lounge, and I was also assuming (hoping?) that wifi would be free for club guests.

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Marriott Sao Paulo Airport hotel information

Anyway, I was assigned room 933, which was located at the far end of the hallway of the ninth floor.

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Marriott Sao Paulo Airport hallway

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Marriott Sao Paulo Airport room entrance

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Marriott Sao Paulo Airport floorplan

The room itself felt modern, fresh, and spacious.

There was an entryway, and to the left was the minibar and a closet, and to the right was the bathroom.

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Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Executive Room entrance

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Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Executive Room minibar

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Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Executive Room minibar

The room featured a king size bed, desk, and flat screen TV.

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Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Executive Room

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Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Executive Room

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Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Executive Room TV

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Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Executive Room chair

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Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Executive Room desk

In terms of the views, they weren’t of the highway or airport, but rather just the surrounding, somewhat rundown area.

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Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Executive Room view

Back near the entrance was the bathroom, which consisted of a sink, shower/tub combo, toilet, and bidet.

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Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Executive Room bathroom

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Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Executive Room bathroom

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Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Executive Room toilet and bidet

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Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Executive Room shower

The water pressure and temperature control were excellent, the towels were in good condition, and the toiletries were Acqua Lounge branded, which I had never heard of. Despite the bizarre floral pattern on the bottles, they were actually great.

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Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Executive Room toiletries

As it turns out wifi wasn’t free for executive floor guests, but rather just free in the lobby. That being said, wifi was ~$15USD for multiple devices and legitimately high speed, so I didn’t mind that too much.

The hotel’s club lounge was also located on the ninth floor just as you walk out of the elevators.

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Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Executive Lounge

The lounge was open from 6AM till midnight, and had snacks all day.

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Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Executive Lounge

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Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Executive Lounge

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Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Executive Lounge

During the day there were soft drinks, coffee, and some packaged snacks. While the coffee machine didn’t have cappuccino, it did have hot water and then they had instant cappuccino mix. I’ve never had it before, but my gosh, it’s addicting. As I’m about to move into hotels full time I actually really want to get my hands on some, so I can make cappuccinos on demand any hour of the day.

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Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Executive Lounge coffee machine

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Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Executive Lounge daytime drinks

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Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Executive Lounge daytime snacks

The club lounge had an evening service from 5:30PM till 10PM – kudos to them for making it available for 4.5 hours!

The spread was good, with self serve beer, wine, booze, and soft drinks.

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Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Executive Lounge evening spread

Then the buffet was fairly good as well. Certainly not normally a dinner substitute, but I was still full from my flight.

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Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Executive Lounge evening menu

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Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Executive Lounge evening spread

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Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Executive Lounge evening spread

Then in the morning the club lounge served breakfast from 6AM till 11AM. Again, kudos for making the breakfast window so long.

The breakfast spread consisted of fruit, cheese, meat, scrambled eggs, sausage, some sort of frittata thing, etc.

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Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Executive Lounge breakfast spread

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Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Executive Lounge breakfast spread

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Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Executive Lounge breakfast spread

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Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Executive Lounge breakfast spread

In terms of the hotel’s other facilities, on the ground level there was an outdoor pool area. It wasn’t a very nice day and the pool area didn’t look that nice, so I didn’t use it.

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Marriott Sao Paulo Airport pool

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Marriott Sao Paulo Airport pool

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Marriott Sao Paulo Airport pool

There was also an extensive gym, though it was only open from 7AM till 9PM. Non-24/7 gyms drive me nuts, especially at airport hotels. I didn’t realize it wasn’t 24/7 so only went at 8PM, and got kicked out halfway through my workout. Boo!

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Marriott Sao Paulo Airport gym

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Marriott Sao Paulo Airport gym

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Marriott Sao Paulo Airport gym

In the morning I took the shuttle back to the airport. It ran every 20 minutes from 6AM till midnight, and I took the 6:40AM shuttle.

Anyway, on the whole I was really impressed by this hotel. I do think it’s a step up in terms of quality from the Hotel Caesar Park Sao Paulo Airport located across the street. And really there aren’t many other options for airport hotels. If I were in transit I’d definitely return.

How you can redeem points for the Marriott Sao Paulo Airport

The Marriott Sao Paulo Airport is just a Category 3 Marriott Rewards property, making a free night redemption just 15,000 points per night.

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I value Marriott Rewards points at 0.8 cents each, meaning 15,000 points are worth ~$120USD to me. So I was kind of sad that I have zero Marriott Rewards points, since paid rates at this hotel are $200+ per night. By comparison redeeming points would have been a great value, which is why I should have signed up for the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card.

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Alternatively Chase Ultimate Rewards points (accrued with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Ink Plus® Business Card, and Ink Bold® Business Card) are also transferable to Marriott Rewards, though I don’t find Marriott to be one of the better conversion values. I value Ultimate Rewards points at 1.5+ cents each, so would much rather transfer them 1:1 to Hyatt Gold Passport or Korean Air SkyPass, which are both points currencies I value higher.

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Comments

  1. Why I love this credit card even though it does not give me a good conversion value from points to miles:
    1. You receive 15 qualifying nights which automatically qualifies you to have silver elite status. This means priority late check-out for you, well of course subject to availability.
    2. Having this card means you are closer to Gold Elite status every year. When you do, you get to enjoy room upgrades upon check-in whenever available. They also give you guaranteed executive lounge access, breakfast for you and your guest, and free premium tiered internet- regardless of your room type.
    3. Marriott and United partnership- Rewards Plus. When you reach to gold elite status, you get complimentary United MileagePlus Premier Silver status. This is great if you don’t fly a lot using revenue tickets with United or you don’t fly first/business, or don’t have Chase explorer, Chase Mileage Plus or Chase Presidential Plus credit cards. You still get to enjoy Premier Access benefits (priority security, priority boarding etc). With this partnership you also receive 20% discount in converting points to miles just in case you are so IN NEED of mileage plus miles. I believe this is still cheaper compared to buying miles from United.
    3. Free night every year (category 1-5 hotels), as mentioned above.
    4. It’s relatively cheap $85 annual fee for all these perks!
    By the way, you also get to use these benefits to other Marriott hotels (e.g Courtyard, Residence Inn, Executive Town Suites, Fairfield Inn, The Carlton collection etc). A lot of these hotel products in the United States have been renovated . Globally, they feel more luxurious compared to the ones here in US.

  2. I cannot believe you spent the entire day at the airport hotel. 🙁
    Next time you should take a taxi to the city and have lunch at one of the amazing restaurants that Sao Paulo has to offer. The city has nothing special in terms of sightseeing but Sao Paulo is known for top restaurants and one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world.

  3. Where’d that guy who always writes “nice toilet” go? I want to know his views on bidets.

  4. For Canadians the Chase Marriott Visa is really one of the best options available since it is the only proper rewards card that doesn’t charge a Foreign Exchange fee.
    As for the Marriott property, this review is exactly what I am expecting. If you stay more in Marriotts (you know, once you move into hotels full time) your reviews could practically write themselves because I find Marriotts are always much much more consistent in their offerings than Starwood or Hilton properties and rarely disappoint. Although they don’t often blow your socks off either… (Except maybe the JW Marriott Mumbai whose service would give any top property a run for their money!)

  5. @Ben next Time, text me. I have more than 1.000.000 Points in Marriott and plenty of free night centificates (CAT 1-4) I’ll never use and waste every year.

  6. Pool area doesn’t look nice? Looks great to me. Yes a bit cloudy, but great for an airport hotel. And you paid $200? Boo. Agree with Santastico – why waste the whole day at an airport hotel? Go explore the city! At least for an interesting restaurant if you don’t have much time.

    I will assume hostels aren’t your thing, and they aren’t mine either at least the shared rooms.. Yuck. Though may allow you to meet some other people in your travel adventures. I too would consider myself a bit introverted. I traveled alone to Macau and to Hong Kong and met some great people – some you hang out and tour for the whole day, others just for a meal, perhaps others just to talk with and share ideas. I know it gave me some great stories to tell and made travel much more fun. You’ve mentioned traveling with or meeting some friends at the destination previously – keep it up.

  7. @ Santastico — I would have much rather gone into the city, trust me. But last time the drive took me 2.5 hours, and I had a ton of work to catch up on before my flight back home. I was in Florida the following week visiting my parents, and I wanted to be ahead as much as possible so I could maximize my time with them. And while I LOVE Brazilian food, I really wasn’t hungry after how much I ate on the plane. I do hope to return to Brazil for a long time soon.

  8. Unless it was a typo and you meant 70,000 instead of 50,000 points for signup bonus, why not get the 70,000 point signup version of the Marriott card?

  9. I stayed there a few years ago on a day rate for my world marathon tour. I only stayed there for the treadmill as I was only on the ground for a few hours and the weather was really bad. The check-in process took over an hour because of the number of guests checking in. Bad! Also, it looks like they redid the gym, which is a good thing because it was not that nice at all when I was there. Did you notice if they had A/C in there now?

  10. Nice post, surprised to see how nice that hotel looks inside and in the lounge, compared to the dull, gray exterior we see when passing by.

    Since you hold gold/platinum status with so many other hotel programs, I wondered why you didn’t try to contact Marriott Rewards in advance and request a status match or temporary status upgrade and challenge period. Have you tried this before? Had success doing it with other programs where you only visit one of their hotels?

    Also, I agree with the other Brazilian poster here. We understand your blog’s objective and there is a benefit to reviewing airport hotels. But we think your readers would benefit more from you getting the full experience of a city and its tourism options. Please visit Brazil again, stay downtown in whatever city you visit, and find an English-speaking tour guide via Tripadvisor to take you around and explain all the unique sights/foods. You also have loyal blog readers in many cities around the world who’d be happy to take you to lunch.

  11. Regarding how the Marriott looked from outside I have noticed that most Marriotts here in the US look the same. They all look terrible from the outside with this beige dirty color that makes me drive away from the place. However, I’ve been to some Marriotts that look terrible from the putside but I was also really impressed on how good they are inside. Not sure why Marriott don’t hire an architect/designer to freshen up their hotels outside.

  12. Welcome to Marriott. Don’t understand why the bloggers never stay at them. There is value to be had, and the consistency of the product is much better than other brands. Rates are usually lower than SPG or Hyatt.

  13. @ Elizabeth — I’ve always wondered the same! I either request scrambled eggs well done abroad, or just don’t eat them.

  14. Lucky – I actually stayed in this hotel for almost a month when I was in BZL for work… brings back memories

  15. @ Sven: I’m going to be in HKG in November, could you gift me
    Some of your 1.000.000 marriot points???? 😉

  16. For me, Marriotts are just a place to stay. Plain, simple, nothing really all that special. For me, the backup hotel chain to the backup hotel chain. Cheap, yes.

    But herein is my catch-22: fewer promotions than Hilton, so fewer opportunities to get bonus points, and double whammy since the price is lower, so you need more stays to get more points. That and since usually (in my experience at least) it’s much easier to find a cheap Marriott, it’s a better value to just pay money rather than redeem points…

    But with the recent deval, I’m axing the card, since while there are values to be found, the yearly certificate I find is much more restrictive than Hyatt’s yearly certificate (6 month expiry date vs 12 month expiry date) and doesn’t fit my stay patterns. That and Silver status with Marriott doesn’t get you much (no breakfast, internet, etc, just a few more points plus better check out/in). If Marriott is one’s only program, that’s fine, but with others out there, I’m not so sure (unless you were to max out several other hotel loyalty programs’ loyalty statuses). Doesn’t work out for me the best, so I’m dumping my Marriott points on my HK trip.

  17. Sadly Marriott says “You must be a Marriott Rewards Platinum Elite member or above to qualify for RewardsPlus” not just a Gold MR Member….too bad. MR CC still isn’t bad to have.

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