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January 18, 2022updated Jan 19, 2022

An Art Lover’s Dream: Inside Rosewood São Paulo

The property is the ultra-luxury hotel brand’s first outpost in South America.

By Irenie Forshaw

In 1993, the Matarazzo maternity hospital closed its doors. For almost two decades, the sprawling compound would lie empty, falling into ever-greater disrepair. But when French entrepreneur and real estate developer, Alexandre Allard, discovered the abandoned site back in 2011, he had a vision. Now, the former hospital, together with a striking tower designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel, has opened as Rosewood São Paulo.

Situated in the heart of the city, close to the bustling Avenida Paulista (São Paulo’s answer to New York’s Fifth Avenue) the hotel sits within the enclave of Cidade Matarazzo – a complex of meticulously preserved heritage buildings that have been transformed into boutique stores, private residences and gourmet restaurants.

As is the case with its entire portfolio of properties, the interior design at Rosewood’s latest iteration reflects its location. From the moment you step foot inside the lobby it’s difficult to imagine you are anywhere but São Paulo – at every turn you’ll find specially commissioned paintings and sculptures from local artists inspired by Brazil’s rich history and culture. In the words of Rosewood São Paulo’s managing director, Edouard Grosmangin, the resulting property is “a true love letter to the city, the nation and its people.”

Over a decade in the making, the ultra-luxury hotel brand’s very first outpost in South America was certainly worth the wait. Here, Elite Traveler takes a look inside.

[See also: Earth Day: The Luxury Hotels and Resorts Going Green]


Inside the Matarazzo Suite at Rosewood Sao Paulo

The suites are decorated with contemporary art, bespoke furnishings and plenty of natural wood / ©Rosewood Hotels & Resorts

Inside the marble bathroom of the Matarazzo Suite

The floor-to-ceiling marble bathroom in the Matarazzo Suite / ©Rosewood Hotels & Resorts

The brand new hotel has 160 guest rooms and suites, spread across the former hospital and modern tower. Artistic director, Philippe Starck, has created elegant interiors that seamlessly blend contemporary and traditional design details. In keeping with the rest of the hotel, the accommodations are decorated with contemporary artworks, bespoke furnishings and plenty of natural wood reminiscent of Brazil’s lush forests. Of course, you can expect all of the trappings of luxury that come with staying in a Rosewood hotel, from the sumptuous Italian linens to the 24-hour in-room dining and concierge service.

However, the most exclusive abode at Rosewood São Paulo is the Matarazzo Suite. Boasting a private balcony and dramatic floor-to-ceiling marble bathroom complete with a walk-in rain shower and deep soaking free-standing tub, no expense is spared. Every last detail has been thoughtfully chosen, right down to the specially curated collection of vinyl records and precious objets d’art in the spacious living room. And while the suite only has one bedroom, if you’re planning on visiting with a larger group, you can choose to connect with a classic or grand premier king room.


Inside the Rabo di Galo bar at Rosewood Sao Paulo

Rabo di Galo is the perfect spot for sipping a cocktail and catching some live music in the evening / ©Rosewood Hotels & Resorts

When it comes to dining at Rosewood São Paulo, you’re spoilt for choice. The lavish new hotel has not one but six unique restaurants and bars. Guests can enjoy a casual bite to eat any time day or night at Le Jardin in the property’s cozy lobby. Over in the former maternity hospital, Blaise (named after the French-Swiss novelist Blaise Cendrars) serves a relaxed brasserie-style menu fusing French and Brazilian culinary delights.

For a more rustic dining affair, head to Taraz. Surrounded by a grove of centenary olive trees, the restaurant has been decorated with traditional furnishings and artworks. Helmed by Felipe Bronze, the talented chef behind the two-Michelin-starred Oro in Rio de Janeiro, the menu has been designed to showcase mouthwatering Brazilian dishes prepared using a traditional wood fire stove.

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As for drinks, Rabo di Galo is the perfect spot for sipping a cocktail and catching some live music in the evening. The intimate bar is inspired by jazz clubs from the 1930s: think dark wood paneling, comfy leather chairs and low-level mood lighting. Perhaps most impressive is the mesmerizing patterned ceiling, hand-drawn by artist Rodrigo de Azevedo Saad.

[See also: The Most Sustainable Suites in Elite Traveler’s Top 100]


The living area in the Matarazzo Suite

The stylish living area in the Matarazzo Suite / ©Rosewood Hotels & Resorts

After a long day exploring the city, there are plenty of places to relax at Rosewood São Paulo. For sweeping views of the skyline, guests can visit the adults-only Belavista pool and bar. This beautiful rooftop space has been designed using wood from Tora Brasil which is certified by Brazil’s forest stewardship council. And if you’re traveling with kids, the family-friendly Emerald Garden pool is the ideal setting for whiling away an afternoon (you can also enjoy a laid-back meal at the restaurant).

Later this year, Rosewood’s Asaya integrative wellbeing concept is set to open, offering personally tailored programs that draw on alternative therapies, lifestyle and nutrition coaching and specialized treatments to help guests reset their health and wellness.


Exterior shot of Rosewood Sao Paulo new tower

Trees from the rainforest will be planted through the latticed corten steel façade of the new tower / ©Rosewood Hotels & Resorts

Eco-conscious travelers will be pleased to hear that the entire Cidade Matarazzo development was constructed from locally sourced and upcycled materials. Going one step further, Rosewood Hotels has also committed to ensuring its new property uses 100% renewable energy within a year, with on-site solar panels currently being installed.

Eager to lead the way as one of Brazil’s greenest developments, the property has put in place a biodiversity program, which includes planting trees and flowers from the Mata Atlantica rainforest through the latticed corten steel façade of the new tower, bringing much-needed greenery to São Paulo’s concrete jungle.

[See also: The Most Luxurious Eco-Friendly Hotels]

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