Hotel Unique and the Sky Bar

Sao Paulo Travel Blog

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So after a day of work, we freshened up and decided to head out to the Hotel Unique and its phenomenal "Sky Bar". Friends of mine have said that you've got to visit this place while in Sao Paulo, so I was certainly up to it. The taxi ride from our hotel in the Morumbi neighborhood took about 30 minutes through some traffic, but the hotel was absolutely worth it. The architecture is very modern, lots of curves and windows and lighting effects that are very interesting. The elevator takes you up about 7 floors to the rooftop restaurant, which had great fare including seafood and these lambchops that were just unreal. Having a great dinner on the roof with some friendly colleagues and a bucket of Bohemia beer was great.

After finishing eating, we grabbed a couple more beers and headed outside. The roof is full of places to sit, a pool, and is surrounded by a glass wall which shows the stunning Sao Paulo skyline. You can pretty much walk in a 360 degree circle and continue to see monstrous office buildings. The occasional jet would fly over into the domestic Sao Paulo airport, Congonhas.

We took several pictures to try to capture the view, and relaxed in the nice breeze, which took the edge and the heat off of the humidity in Sao Paulo. Quite a night.

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Very excited about my first trip to South America, but also a little anxious. The media tends to make a big deal of flying in Brazil, and I was a little worried about coming into Sao Paulo. So, after about 9.5 hours flying through the night from Houston, we came out of some light cloud cover and were met with the sight of miles and miles of rolling hills on the furthest outskirts of Sao Paulo. Several enormous land tracts for the super rich can be seen from the air, with Spanish-style roofing and huge aquamarine swimming pools. Sao Paulo is actually quite high, it's on a vista at an altitude of about 2500 feet that slopes sharply down to the beach in Santos, about 40 miles away to the southeast.

Shortly after blazing through customs, I met our driver and we began the drive into the city. After several miles of fairly smooth freeway coming from Guarulhos, we crested a hill and the size of the city really hit me. With ~ 21 million people here, the downtown area dwarfs that of even New York City and you feel like it is just all around you. Traffic is intense, and we used side roads to go in and around it. The drivers care little for pretty much any kind of road markings, lanes are largely ignored, and motorcyclists and "Moto-boyz" zip in and out of traffic, between cars, etc… The 30 km drive took nearly 1.5 hours to reach the hotel, and this was clearly not even big-time rush hour traffic - it was after 10am when we began the trip! I was able to stop off at my hotel, the Blue Tree Towers Morumbi, located directly across from the sales office of my company's Brazilian business.

The atmosphere feels somewhat like the Caribbean places I've been before. The sunshine is very bright, the skies were blue with just a few wisps of clouds, and the heat and humidity are similar to that which we experience in late September (for Brazil, this is early Fall). Many buildings are brightly colored, to the point of garishness at times. The skyline is immense. The people are very warm, and genuinely seem to be interested in what you are doing here, right off the bat. They are nearly all very tanned, youthful and energetic even for the older ones we've seen. The women are incredibly beautiful, but they pull it off with a natural look and little of the arrogance that seems to infect women from pretty much everywhere else I've ever been.

I can dig this place, I'm thinking.

355 km (221 miles) traveled
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Sao Paulo
photo by: joesu