My wife and I stayed at the Estanplaza International in Santo Amaro (Sao Paulo) for four days in December 2011. We arrived on a cruise from Portugal via the port city of Santos about 100 km from Sao Paulo and made our way to the hotel in a rental car. This proved to be a traumatic drive as we got lost in the endless Sao Paulo burbs and had to eventually use a local taxi as a pilot to get us to the hotel (our cell based GPS had no Brazilian map)!!
Out first impression was that the area that the hotel was in was pretty seedy and that didn't change while we were there. There are some quite nice residential areas in Santo Amaro (which we discovered in the car by getting lost again!) just a half dozen blocks from the hotel however the area around the hotel's Rue Fernandes Moreira is a melange of large office complexes and lower class residential. Most of the local dining is pitched at lunchtime office workers and closes in the evening. The much vaunted Morumbi Shopping Mall is nearby but for us it was just another big, soulless complex with a half acre food court....
The hotel itself was comfortable enough, free valet parking in the basement and free wifi in the rooms were both appreciated. The room was quite spacious with a comfortable king bed and a separate sitting area with a lounge and a flat screen (cable) TV in a dividing partition that could be rotated to face the bedroom. The maid service worked unobtrusively and effectively and kept the room and bathroom presentable although the bathroom showed some wear and tear and there was mildew evident in the shower.
There were lots of business people staying in the hotel, mostly Brazilian but a few Europeans and Americans, so the place was fairly quiet except for one evening when there was some sort of function in the common area off the lobby and very loud Latin music until about midnight... Our tariff included breakfast in the restaurant and that was very, well, Brazilian! Highlights were probably the cooked to order omelettes and the abundant fresh fruit. However, we're tea drinkers and the Brazilians have no idea with tea and we didn't get a decent cuppa during our entire stay. There was on the other hand excellent diy coffee and complimentary bottled water in the lobby which we frequently availed ourselves of...
The staff, particularly the front desk clerks who spoke some English, were pleasant and helpful enough and took time out to practice their English with us.
A final word about getting around in Sao Paulo and Brazil generally. You will doubtless be warned as we were that if you plan to drive in Brazil that the roads are dangerous and the drivers manic. This just isn't true. However there are three things you need to be aware of: 1. Brazilians drive aggressively on their crowded roads but if you push back you'll get by 2. motor cycles drive the 'Honda Highway', the space on the dividing line BETWEEN traffic lanes and you MUST look out particularly when changing lanes as the there may be a biker coming through on your door handles at 30 kph ABOVE your speed! 3. the roads are chaotically laid out and extremly crowded and the general populace speaks little English, so don't attempt to drive in Brazil without a good quality voice guided GPS (like Gamin)!!!!
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- Also Known As:
- Estanplaza International Hotel Sao Paulo
- Estanplaza International Sao Paulo, Brazil