Favorite Places: SPOT & Skye Bar in Sao Paulo, Brazil
For the second installment of our new TPG weekend series, "Favorite Places," I'm sharing a couple of hotspots in the huge, stylish city of São Paulo, Brazil. My recent trip there was inspired by amFAR's Inspiration Gala, but I also managed to squeeze in some local nightlife—a popular restaurant called SPOT, and the ultra-cool Skye Bar at the Hotel Unique.
Alameda Min. Rocha Azevedo, 72
Bela Vista, São Paulo 01410-000
+55 11 3283-0946
I loved the atmosphere at this hopping, um, spot, where the food is good and the people-watching is even better. Set in the hip Bela Vista neighborhood, this restaurant has been busy ever since it opened back in 1994.
Their salads and fish dishes are light and fresh, they make their own pastas, and you can tuck into a few Brazilian specialties, too—like feijoada, a rich, hearty beef stew served with rice. You might be able to sneak in early at lunch, but be sure to make reservations if you want to have dinner.
During my own recent dinner with friends, every table was full and the noise level was pretty high, but the scene felt fun rather than overwhelming. Everything about this bright, airy place invites you to see and be seen—the big circular bar in the center, the outdoor terrace, and huge windows encircling the whole restaurant. And though you might not know it, while you're here you're likely to be surrounded by Brazilian models, artists and celebrities.
In a fun twist, two of my fellow diners considered me a celebrity while I was here. Brazilian TPG readers/point maximizers extraordinaire Alexandre Zylberstajn and Maria Pia Garcia sent me a note on a napkin to ask me if they could buy me a drink, and I happily said yes. It was great to meet two of my readers in such a random, fun way—and it just goes to show that miles and points aren't just a U.S. thing!
Skye Bar at Hotel Unique
Avenida Brigadadeiro Luis Antonio, 4700
Jardins, São Paulo 01402-002
+55 11 3055 4702
After dinner, my friends and I headed to the crazy-cool Hotel Unique in the fashionable Jardins district. This cutting-edge, high-design hotel looks like a huge boat that's been docked on dry land, with cool furniture everywhere; its awesome fitness center made Lori Zaino's list of Coolest Hotel Gyms Around the World. Some of its best features, though, are the amazing views of the city you can see from its rooftop Skye Bar.
This is one of my favorite hotel rooftop bars anywhere. The cocktails here are delicious (go for a caipirinha, a lightly sweet, fruity drink made with cachaça, a deceptively strong sugar-cane liquor), and the sushi is fresh and tasty. If you go, please have some edamame for me!
Ever been to São Paulo? What were your own favorite places there?