Review: Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo

Filed Under: Hotels, Hyatt

We had arranged a hotel car to take us from the airport to the hotel just to be on the safe side. It was my first time in Brazil and for my mother’s peace of mind I figured that made the most sense, given how many rumors there are about Sao Paulo being unsafe. From looking at a map online it looked like the airport was only about 25 miles from the hotel, so I nearly crapped myself when the driver told us it would take about 2.5 hours with the traffic conditions.

I wasn’t mentally prepared for that long of a drive, and after about an hour nearly jumped out and wanted to walk the rest of the way. On second thought, that would have probably been faster.

I can’t even begin to describe how happy I was to arrive at the hotel, and it really is a gorgeous property. The Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo is a Category 3 Gold Passport property, making it just 12,000 points per night. Given that revenue rates were over $400USD per night, that was an absolute bargain.

Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo exterior

The lobby of the hotel feels “grand,” with super high ceilings and a bright interior. There was no queue at check-in, and we were both efficiently issued our room keys and escorted to our King Club rooms. We received that upgrade on account of our Gold Passport Diamond status, and were also reminded we’d receive complimentary internet. Lastly, we were given the choice between a welcome amenity and 1,000 Gold Passport points; naturally I chose the latter.

Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo lobby

Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo lobby

The bellman insisted on helping us with our bags, and familiarized us with the hotel on the elevator ride up.

Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo hallway

I was assigned room 1905, a King Club room on the 19th floor (one floor below the Grand Club).

Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo Club King room door

Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo floorplan

The room was beautifully decorated and furnished. There was a wide entryway that led into the bedroom. Immediately to the left of the entrance was also a door to the bathroom, which could be accessed from either side of the room.

Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo Club King entryway

Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo Club King room entryway

The room wasn’t huge though perfectly sufficient, and featured a king bed and two nightstands. It faced a flat screen TV, a desk, and a bit of an oddly placed chair and ottoman.

Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo Club King room

Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo Club King room

Sliding doors led to the bathroom, which was probably a third the size of the rest of the room.

Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo Club King room

The bathroom was well designed and spacious, and featured a sink, walk-in shower, soaking tub, and toilet.

Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo Club King room bathroom

Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo Club King room shower

Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo Club King room toilet

Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo Club King room tub

The toiletries were hotel branded and fairly high quality, I thought.

Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo Club King room toiletries

Back near the entrance of the room was the minibar and coffee machine.

Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo Club King room minibar

Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo Club King room minibar

The room boasted nice views of the surrounding area, including of the Octavio Frias de Oliveira Bridge (that’s a mouthful!).

Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo Club King room view

Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo Club King room view

The room was lovely and spacious, and the Wi-Fi speed was fairly good as well, which I never take for granted at international properties.

In terms of the hotel’s other facilities, they have quite a nice spa with a gym and both indoor and outdoor pools.

The gym was well equipped and featured separate cardio and weights rooms. For what it’s worth a major European and major Middle Eastern airline put up their crews here, and as an aviation geek I was just mildly giddy when the two pilots for the Middle Eastern airline got on the treadmills next to me and “talked shop” about the flight. For what it’s worth I only knew these two airlines put up their crews here because next to the gym is a “crew lounge” with the logos from both airlines.

Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo gym

Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo gym

Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo gym

Like I said, the spa also had an indoor lap pool, which was fairly nice.

Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo indoor pool

Then there was an outdoor lap pool, though the weather wasn’t especially nice while I was there, so I didn’t see anyone using it.

Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo outdoor pool

The Grand Club is located on the 20th floor, and physically was a great space with similar views to what I had from my room.

Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo Grand Club

Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo Grand Club

Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo Grand Club

Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo Grand Club

Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo Grand Club business center

The Grand Club has soft drinks available all day, as well as a small selection of snacks.

Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo Grand Club daytime snacks

Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo Grand Club daytime drinks

Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo Grand Club coffee machine

Complimentary alcohol was available in the evening, in addition to a fairly modest food spread. There were lots of small things to nibble on, though nothing really substantial as you may find in an Asian or European club lounge, for example.

Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo Grand Club evening spread

Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo Grand Club evening spread

Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo Grand Club evening spread

Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo Grand Club evening spread

Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo Grand Club evening spread

Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo Grand Club evening spread

Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo Grand Club evening spread

Breakfast was served in the Grand Club in the morning, and while everything they served was good, the spread was definitely on the “continental” side. There was a single hot dish. I’m not much of a breakfast person, so a continental spread works great for me.

Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo Grand Club breakfast spread

Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo Grand Club breakfast spread

Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo Grand Club breakfast spread

Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo Grand Club breakfast spread

Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo Grand Club breakfast spread

Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo Grand Club breakfast spread

Service throughout the hotel was very good for the most part. The employees I interacted with were all friendly and eager to help. My one disappointment was that in the club lounge we asked for a recommendation for a good Brazilian steakhouse, and they recommended Fogo de Chao, a chain restaurant that’s even available all over the US. So we did our own research online instead, and ended up deciding on Jardineira Grill, which was two miles from the hotel. Traffic was literally bumper-to-bumper, so we decided to walk.

As we left we asked the bellman how long it would take to walk there. He looked at us with pure horror and said “you’re going to walk there?!” We said “yes, is that a bad idea?” He said “the hotel doesn’t recommend walking outside.” We asked how long it would take in a taxi. He guessed 45 minutes. Meanwhile he said it would probably take 30 minutes to walk, if we decided to do that. We did decide to walk, and I can’t say I really felt uncomfortable walking (for the most part). I’ve been to a lot of places considered “unsafe,” though this is the first time I’ve literally been told that it’s not recommended to walk outside.

Anyway, the steakhouse was detrimentally spectacular. There was a buffet with all the non-meat items, and then they keep coming around with meat till you tell them to stop. Mmmm…


The next evening we drove back to the airport, though since it was a Saturday traffic was much better than on the outbound, and the drive only took 40 minutes.

On the whole I was really pleased with the Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo and would return in a heartbeat. For being such a huge market Sao Paulo really lacks options among chain hotels, in my opinion, so I’m happy Hyatt has a presence here and that it’s such a good value on points.

  1. Hi Lucky,

    I am glad you enjoyed Jardineira Grill. But just fyi, Fogo de Chao is indeed the prime stake house we have here in Brazil. It started as a local business (actually the original owner used to live in my apartment building) and due tithe success, it started to expand internationally. But in the end, most of the top tier stake houses will be fairly similar. This year, the one that got the #1 award was Vento Haragano, though it is not my favorite.

    Next time you are down to São Paulo, I can definitely recommend a few good places to have a very nice meal. The city is absolutely fantastic for foodies, in my opinion!!

  2. @ Burg_RTW — Good to know, thanks! Figured it would be kind of like going to Olive Garden in Italy, but sounds like that’s not the case.

  3. The only place I’ve been to so far where I was told by local people not to walk outside is New Orleans. People made a lot of disparaging noise about Kingston, Jamaica and Port of Spain, T & T but during the day, at least, I had no problem.
    However, I’m going to Brazil for the first time in March and of the considerable number of people I know who’ve been there or who are actually FROM Brazil, something like 80% have been mugged. So, a little nervous!

  4. First time I arrived at JFK I was told that taking the subway would be unsafe. You never knows what happens…. I took a shuttle to Manhattan instead.

  5. I stayed at the Grand Hyatt Sao-Paulo several weeks for week.
    The breakfast buffet on the ground floor (not in the club) is spectacular.

  6. Just looking for a clarification on the drive to/fro the airport. You estimated 25 miles.

    Was it really 2.5 hours to drive to the hotel and 40 minutes to drive back to the airport?

    If so, I think I would have lost my mind.

  7. Eating hot food for breakfast is fairly unusual in Brazil.

    I’m sure some hotels try to adapt to serve the needs of foreigners, but for the most part you won’t find eggs, bacon etc. anywhere.

  8. You can almost see my home in one of your pictures. 🙂 And you would have walked/driven past it on your way to Fogo de Chao.

    For the record, you got lucky, but walking around really was a monumentally bad decision. Also, Fogo de Chao is a much better restaurant. Plus there are better steaks anyway (like Rodeo or El Tranvia). Just saying’ 😉 Glad you had a good time!!

  9. Wow looks nicer than some PH properties (Melbourne and Mendoza come to mind) but great report.

    @Roberto Lingunsford: probably best to respect their privacy and not identify carrier on a public site

  10. I always love your posts lucky, but I worry the hipsterness of Seattle is wearing off on you a bit with hating on Fogo and then choosing a restaurant that sounds identical to Fogo’s setup.

  11. The Renaissance Sao Paulo is also quite nice, with a great executive lounge. I saw some flight crews when I was there (BA I think). And it is in a great neighboorhood where you can walk to a ton of restaurants and shops very safely (I was there solo).

    There is an official taxi stand at the airport called Guarucoop, just as you exit the airport terminal. It is a fixed rate depending on where you are going, and is reliable.


  13. I would have taken a taxi to dinner. Haven’t been to Brasil in over a decade but used to travel there a lot. Only place in the world I have ever been physically accosted is Rio, in daylight. I’m sure safety has improved in the past 10-20 years, but two tourists walking to dinner at night would definitely be targets. Traffic is what it is. Just accept it. Don’t try to be smart and save time. If you are willing to get a hotel limo from the airport for safety considerations, then you should be taking taxis as well. Glad it worked out in the end though.

  14. @ Sunrise089 — I can assure you there’s no hipster in me! Clearly I was wrong, but I’m sure you can understand my confusion. To me it seemed like being told to go to Olive Garden in Italy. But clearly I’m wrong and I should’ve done a bit more research.

  15. How much are you supposed to tip a mugger in Brazil? Everything I guess. The idea that a society with that many violent criminals loose on the streets and security that utterly useless and prices anywhere near that inflated would be any sort of tourist target is beyond my comprehension. If I’m paying $400+ per night for a hotel I don’t expect it to come with warnings about being mugged minutes away from the front door. I guess I have a very different idea of what “absolute bargain” means to me, and I would prefer not to bargain my life on a destination with this many complications and caveats.

  16. I’m with Lucky. Flying 10 hours to eat at a restaurant you can visit in any American metro area would be LAME.

  17. Just to provide a bit of a defense for the locals and the hotel staff, I am an American who lived in Sao Paulo for four years, and I can definitely attest to the fact that the Berrini/Brooklin neighborhood around the Grand Hyatt is unsafe to walk. No question. That is an almost entirely commercial district, no substantial residential presence except over a hill where there is a shanty town that abuts the freeway. This region is notorious for sidewalk and in-car assaults on foreign business visitors and tourists, who are very easy to spot unless they resemble Brazilians (i.e. if you have fair skin and light hair and you are speaking English and you’re well-dressed, you’re an immediate target). The heavy traffic, in fact, greatly increases the level of crime in the area by assailants on motorcycles, who weave around pointing guns as passengers and drivers and robbing them of cash, phones and laptops. (My husband commuted from that neighborhood every day and we opted to bullet-proof the car to improve safety – assailants in Sao Paulo are sophisticated enough to spot bullet-proofing on a car and not waste their time on it, and yes – bulletproofing is very common in Sao Paulo).

    I would recommend that unless you are doing business in that district (which is common, as the SP World Trade Center, as well as Microsoft and other multinationals, are HQs there), that you stay in the Jardins/Paulista/Faria Lima section of town. It’s safer to walk the streets, and there is more street life there.

    However, if anyone is staying in the area of the Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo and still decides to walk, here are absolute MUST tips for reducing your risk of being mugged: do NOT wear: jewelry, watches, expensive purses, or backpacks. These items attract muggers, even in the daytime.

  18. Nice article Lucky, but I Agree with Kevin. I travel to São Paulo all the time and have stayed at Grand Hyatt; as well as Renissance, and other hotels in the Paulista area. The Hyatt might be the best overall hotel in SP, but Paulista area has much more to do, is walkable, and is much safer. SP does have some great restaurants, and if you like sushi, Jun Sakamoto is probably the best in all Latin America.

  19. Been to Brazil a few times, saw a mugging in Ipanema and was also hanging out with some Brazilians from BH until they were thrown out for stealing. It’s a weird place. I’ll definitely be going back, but thanks to the comments in this post, I’ll definitely NOT be going to the Hyatt SP on a 24-hour layover. Sounds like the only thing appealing is the club room. I abhor being cooped up, taking expensive/long taxi rides, and not being able to walk anywhere. I’ll head to “Jardins/Paulista/Faria Lima” and take my chances on the street there.

  20. I am staying in Brooklin Paulista at the moment for 3 months (mar to may 2016) with my partner (she is Brazilian and I am English) at her parents house. We are musicians and have been busking during the day to the hundreds/ thousands of people who eat out at at lunchtime to the packed restaurants in this area. It is warm even when cloudy and raining. At night we walk all around the area having food or a few drinks at the numerous bars and restaurants many of which have outside street tables and chairs and we also play live at bars /restaurants in the area playing sax chillout music / Bosa nova and pop sax from the UK. There are security guards on almost every street looking after the office and residential buildings and the military police scour the area every 15 minutes until around 1 am. We have talked to the security guards and they all say they do not see any crimes or violence just the occasional drunk at 3am in the morning. We see women on their own walking at 1am in the morning. The area on the whole feels very safe and has changed alot since all the new buildings were built there in the last 20 year. My partners parents still feel unsafe and don’t go out in the evenings but they are elderly and therefore vulnerable but still imagine it be very dangerous as it was 20 or 30 years ago. Despite the above, Sao Paulo (SP) is famous for high crime rates and motorcyclists who pull up to mug you and then drive off. So when we go out, we dress like the locals in t shirts and shorts, no jewelry and take enough cash to buy our food and drinks plus 20 Rios left in case we get mugged and we can give them something (otherwise they can get violent) and we do not take our wallets or credit cards with us when we are out in the area – just in case.. The area does feel safe and I have lived in LA, California and Brixton in London. We have been out most days, (over 40 times so far) between 8 – 12pm midnight on average and have not had any problems or seen any violence or even any fights or disagreements during that time in Brooklin Paulista near the World trade Centre . Hope this helps. Book us to come and play at your office party/hotel room while you are in Sao Paulo (SP). contact [email protected]

  21. One of my clients gave to me and 3 other co-workers as a gift a massage voucher of Hyatt Hotel São Paulo. Each of us received a original of the voucher with a code and the logo of Hyatt Hotel. By mistake Hyatt printed 2 vouchers with the same code. When I decided to schedule my massage, I was informed by the SPA that my voucher was used by my co-worker. Note that my co-worker used her vourcher and delivered her original to the hotel. Hyatt informed that only 2 instead of 4 vouchers were issued by the Hotel. I explained the situation above to the hotel, but the Senior Manager of Spa Operations – Americas explained in a rude manner that the Hotel does not have the control of the vouchers issued and the only way to solve the problem was to request to my cliente the proof of payment of the vouchers. I of course did not bother my cliente with that. This situation demonstrates how unqualified is the team of Hyatt, including the person that issued the voucher with the same number and the sênior manager that does not have skills to solve this simple situation.

    Eu e mais três pessoas de minha equipe fomos presenteados por um cliente com vouchers de massagem equilíbrio do SPA do Hyatt São Paulo em janeiro de 2016. Cada uma recebeu uma via original do voucher numerado no envelope do Hyatt Hotel São Paulo. Ocorre que por um erro do Hyatt, 2 vouchers tinham o mesmo número. Quando decidi marcar minha massagem com a via original do meu voucher, fui informada que já tinha sido utilizado por uma pessoa do meu time. Note que a pessoa utilizou o voucher dela e entregou a via original dela para o hotel. O Hyatt argumentou que só 2 vouchers ao invés de 4 tinham sido emitidos. Expliquei a situação acima, mas de forma rude fui informada pela Senior Manager of Spa Operations – Americas que como o Hyatt não tinha controle dos voucher emitidos, a única forma seria entrar em contato com o meu cliente que me deu o voucher e pedir o comprovante de pagamento. Obviamente que não permiti tal situação, pois não iria importunar o meu cliente com esse erro do Hyatt. Tal situação mostra uma equipe desqualificada do Hotel que começa desde a emissão errada dos voucher até o atendimento ineficiente da sênior manager que não consegue resolver uma situação simples.

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