São Paulo Shopping
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Refined restaurants, five-star hotels and even helicopter tours are among the most splendid offerings of the São Paulo capital.
For those who aren't afraid to max out their credit cards, there are super chic shops with international labels dotted here and there, most of them in shopping centers like Iguatemi and in Jardins. The neighborhood is also the address of the most renowned art galleries where the work of established artists and new talents is sold.
Between one purchase and another, how about a top-of-the-line coffee? Go to Santo Grão. The most expensive cup costs 9 reals. But it's prepared with super-selected Brazilian beans.
How about starting a glamorous day with breakfast at the Hilton Morumbi? Voted the best luxury hotel in the last three editions of Guia Quatro Rodas (the Brazilian version of the Michelin Guide), it has 60 breakfast items at its restaurant Sol & Sombra.
It's a comfortable place with traditional decor. Take advantage of your trip there and go over to Shopping D&D, a concentration of the most refined furniture and decorations stores in the capital. The biggest consumers have the option of staying at a hotel in the same complex, the WTC.
Afterward, continue along the Marginal Pinheiros heading toward the new Daslu boutique. The store — which is 20,000 square meters and has patios inspired by Italian villas — mixes modern and classic and has products of the most respected brands in the world.
After this, it's a good time to take a break from shopping and get to know a little of the beauty of the city by taking a helicopter tour — which you can do in two different places: at the Aeroporto de Congonhas or at Campo de Marte.
Does having lunch in the shade of a century-old fig tree sound inviting? Inaugurated in 2001, the restaurant Figueira Rubayat in Jardins, has a causal feel, but sophisticated at the same time. The menu, inspired by the Incas, has revived the primitive kitchen with clay ovens and iron pots.
After lunch, take a walk along the tree-lined streets of Jardins, such as Oscar Freire, and visit the most sought-after brands in the world, located a few meters from each other. There are more than 30, with different items such as cars, jewelry and clothing.
Some of the most renowned contemporary art galleries are also there, such as Luisa Strina and Thomas Cohn, exhibiting works of national and foreign artists in their collections.
Between one purchase and another, it's worth getting to know Santo Grão, voted in 2005 by the magazine Veja São Paulo as having the best espresso in the city. There are coffees for every taste, including some prepared with super- selected beans, such as the winner of the Cup of excellence, considered the best in the world, which costs 9 reals per cup.
At the end of the afternoon, go to Shopping Iguatemi. With its 330 stores, restaurants and pleasant cafes, it's the perfect place to get to know the sophisticated world of this megalopolis.
Evening and Night
A good bet to start the evening is dinner at Fasano restaurant, in the hotel of the same name. Inspired by the elegant scenario of Milan, the native land of the Fasanos, the restaurant offers the gastronomic standard for which the family's establishments are known, associated with the elegance of chef Salvatore Loi.
And the hotel brings back bold memories of the 1930s. Without leaving it, you can stretch out your night at the Baretto bar. There, in the midst of French armchairs and a travertine marble bar, the house band plays fine music - mainly jazz and bossa nova. Occasionally there are shows by well-known artists.
And if you're still up for having more fun until dawn, it's time to go Club Lótus, on the second floor of the Gran Meliá São Paulo hotel (check out list of hotels in Sao Paulo). The nightclub is a branch of Lotus in new York. Run by entrepreneurs Marcus Buaiz, edsá Sampaio, Pedro Paulo Diniz and Mario Bernardo Garnero, it is the bastion of the "well-born" and famous people of the city.
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