The Best Hotels in São Paulo For Every Traveler

Selina Aurora is a haven in downtown São Paulo
Selina Aurora is a haven in downtown São Paulo | Courtesy of Selina Aurora / Expedia

São Paulo, in the southeast of Brazil, is South America’s largest city, brimming with samba beats. It is renowned for its vibrant nightlife, diverse cuisine, and towering architecture such as the Edifício Copan. But with green spaces including the Ibirapuera Park and the city’s museums, there’s also the chance to step back and take a breath. Here’s our guide to the best hotels and where to stay to enjoy this effervescent metropolis.

1. Hotel Unique São Paulo

Hotel, Bed and Breakfast, Hostel

Couches in the large lobby, with a floor-to-ceiling glass windows, at Hotel Unique
Courtesy of Hotel Unique / Expedia
As its name suggests, this is a truly Unique place. The hotel exudes an upscale vibe with its innovative and modern design, and the exterior is a very interesting shape, affectionately nicknamed by locals as ‘the watermelon’, which can be easily seen from a distance. High ceilings, elegant elevators and chic common areas make it an ideal option for travelers looking for the best of the best.

2. Maksoud Plaza

Hotel

The indoor pool area , with potted palms and exercise equipment, at Maksoud Plaza
Courtesy of Maksoud Plaza / Expedia
The Maksoud Plaza Hotel is located one block away from the famous Paulista Avenue, close to the vibrant cultural nucleus of the city, and right in the heart of its financial center. The magnificent architectural design marks the Maksoud as one of the city’s most iconic touristic points, and this accommodation oozes both style and sophistication.

3. L'Hotel Porto Bay

Boutique Hotel, Bed and Breakfast, Hotel, Lodge

A bed and TV in a hotel room with a terrace at LHotel Porto Bay Sao Paulo
Courtesy of L'Hotel Porto Bay Sao Paulo / Expedia
Less than one block away from Paulista Avenue, L’Hotel Porto Bay is a boutique, five-star hotel which combines first-class design with elegance and privacy. Seven suites and 73 rooms can be found at this European-style lodge, a venue which is close to all the best cafes, restaurants and luxury shops in town. Take this opportunity to visit nearby art galleries and museums, or spend a relaxing evening at the spa after swimming in the indoor, heated pool – the choice is yours.

4. Pousada Dona Ziláh

Hotel

A bed, bedside tables with lamps, an armchair and framed artwork of flowers on the wall in a hotel room at Pousada Dona Ziláh
Courtesy of Pousada Dona Ziláh / Expedia
Dona Ziláh is the top choice for tourists who want a relaxing, warm setting for their vacation, but don’t want to break the bank. All room prices here include a traditional Brazilian buffet breakfast, a selection prepared mainly with organic and fresh produce. For pleasure or business, it has the atmosphere of a home away from home.

5. Hotel Emiliano

Hotel

Seating in the bar area of Hotel Emiliano, with an outdoor patio in the distance
Courtesy of Hotel Emiliano / Expedia

Hotel Emiliano is situated right the heart of Jardins, one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in Sao Paulo. An esteemed member of The Leading Hotels of the World since 2001, this accommodation option oozes majesty, elegance and sophistication, and is an idyllic place to spend an evening in the bustling city.

6. Pousada Dos Franceses

Hostel

A bed in a hotel room with exposed brick walls at Pousada Dos Franceses
Courtesy of Pousada Dos Franceses / Expedia
Located in the Italian neighborhood of Bela Vista, Pousada Dos Franceses is a top choice if you’re looking to travel on a budget. Opened in 1999 on the site of in São Paulo’s first ever hostel, Sampa Hostel, this venue is very close to the Brigadeiro metro station, making it a great place from which to visit the markets, restaurants and bars just around the corner.

7. Hotel Ibis São Paulo Paulista

Hotel

A double bed with a bunk bed on top, and a desk with chair, in a hotel room at Hotel Ibis São Paulo Paulista
Courtesy of Hotel Ibis São Paulo Paulista / Expedia
If you want to book a good stay for a reasonable price, Hotel Ibis São Paulo Paulista is a reliable option. Comfort is assured at every Ibis Hotel, and this one is no exception. Right next to the Consolação metro station, in Paulista Avenue, the area includes attractions such as The São Paulo Museum of Art and the Ibirapuera Park.

8. Fasano São Paulo

Luxury, Hotel, Chain Hotel

Chairs at the indoor pool of Fasano São Paulo, with a view of the city buildings through the windows
Courtesy of Fasano São Paulo / Expedia

Made to last, not to tire, this timeless masterpiece drawn up by designers Isay Weinfeld and Márcio Kogan, put the rest of São Paulo’s hotels to shame when it opened in Jardim Europa in 2003. Order a comforting single malt in the ground-floor bar, Baretto. How visionary owner Rogerio Fasano’s eponymous Italian restaurant doesn’t have a Michelin star is one of the world’s great mysteries.

9. Palácio Tangará

Luxury, Chain Hotel, Spa Hotel

A bed, sitting area, table and chairs in a hotel room at Palácio Tangará
Courtesy of Palácio Tangará / Expedia

This French bourgeois palace, in a privileged spot in Burle Marx Park, is possibly the most extravagant place to sleep in São Paulo. Owned by the Oetker Collection (of the Lanesborough in London and Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes), this urban oasis in the heart of São Paulo’s concrete jungle is as luxe as it gets, with fine-dining by multi-Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and a spectacular setting to impress your special plus-one. If you’re traveling with the entourage, the Grand Suite has a little more space than your average São Paulo hotel room. That said, all rooms come with balconies.

10. Guest Urban Hotel

Boutique Hotel, Budget Hotel

A bed and desk in a hotel room at Guest Urban Hotel in São Paulo
Courtesy of Guest Urban Hotel / Expedia

Decorated with a mix of up-and-coming art, flea-market finds and plenty of industrial interior touches, Guest Urban Hotel is a hipster hangout in one of São Paulo’s most happening ‘hoods, Pinheiros. The cool coffee shops, bars, art galleries and sensational sushi of Jun Sakamoto on your doorstep make it all too easy to shortcut straight to São Paulo’s social scene. Explore on foot, or with one of the free bikes available at reception, armed with friendly tips from founders Fabio Queiroz and Demian Figueiredo, and the like-minded creatives that use their place as a remote office.

11. Lobo Urban Stay

Budget Hotel, Hostel

A leather couch, TV and other seating in a room at Lobo Urban Stay
Courtesy of Lobo Urban Stay / Expedia

Long before there was Airbnb, journalists Paula Queiroz and Henrique Paludetto wanted people to enjoy staying in their Jardins home and experience life as a Paulista. Guests get slipstreamed straight into Brazil’s mega-metropolis with a truck-load of useful intel’. The impeccably designed, three-bedroom hostel is located close to Paulista Avenue. Fans of Brazil’s mid-century modern masters should not miss the couple’s guided tour of hidden architectural gems by Lina Bo Bardi, Artigas Vilanova, Paulo Mendes da Rocha and Oscar Niemeyer.

12. Selina Madalena

Boutique Hotel, Hostel, Chain Hotel

A bed, two yellow velvet chairs and a mural with writing on the wall in a hotel room at Selina Madalena
Courtesy of Selina Madalena / Expedia

The neighborhood of Vila Madalena’s particular brand of nocturnal bustle, colorful street art and all-round hipster vibe makes it the obvious choice for a Selina. The barrio’s creative buzz is a perfect fit for the hip hostel chain’s honed playbook of cinema screenings, industrial-chic interiors and morning yoga sessions. It feels like it’s been here forever, even though it opened for business well after bohemian Madalena reached the zenith of the São Paulo zeitgeist.

13. Radisson Blu

Chain Hotel

A bed in a hotel room with a bathroom at Radisson Blu in São Paulo

There are a heap of corporate hotels in São Paulo, but few enjoy the strategic location at the intersection of Cidade Jardim and Faria Lima. Traveling for work? Ultimately, that’ll determine where you stay in São Paulo, so picking a hotel near your meetings is key. As well as being in the thick of the city’s most important HQs, Radisson Blu puts you next to the upscale Iguatemi mall which has some great eating options, including healthy favorite Rascal.

14. Selina Aurora

Boutique Hotel, Hostel, Chain Hotel

A bed with wooden frame, chairs and exposed pipes in a hotel room at Selina Aurora in São Paulo
Courtesy of Selina Aurora / Expedia

Downtown São Paulo lost its place as the city’s epicenter to a string of more serene districts years ago, but the area around Praça da Republica retains a degree of charm and allure for artists and architects alike. Getting up close to two of the city’s architectural landmarks, Oscar Niemeyer’s curvy Edifício Copan and Franz Heep’s Edifício Itália, are just two reasons to stay here and enjoy an authentic São Paulo experience. Rooms range from dorms to doubles, stitched together in hipster-ready Selina style.

15. Tivoli Mofarrej

Hotel

The outdoor pool, with sunbeds and potted plants, surrounded by palm trees at Tivoli Mofarrej in São Paulo
Courtesy of Tivoli Mofarrej / Expedia
Boasting the largest suite in Latin America, this towering Jardins landmark has hosted the biggest names in showbiz when they’re in town to perform for Paulistas. The Mofarrej has been synonymous with the Brazilian elite since the 1980s and international names from Michael Jackson to Mikhail Gorbachev stayed here – not at the same time, though they could have easily avoided each other in the 750sqm top-floor suite. New owners, Tivoli, tasked local architects, Anastassiadis, with a sparkling refit and got the attention-grabbing Must Bar and appropriately named Seen restaurant, for their money.

This is an updated version of an article originally written by Nicole Marcuzzi.

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