Go back to the enewsletter I was totally amazed by

first_imgGo back to the enewsletterI was totally amazed by the unforgettable Palácio Tangará hotel, a lush oasis in the concrete jungle that is São Paulo. Suddenly, the Mercedes turns off into a 200-metre steep-slope driveway taking arrivals down, through tropical undergrowth, to what looks like a five-floor palace. Sometime in the mid-20th century Brazilian-Italian ‘Baby’ Pignatari bought this land, to create an urban idyll to lure his beloved, Princess Ira von Fürstenburg, then married to Marbella Club founder Prince Alfonso of Hohenlohe-Langenburg. He planned an Oscar Niemeyer house, which never happened, with landscaping by the architect Roberto Burle Marx. Princess Ira did marry her Baby, in Reno in 1961. She left him in 1964, and now lives in Rome.Outdoor pool at Palácio Tangará © Oetker CollectionMove forward to May 2017 when today’s palace, named for brightly coloured songbirds found here and in Argentina, was opened by its current owners, GTIS real estate investment. They already had 52 hotels in Brazil and, unknown to most guests of the 150-room hotel, the conference facilities here are another cash cow. I spoke to one local journalist and he, like may hotel customers, had no idea that underneath ‘the hotel’ are two more floors of fabulously stylish ballrooms and meeting rooms, all, thanks to the slope of the land, opening on to terraces overlooking the hotel’s tropicana, named after landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx, whose other works include laying out Copacabana and Ipanema beaches in Rio.Palácio Tangará is an oasis in São Paulo © Oetker CollectionToday’s hotel guests enter a lush lobby, going past an enticing Eden Living boutique on the way. The lobby’s floors are done by Housekeeping staff, and they are sensational, as are overhead mobiles. The lobby, like all public areas, is designed by Patricia Anastassiadis, who has brought in lots of fascinating, and different, chairs. Downstairs is a 25-metre indoor pool, with ceiling windows to let in maximum light; the gym has one wall covered with a gigantic sepia blow-up of woodland, again a sign of an oasis in this city. The spa is completely Sisley, the only such facility in town. Palácio Tangará, indeed, has lots of unique features – who else has a second pool, also 25 metres, outside in the garden area that is framed, as it were, by the arms of the C-shaped building?Flora Spa by Sisley atPalácio Tangará © Oetker CollectionAnd now the bedrooms, all decorated by Simonato Bick (William Simonato and Luis Bick). They seem to have used soothing shades of mole throughout, and that includes carpets and walls on bedroom-floor corridors. I just adored suite 417, right in the centre of the upper floor. Two pairs of French windows opened for fresh air, and had the weather been more agreeable I would have breakfasted out on the balcony, looking down to that outdoor pool. There were so many style pointers. Would I like a New York Times? A satellite copy arrived, in a covetable black leather bag. I loved the notecards and postcards, with watercolour sketches, and the stationery folder also included envelopes with turquoise printed with outline images of tangará birds.Deluxe Junior Suite at Palácio Tangará © Oetker CollectionEating choices include casual meals in the lobby, which has a corner bar; a grand piano and waiting double bass promise live music when weekend staycationers are here. You could also eat tapas in Burle, an interior bar that specialises in spirits, with over a dozen home-made bitters, and wood-matured Manhattans and Negronis as stated specials. Food could also be served in the glass-walled wine cellar. But the real magnet is Tangará Jean-Georges, a brilliant all-day concept that has four dining areas, including an interior kitchen, with an oval table that splits into four but, in entirety, seats up to 12 for interaction with chef Felipe Rodrigues (who cooked for the Swedish royals in Stockholm).Tangará Jean-Georges Restaurant © Oetker CollectionA private dining room for 12 and the main room both open to park-set terraces and now, and summer long, you can also dine out there. Inside, by 8.30pm the 60-seat space had 40 diners, for a mid-week night. This is a country club for locals, says Wadim Alvarez, who heads food (he hastened off to greet a couple in their ’40s, starting their 50th visit here with Moët before going on to red wine, and I presume they, as such valued guests, were among the fans who received a bespoke 2018 Chandon bottle to celebrate the hotel’s highly successful first year).Tangará Jean-Georges Chef’s Table © Oetker CollectionThe menu is deliberately eclectic, with sections from caviar concoctions to pizzas (I liked the way the printed pages, in a soft grey leather folder, clearly list opening hours, kids’ items are available and an optional 10% service is added. There are also four- and six-course tasting menus, obligatory for any parties of eight or more). We are brought nuggets of walnut and white sourdough breads, made here from a European yeast that originated in the 1950s. I go all-Brazil, with tuna and avocado followed by a local wagyu striploin, apparently an Angus-wagyu cross, and grilled heart of palm. Dinner dishes are avocado-coloured Heloise Galvao ceramics, and our no-vintage Guatambu Epice is deftly served in enormous Spiegelau glasses.Pool at Palácio Tangará © Oetker CollectionIn the morning, my requested New York Times, in a thick black leather pouch, was already hanging outside my door when I went down to the gym for its 6am. start. By 7am, breakfast was in full swing, with the kitchen ‘dining area’ now hosting a splendid buffet. I had masses of papaya and I also tried a pear-shaped cashew apple, a fruit from the cashew tree, Anacardium occidentale, originally native to northeastern Brazil (usually its pulp is processed into a sweet, astringent fruit drink or distilled into liquor). Yoghurts are home-made, or local Ati Latte, and jams are also Brazilian, by Queensberry. Really, I thought as I left the extraordinary super-luxury of Oetker’s Palácio Tangará, this place embodies luxury of today and, I think, tomorrow: space and nature, well-trained staff who smile and know when to keep out of the way, instant Wi-Fi, a bed that is marvellously supportive, superb Etro toiletries and a shower that is as simple as the light switches. And memorable food. I could go on and on.Go back to the enewsletterIndoor pool at Palácio Tangará © Oetker Collectionlast_img read more