Like other buildings of great historical value, which spoke of a more genteel era for São Paulo's Downtown area, the Marabá Hotel stood neglected for years, until it entered a superb new phase thanks to dramatic renovations, fully concluded in 2009.
The reopening of the traditional hotel has helped kickstart a new phase for Centro, which offers mid-priced accommodation alternatives to upscale areas such as Jardins - while placing travelers within easy reach of business hubs.
The redesign project was one of the last created by Pernambuco architect Janete Costa (1932-2008), whose work on the hotel included the smart redefinition of spaces interrupted by the original plan's columns. Her clean lines resulted in an Asian-Brazilian atmosphere which induces relaxation while providing guests with plenty of pleasant areas for work and professional meetings.
Costa, who valued Brazilian folk art - and who inspired the creation of the Museu Janete Costa de Arte Popular in Niterói - incorporated stunning clay pieces into the decor.
Part of the hotel is over Cine Marabá, a symbol of a glamorous past also completely renovated according to a project by Ruy Ohtake (Hotel Unique) and Samuel Kruchin.
With a strong clientele in business travel, the Marabá can nevertheless also be a charming option for tourists interested in exploring the downtown area, with its blend of carefully renovated and still derelict architectural treasures; the famous corner of Ipiranga and São João; the beautiful Municipal Theater; and an array of gourmet and nightlife spots, including historical bistros and shops or new places at historical locations - for example Bar Brahma, a few steps away; Terraço Itália; Casa Godinho at the Sampaio Moreira Building; or chef Janaina Rueda's Bar da Dona Onça at Oscar Niemeyer-designed Edificio Copan.
During a surprise visit, we were guided throughout the premises by gentlemanly Nilton Deschpold, the general manager, who showed us vacant suites and the comfortable niches spread around the 13 floors of this gem of a hotel.
Next page: Guest rooms
Address, Contact Info & Reservations:Avenida Ipiranga 757
São Paulo - SP
Closest subway (Metrô) station: República (Red Line)