Where to stay in São Paulo: Guest Urban Hotel
It has always been a problem for me to suggest friends a cool stay in São Paulo. Sure, those with money to spend have some very good options – Fasano, Emiliano, Unique and such. And backpacker types are no short on hostel options. But when it come to a stylish-meets-affordable stay, I’d often suggest and AirBnb. Now there’s Guest Urban, a cool place in my favourite neighbourhood, Pinheiros – also, be sure to check out this guide to all things cool in the area, available on the Guidrr app.
A new, small and charming boutique-like hotel in Pinheiros area, Guest Urban stands halfway between a hotel and a bed and breakfast. The place, an old 1960s house, recently renovated, is charming, with a lot of natural lights, open spaces, and vintage furniture. Details give a welcoming vibe to the hotel, such as the delicious snacks available at the entrance or the weather forecast and tips about what do to in the area written on a big blackboard. Breakfast is continental style, served in the garden.
Pinheiros area, next to several restaurants, shops, coffee places, subway lines and buses. Avenida Paulista and the downtown district are easily accessible via the subway and dozens of bus lines. The bohemian Vila Madalena neighbourhood is walking distance.
A short list of nearby places:
- Praça Benedito Calixto is the big square right on the corner of the hotel. The place is on fire every Saturday when a traditional second-hand market occupies the whole place. During weekdays, when things are calmer, go to Consulado Mineiro for Brazilian food, check some interesting design shops. And in case you’re more of the nerd type (like me), there’s a very good comic book store just before the corner of Teodoro Sampaio Street, with a good selection of independent and Brazilian titles.
- Bar do Biu is the definition of ‘no frills’. This simple, honest and familiar boteco serves one dish, baião-de-dois, with variations of chicken, beef or pork. Arrive early to avoid the long lines, bring cash, prepare to eat a lot of heavy food, ask for a caipirinha and relax.
- Frida e Mina has very long lines on hot days, but fear not, as they tend to go fast. The reason is theirs very good ice cream, gelato style.
- The Little Coffee Shop will be your go-to place for coffee. Unless you want to sit, of course.
- Cinesala is a traditional street cinema with only one room, always screening indie films. It’s also one of the few cinema rooms in São Paulo where you can see a film while laying down on a bed-like couch.
You may also like to read this article about South American restaurants in Pinheiros.
Want a reason to come and visit São Paulo? Take note: São Paulo International Film Festival (we call it Mostra) happens in late October. In the same month, the city makes a Paulistano version of Holi, the Indian sacred festival of colours. Iggy Pop, Spoon, Todd Terje and others will be playing Popload Festival. The traditional (and crowded) San Gennaro festival, from Italian descendants living in Mooca, and Brooklyn Fest, from the German community, also happens in October. UFA! Keep an eye on SP24hrs to know what’s going on in the city.
Go for it
IMPORTANT: I stayed at Guest Urban during their soft opening and had a very pleasant stay. Recommendation is based on my own experience.
Check out these exclusive guides to explore better São Paulo, available on the Guidrr app.