An urban oasis, Cidade Matarazzo connects the luxury hotel Rosewood São Paulo to the city’s storied past and innovative future.
Could there be a more appropriate place for an innovative, sustainable project to be born than literally a maternity hospital? In the heart of the city, near the vibrant Avenida Paulista, Rosewood São Paulo is an urban oasis set within the historical enclave of Cidade Matarazzo, a complex of elegantly preserved buildings that have been transformed into private residences, high-end stores, and entertainment venues, to be launched this June.
A maternity ward established in the early 20th century – which had fallen into disrepair since closing in the early 1990s – the Condessa Filomena Matarazzo Maternity hospital would go on to deliver an estimated half million babies in São Paulo. Today, the former medical building is again welcoming new life, reimagined as the glamorous Rosewood São Paulo hotel and the anchor for the Cidade Matarazzo community.
Founded in 1979, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts is an international luxury brand operating in 15 countries. Its portfolio includes some of the most legendary hotels and resorts in the world, such as The Carlyle in New York and the Hôtel de Crillon in Paris. With the opening of Rosewood São Paulo, the company aims to offer luxury experiences never before seen in South America.
The brainchild of entrepreneur and former Balmain investor Alexander Allard, the transformation of the heritage buildings is rooted in sustainability and celebrates Brazil’s cultural heritage. Designed by leading international names such as Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel and artistic director Philippe Starck, the hotel features 160 rooms and suites, plus 100 residences spread across the restored maternity and the Mata Atlantica Tower. It took them six years to narrow down which exact leafy species should grace the vertical garden to make sure they could withstand São Paulo’s whipping wind and torrential rain storms.
The complex is also home to a groundbreaking collection of 450 site-specific artworks. Starck tapped 57 local artists to make the walls, rooms, floors, and even elevators their canvas. The lobby tapestries are done by Regina Silveira, a muse on regional wildlife. Lining the rooftop pool are bespoke green-and-white tiles by Sandra Cinto. In addition, all rooms are decorated with a guitar autographed by Gilberto Gil or Caetano Veloso, two of the biggest Brazil pop stars. “What is interesting and fascinating in Brazil is the bursts of joy, the enthusiasm,” says Starck. “There is an extraordinary mass of creativity, a tremendous creative impulsion there.”
Unparalleled among the gastronomy scene in the city, Rosewood São Paulo raises the standard for culinary artistry with four new restaurants: a sophisticated evolution of the typical hotel lobby lounge, Le Jardin features an elegant living room, a quiet patio under the treetops, and a dining room in the garden. Classics with a modern twist are the essence of Blaise, a contemporary brasserie by chef Blaise Cendrars that blends French cuisine with regional Brazilian ingredients. Rabo di Galo is both a jazz and a cocktail bar featuring a sultry, sexy atmosphere. And there’s also Taraz by the acclaimed chef Felipe Bronze, featuring modern takes on the very best of South American flavors, including surprising local ingredients. By 2024, the complex will offer 34 restaurants and cafes.
From the balcony of Taraz, facing centenary olive trees imported from Uruguay, the recently restored Capela Santa Luzia can be seen. It was first built in 1922 and revived by architect Roberto Toffoli Simoens da Silva. It now features stained glass windows painted by world-renowned artist Vik Muniz. There, proverbial wedding bells will ring, and the tradition of welcoming new life to São Paulo repeats at the Matarazzo properties.