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I stayed at two hotels while in São Paulo. The first was the Estanplaza Funchal Hotel located in the business district, Faria Lima.

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Originally, we were booked to stay at the famous watermelon, i.e., Hotel Unique. But it turned out to be far from our meeting venue (remember the traffic congestion, remember here).  So we decided to book a hotel across from the building where we would have our meeting, and that’s how we ended up at the Estanplaza Funchal at Faria Lima.

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It is not a fancy hotel but it has a rather interesting style.

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Retro but what years?  The wall paper behind the bed and particularly the rotating TV stand reminded me of antiques I saw in Vienna but  …

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The circle seems to be a recurring motif throughout the hotel from the TV stand to the desk. I think the circular mirrors and blackmetal handrails with a rectangular motif (see the staircase photo above) is very oriental.

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Clean but stark bathroom. Never saw a large circular mirror like this before.

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The room could be used as the setting of a scene in a Wong Kar-Wai’s movie. Well, Happy Together (春光乍洩) was filmed in Buenos Aires.

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The experience was a bit like time travel – there was hardly anything in sight that would suggest the present 2010’s (except the flat panel TV).

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After checking in, it was close to 11pm – my colleagues and I went next door to The Fifties – a chain of up-and-coming high-end burger joint in Brazil – so my colleagues advised me.

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The time travel continued … a jukebox would have completed the illusion.

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We had burgers, fried onion rings (their claim to fame), caiparinhas followed by beer (which were served in an ice bucket typically reserved for champagne). I was so tired that day I fell asleep immediately despite having devoured all that greasy food and alcohol.

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Stayed in that hotel for a total of about 6 hours. When I pulled open the curtain the next morning, it was sunny Brazil and high-rise apartment buildings – we were back to 2013. And off to work we go …

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More to come.

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