The Milelion’s RTW Trip 2018: Trip Planning
Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge T3 SIN
SWISS Intl Airlines B77W Business Class SIN-ZRH
Cosmo Hotel Berlin
Westin Grand Berlin
The Intra-Europe Business Class Experience, 2018 Edition
Turkish Airlines A330 Business Class IST-AMM
Sheraton Amman Al Nabil
Royal Jordanian Crown Lounge AMM
Egypt Air B737 Business Class AMM-CAI-NBO
Tribe Hotel Nairobi
Ethiopian Airlines B737 Business Class NBO-ADD
Ethiopian Airlines B787 Business Class ADD-GRU
Marriott Sao Paulo Airport
Avianca Brasil A330 Business Class GRU-SCL
San Cristobal Tower Santiago
Avianca VIP Sala Lounge Santiago SCL
Air Canada B77W Business Class SCL-YYZ
Air Canada Express E175 Business Class YYZ-BOS
United Club BOS
United Airlines B757 First Class BOS-SFO
Le Meridien San Francisco
United Club SFO
United Airlines B77W Polaris Business Class SFO-NRT
ANA B787 Business Class NRT-SIN
We had a one night stay in Sao Paulo before journeying on to Santiago, and it made more sense to stay near the airport rather than making the long journey to the Sheraton Sao Paulo in the Brooklin Novo neighbourhood, since our flight the next morning was at 8.55am.
There are quite a lot of hotels near the airport, but the Marriott was the only one which would let us earn Starwood points (by virtue of points transfer) for our stay so Marriott it was.
Although the Marriott Sao Paulo Airport bills itself as an airport hotel, a more accurate description might be “close to airport hotel”, because it’s not directly connected to the terminal. You need to take a taxi for about 10 minutes down the highway before you reach the hotel gates.
The hotel is fairly well appointed for an airport property, with 316 rooms, a pool and a large fitness facility. We got there by a cheap cab ride and pulled into the driveway, with two helpful porters rushing out to take our bags.
Check-in was fast, and the associate acknowledged our Platinum status, told us about the hotel shuttle (every 30 minutes, starting from 6 a.m and ending at midnight) and the hotel’s facilities. He also gave us each a welcome drink voucher.
I was told that as a Marriott Platinum (SPG members get matched to their respective Marriott tier instantly) I received an upgraded room. I even had a nice fancy keycard holder to prove it. But as you’ll see in the photo below, Marriott’s idea of an upgrade is somewhat different from Starwood’s…
The room was exactly the same as a standard room. I think it counts as an upgrade because it’s an “executive” room, which meant it was eligible for lounge access. As a Marriott Platinum, I was already guaranteed lounge access though. Of course it didn’t really matter given that we’d be at the hotel for less than 15 hours and it was purely a place to shave, sleep and er, shower.
The room was good enough for an airport hotel, where you’re merely a transitory resident. It didn’t have the allure of the Crowne Plaza in Singapore, but I think the biggest compliment I could give is that it didn’t leave a lasting impression, positive or negative. It had oft-overlooked features like universal power outlets and outlets near the bed, but disappointingly didn’t have USB charging sockets.
The bathroom had L’occitane ammenities, a nice touch given that those are normally found at JW’s.
The minibar was well stocked. What was weird, however, was that the bottles of water in the fridge weren’t free, despite the exact same bottles of water being available without charge in the executive lounge down the hall. I ended up drinking the water in the minibar and replenishing it with unchilled water from the lounge. The NYTimes Ethicist believes this is wrong. I think he’s crazy.
As mentioned, the executive lounge was on the 9th floor, just down the corridor from my room.
It’s a small lounge, but it never really got crowded which was probably more down to occupancy rates than anything else.
During the day the lounge carries a small range of snacks including chips, Quaker oats bars, cereal, nuts and sweets.
As well as still/sparkling water and assorted local and international soft drinks.
In the evening they change up the selection a bit and offer a limited range of hot and cold options. Nothing was great. In fact ,the entire F&B setup of the hotel wasn’t to my liking, despite the website proudly trumpeting two “acclaimed” restaurants.
In the morning the lounge also did a small breakfast, which I dropped in on before checking out and heading to the airport. I’ve come to realise that breakfast is a very simple affair in Latin America. You’re looking at fruit, cold cuts, pastries and a couple of hot items to please the Westerners.
My Brazilian colleague later told me that no godfearing Brazilian would eat bacon at breakfast, and was horrified to hear it was on offer at hotel buffets.
Like I said earlier on in this review, the highest praise I can give an airport hotel is that it doesn’t leave any strong impression on me. The Marriott Sao Paulo Airport was one such hotel, which soon faded from memory shortly after I boarded my flight to Santiago. As a place for a quick stay it’s perfectly decent, and there are even facilities like tennis courts and a swimming pool if you’re so inclined.
I caught the shuttle to the airport where I was particularly excited to take my first ever Avianca Business Class flight…