Trip Reports

The Milelion’s RTW Trip 2018: Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Review

Is an airport Marriott that much different from an airport Sheraton?

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
Sheraton Kampala
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
W Boston
Element Boston
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



What’s the difference between an airport Sheraton and an airport Marriott? I’ve often wondered. Well, now I know the answer is: not much, really.
It’s funny because until the Marriott acquisition of Starwood, I didn’t know much about where each Marriott brand stood in the overall portfolio. I’d always assumed that Marriotts were higher quality than Sheratons, although it should be pretty obvious on hindsight that Marriotts fill the same role that Sheratons do in the Marriott portfolio- solid, unspectacular business hotels that get the job done with a good level of consistency.

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.

Marriott Sao Paulo Hotel Exterior

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.

Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Lobby
Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Lobby
Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Lobby

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.

Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Platinum 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…

Your Marriott upgrade

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.

Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Executive Room

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.

Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Executive Room
Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Executive Room

The bathroom had L’occitane ammenities, a nice touch given that those are normally found at JW’s.




Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Executive Room Bathroom
Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Executive Room Bathroom
Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Executive Room Bathroom
Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Executive Room Bathroom

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.

Minibar
Minibar

As mentioned, the executive lounge was on the 9th floor, just down the corridor from my room.

Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Executive Lounge

It’s a small lounge, but it never really got crowded which was probably more down to occupancy rates than anything else.

Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Executive Lounge
Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Executive Lounge

During the day the lounge carries a small range of snacks including chips, Quaker oats bars, cereal, nuts and sweets.

Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Executive Lounge Daytime Offerings

As well as still/sparkling water and assorted local and international soft drinks.



Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Executive Lounge Daytime Offerings
Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Executive Lounge Daytime Offerings

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.

Evening Spread, Marriott Sao Paulo Executive Lounge
Evening Spread, Marriott Sao Paulo Executive Lounge
Evening Spread, Marriott Sao Paulo Executive Lounge

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.

Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Executive Lounge Breakfast
Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Executive Lounge Breakfast
Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Executive Lounge Breakfast

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.

Conclusion

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.

Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Swimming Pool

I caught the shuttle to the airport where I was particularly excited to take my first ever Avianca Business Class flight…



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5 Comments on "The Milelion’s RTW Trip 2018: Marriott Sao Paulo Airport Review"

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QUESTION (don\'t laugh)

Hey can I ask a question: What is the purpose of the urinal-sink-lookalike thing beside the toilet bowl?

IS IT A URINAL – but it seem to have hot and cold water faucet/taps??

IS IT A SINK TO WASH HANDS- but it doesn’t have a outlet/sprout/spray head?

IS IT A BOWL for you to churn out hot water to have hot cereal. Okay never mind that sounds disgusting.

These are all excellent theories. It is actually a bidet, to wash your bum after pooping. The Japanese have more elegant integrated solutions, but the Europeans prefer separate but equal.

QUESTIONMAN (not ironman)
Hey. ikr. you’re secretly attracted to the last idea hehehe. BUT. What if someone laosai and need to step aside for the bidet. Wouldn’t the laosai drip all over? Then after finish spraying with the bidet the butt is wet, need to wipe dry how to reach for the paper from the bidet? if stand up, the laosai + bidet water is going to drip all over the floor + the underwear isn’t it. THEN HOW TO ADJUST THE TEMPERATURE FROM THE TAPS with your hands behind your back? or maybe need to face the wall so the taps in… Read more »

Is your colleague sunbathing in the last photo?