Palacio tangara heaven in the earth. Must visit once in a lifetime.
Marrenbach has first-hand experience of every aspect of conducting an establishment of the calibre, having experienced a career that has taken him by an apprenticeship from Düsseldorf into a secretary's job in the Berkeley in London, to the Crillon in Paris and the Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof in Germany. 'There were plenty of state visits, therefore I learnt about routine,' he says. For the previous twenty decades, nevertheless, Marrenbach has worked for the hotels division of the huge family owned conglomerate, the Oetker Group, establishing hotels everywhere from St Barts in the Caribbean to Courchevel in the French Alps.
So why São Paulo? The family is very familiar with the economics of the nation and owns property here, so there's, let us say, an affinity. And also, due to Brazil's financial size'
The furniture Anastassiadis has commissioned also makes reference to Brazil's topography and background. Behind the fireplace there's a screen made from the elongated skins of tilapia fish. Nearby is a java table of inlaid bullhorn, a nod to Brazil's ranch culture. (I've seldom tasted better beef than the filet mignon I ate here, alongside a râgout of wild mushrooms.) Virtually all the furniture is Brazilian and bespoke, with Pedro Petry using the roots of a pequia tree to striking effect in the tasting table of this wine cellar.
The day that I arrive the 'punch list' has more than a million items still to be attended. (By the time I depart three days after, it will be down to 350.) So there is still time to put all. And perhaps because their jobs were hard won -- on the day it was declared the resort would be opening, its HR department received over 2,500 CVs (from an eventual total of 6,000) for 277 positions -- the mainly Brazilian staff, whose keenness to please is palpable, strike me as ascertained it will be.
She did marry him, but she wished to live more centrally, although Burle Marx planted an avenue of royal palms, configured a water garden and laid out a chequered lawn, all of which survive, the home never broke ground.
Her scheme is inspired by the paintings and lithographs of life in Brazil made by the French artist Jean-Baptiste Debret, a student of Jacques-Louis David, who travelled to Brazil from the early 19th century, and favoured a subdued, frequently monochrome palette.
Palacio Tangara the beautiful new hotel makes a great base from which to explore Brazil's biggest town, before relaxing on the shore.
More than three decades in the making, and inhabiting an imposing mansion at the centre of Burle Marx Park, a 27-acre stretch of compact Atlantic volcano 10 miles southwest of the center of São Paulo, where you might still see white-tufted marmosets, pointy-snouted opossums and legion exotic creatures, the resort is arguably the most lavish in Brazil -- even perhaps South America.
The wines, too, are inclined to be a draw; not only the revelatory collection of 17 freshwater tags (try the outstanding Vallontano unoaked chardonnay from Vale dos Vinhedos in the far south of the country), but also the French premiers crus, a lot of which are -- astonishingly -- offered by the glass. That means 100ml of Chateau Pétrus may be yours for about #1,620, vs #11,300 for your bottle, next to which #330 to get a glass of Cheval Blanc or #150 for a snifter of 1997 Château d'Yquem, appears almost a deal.
In time the property was sold and, in 1995, another more conventional mansion -- a great neoclassical wedding cake -- was assembled and then abandoned. It was only in 2013 that the US company GTIS purchased the site and resolved to turn it into an resort. 'I guess the air and look complement the Bristol and the Lanesborough, ''' says Marrenbach. 'Although Palácio Tangará isn't in Europe, it has a great deal of European heritage'
'The expectations of our guests would be the benchmark of our support,' Tenório reminds us, quoting among the core values of this Oetker Collection Constitution. 'we don't seek applause but instead continual improvement.'
We're a SWAT team that includes Frank Marrenbach, CEO of the Oetker Collection, the German firm behind Le Bristol in Paris along with the Lanesborough in London, which has established and is handling this hotel; Oetker's chief job development officer, Philippe Perd, who's also general director of another jewel in its crown, the most justly fabled Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes; the starry French-born, New York-based chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who is overseeing the restaurant; several of the various senior teams; and, er, me.
For the rest of us, the Palacio Tangara hotel is in itself a compelling reason to stop by the city, which might not rival Rio's seaside setting, but more than makes up for it with its restaurants restaurants and superb shopping. The resort will operate a shuttle into 2 of the main high-end malls, Cidade Jardim and JK Iguatemi -- along with the resort's own boutique is curated by Daniela Ott, former CEO of Tomas Maier and plan director of Gucci.
Tellingly, the wine list doesn't reveal the ages of all of the reds, an omission which makes me suspect they may not yet have reached adulthood. Though you could always inquire and make that call yourself when the youthful chief sommelier, Gabriele Frizon, reveals you that the bottle before she opens it. In the overall context of this glorious opening, it's a pretty trifling complaint and was honestly about the worst I could detect.
It's 10 days ahead of the initial paying guests are due to arrive at Palacio Tangara and back of house in an unassuming office supporting the grey lacquer reception desk, Camila Tenório, front office manager, is addressing a staff meeting. She runs throughout the day's news and informs us that a telephone must be answered within three rings. But first she has introduced me into the assembled reception, door and concierge staff among the 'task force' who've flown in, as she puts it, 'to look for the overlooked' and 'find the abandoned'.
The artwork in the Palacio Tangara, however, is largely modern. Input its imposing lobby, along with your eye can't fail to be drawn up into the glittering gold installation by the artist Laura Vinci that hangs from the ceiling, a subtle reference to the fact that Brazil's cultural and economic wealth was mainly based on gold. (you will discover more of Vinci's work in Galeria Nara Roesler, one of the city's most outstanding commercial galleries, and well worth a visit.) About the far wall in the entrance are two hand-woven wool hangings from Fernando Arias, to place one in mind of rivers or alluvial plains, for what's Brazil famous for when not the Amazon? And in the cozy Burle bar, there is an extraordinary four-part painting of a shrub in ink by Claudia Melli, in addition to appealing photographs of bosky Brazilian landscapes.
During the upcoming few days, each of us will sleep in another room each night, savour and critique our meals and be more attentive to every detail and imperfection: an unflatteringly distorting mirror; an over-sensitive motion sensor; a missing shelf in a shower; a balcony loaf of furniture; the fact that the milk accompanying breakfast coffee is served cold in a glass carafe, not sexy in a china jug; to not mention numerous mispronunciations of this phrase 'fruit'.