This luxurious new hotel opened in January 2022, marking Rosewood Hotels’ first venture in South America. Responsible for renovating a much-loved and narrative-laden former hospital, the project’s design team boasts a globally renowned line-up, including Jean Nouvel and Philippe Starck ...

Set in the heart of the city, Rosewood São Paulo occupies a prominent building within the historic enclave of Cidade Matarazzo – a collection of elegantly preserved structures from the early 20th century, now respectfully transformed into private residences, high-end stores and entertainment venues. 

Rosewood São Paulo has made the former Matarazzo Hospital its home, alongside a striking new vertical garden tower. The seven-acre hospital was founded by Count Francesco Matarazzo – an Italian-born Brazilian industrialist – in the first half of the 20th century, and was once one of South America’s leading maternity hospitals. More than 500,000 babies were born within its walls, imbuing  it with great significance for generations of local citizens.

The property’s heritage and original Tuscan architecture provided a rich canvas for entrepreneur and real estate developer, Alexandre Allard, and his impressive team. With the vision and expertise of Pritzker Prize-winning architect, Jean Nouvel, and artistic director Philippe Starck, Rosewood São Paulo has been forged as something of a ‘love letter’ to Brazil’s cultural heritage and natural environment. One hundred and sixty guest rooms and suites, along with 100 private Rosewood Suites, are complemented by a world-class array of amenities.

Described by Alexandre as “a sleeping beauty waiting to be woken”, the property has been sensitively transformed, making extensive use of locally sourced building and design materials. 

Indeed, sustainability is a fundamental thread throughout the Cidade Matarazzo development. From local sourcing and renewably sourced energy, through to an impressive biodiversity programme that repopulates the indigenous flora and fauna from the Mata Atlantica rainforest, the project is among the greenest developments in Brazil. 

When it came to the interior design of the property, this same respect and celebration of local craft and heritage is clear. Under Philippe Starck’s artistic direction, 57 Brazilian artists and artisans united to create a permanent collection of art featuring more than 450 works. The team carefully commissioned artists representing Brazil’s wide range of artist expression, from street art to indigenous art, to create site-specific works for virtually every space in the property. The guiding principle – ‘creativity that respects the past, yet points to the future’ – has generated a fascinating and authentic collection of contemporary art. 

Throughout the hotel, intricate details emerge through the interior that tell their own story about the building or Brazil’s wider culture and history. A powerful graffiti-inspired painting by beloved São Paulo street artist, Caligrapixo, encapsulates one of the maternity building’s corridors, while up-and-coming artist, Virgilio Neto, has created a series of original drawings on the rooftop foyer depicting imagined stories of Count Matarazzo’s life. 

One particularly striking element of the renovation was the rejuvenation of the Chapel of Santa Luzia. This historic building within Rosewood São Paulo’s grounds was built in 1922, and revealed remarkable materials and features from its original structure during the renovation pricess. These elements have been carefully incorporated where possible, or replaced with sensitively designed alternatives. For example, eminent Brazilian artist, Vik Muniz, created new glass rosettes inspired by Santa Luzia to replace the original stained glass that was discovered during the restoration of the building. 

Elsewhere, Rosewood São Paulo boasts a suite of six gastronomic experiences. Le Jardin offers an elegant dining space extending from the lobby to the verdant gardens. Guests can enjoy modern cuisine in this cosy, light-bathed space, 24 hours a day. 

Blaise, meanwhile, is inspired by French-Swiss novelist Blaise Cendrars, and offers more of a casual brasserie environment. The interior highlights the imagination of the novelist, who was himself enamoured with Brazil, and showcases a wonderful selection of artwork and bespoke pieces, including hand-designed ceramic tiles by Fernando de La Rocque. In a subtle reference to the building’s former iteration as a maternity hospital, the tiles feature an image of a woman giving birth embedded within their composition. 

The wooden walls here have been embedded with green stones, each made of glass formed by the polishing of Brazilian volcanic stone, performed by the same machines used to cut diamonds. 

The third restaurant, Taraz, brings South American cuisine to the fore with a share-style menu designed by acclaimed chef Felipe Bronze. The restaurant is located in front of the property’s collection of centenary olive trees, and has been decorated by local artists and designers in a more traditional and rustic style.

Additional venues include Rabo di Galo, a jazz bar featuring bespoke libations and live music. The design of the bar draws from the classic jazz clubs of the 1930s, and incorporates leather furniture, dark woods and indirect lighting for an intimate atmosphere.

Artist Rodrigo de Azevedo Saad, locally known as Cabelo, spent a total of 68 hours hand-drawing on the ceiling of Rabo di Galo, which now portrays a certain schizophrenic art, resulting in the magical and primitive universe of patterns that repeat themselves.

The Emerald Garden Pool & Bar, meanwhile, is inspired by the natural beauty of the crystal-clear pools in Brazil’s Bonito municipality. The restaurant is set amidst beautiful tropical greenery, while the pool is adorned by small pieces of tile in 40 different shades of green and blue, channelling a unique gradient effect inspired by the colours of the rivers in Brazil’s Bonito region.

The pool area is also home to Belavista Rooftop Pool & Bar, an exclusive, adults-only space with panoramic views of the city. The entire roof and pool area features wood from Tora Brasil, which has been certified by Brazil’s Forest Stewardship Council as part of the property’s commitment to sustainable development.

In concert with this exceptional food and beverage offering, Rosewood São Paulo also offers a cinema, music studio, ample event space, and an Asaya – Rosewood’s integrative wellbeing concept.