Friday, February 18, 2005

Sao Paulo – Admirals Club Lounge

It is 10.30pm and finally, I’m on my way home. What a week… ending in a quick ride to the airport, only to find it crowded and noisy. I decided to hang out in the Admirals Club lounge – you get free access when you are on International Business class. The lounge has that incredible 1980s airport décor of mauve and grey carpet with rosewood doors and marble… and because it is Friday, it looks like a refugee camp with all the business travelers going home. Yuck. Free drinks, though.

I just adore the Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo. The hotel put me in a suite this time, which was very lovely and spacious. The shower…. OMG the shower. Still the best shower I’ve ever had. Not only is the design pleasing, the rain shower is just at the perfect height for me, and the stall is so spacious. I love this hotel so much! Everyone was very warm and gracious, still the best service I’ve ever had.

This time, I flew into Sao Paulo from Buenos Aires. The airline was TAM, and it was kind of funny. I was not paying attention to the safety video, but when they spoke in English I looked up, and the video was with claymation-style puppets, like the old Thunderbird show or that recent movie Team America! Totally cute. It ends with them spelling out “Have A Nice Flight” in cute block letters. First class was nice service, but during it I decided to look at the in-flight entertainment. OMG, it was an old Star Trek episode, the one when that floating machine gets onto the Enterprise and it follows Captain Kirk to the bridge. Once it gets there, it starts to take control and it zaps Lt. Uhura, she loses her memory and has to learn English all over; Scotty is zapped dead. But not in English, it was in Spanish or Portugese, so I forgot how it ended. HILARIOUS. I wonder who they are marketing to…

Getting to the hotel was a chore. It was a 2-hr ride from the airport, the traffic was incredibly bad. Apparently there was a major storm and it just snarled everything. Once I got there, though, I totally relaxed – time for ME. The only free time that I truly had on the trip, other then the first afternoon in Mendoza (but I worked that night there). I didn’t work at all, went to the health club and then I had a massage at the spa, ending with room service. Dessert was incredible, just a huge hunk of pineapple with coconut sherbet. Simple, boy was it good. Mmmmmm.

For lunch they took me to Eau, which apparently was voted the best hotel restaurant in Brazil. It is French, yummy. For dessert we had the little cookies that are made with chocolate and Earl Grey tea. They were nice enough to send a little box to my room to take with me, very thoughtful. Of course I stole the soaps, they are from the Amazon and just amazing. I’m giving one to my mom.

Buenos Aires: what a great town. I really look forward to going back and checking it out. I saw so little of it! The new hotel will be amazing, I’m totally looking forward to staying in it. The official name is Palacio Duhau Park Hyatt Buenos Aires. Just wonderful. The neatest part of the trip was meeting Christophe again and his wife, who went to school at AFCENT in the Netherlands! Amazingly small world…

Looking forward to being home for a few days before going off to Australia, Hong Kong, Paris, Zurich and Lausanne. Should be fun!

Ok, time to take off soon. This lounge is incredibly cheesy… worst I’ve been to.

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