Hotel Review: Canopy by Hilton São Paulo Jardins – A Lot of Positives
My wife and I recently spent four nights at the Canopy by Hilton São Paulo Jardins and would definitely stay here again. This boutique hotel has a lot of positives. Not everything was perfect, so my review will highlight the pluses and minuses of our stay. From start to finish, it was a good experience overall. We would stay here again for sure.
The Canopy by Hilton São Paulo Jardins is in The Hotel Collection from American Express. Thus, it requires a minimum stay of 2 nights per reservation. My wife and I each used a credit from our Platinum cards and got $200 in reimbursement from this card benefit. This meant we had two separate reservations of 2 nights each–first in my wife’s name, then in my name.
After receiving our credits, our total out-of-pocket expenses were $73.80.
I’ve mentioned previously that when you use this benefit from AmexTravel.com hotels are not required to honor your elite status or award points, since you didn’t book directly with them. However, we put in our Hilton Honors numbers during the booking hoping it would correlate.
I can confirm that I did receive points from the stay and also saw the “upcoming stay” with confirmed room upgrade in my Hilton app.
Oddly, though we had booked through AmexTravel.com, the reservation showed up as booked through Expedia.
The Canopy by Hilton São Paulo is in the Jardins neighborhood. This is an upscale neighborhood in south-central São Paulo. The hotel is located within walking distance of the famous Avenida Paulista–the main avenue where everything happens. Since this is an upscale neighborhood, there isn’t much public transportation running around the hotel. However, there is valet parking available, if you have a car. Uber and taxi service to the hotel are pretty simple, as well.
On arrival at the hotel, we were greeted with warm smiles and a friendly hello. The hotel sits in a residential neighborhood and at the end of a “dead end” street. However, the back side of the hotel butts up against a main road, so you do hear traffic and buses out there. In front of the hotel, though, there is very little movement. This creates a relaxing atmosphere, which we noticed immediately.
The reception area isn’t very large, but it’s not cramped either. It’s a welcoming space with seating for anyone waiting for their car or a taxi.
We explained to the desk agent that we had two reservations but were staying together for the whole 4 nights. He was able to easily find the reservations and confirm them. The employee recognized my wife’s Gold status with Hilton and my Diamond status then confirmed that they had assigned an upgrade to my reservation. Since the staff didn’t know about the 2 reservations, the upgrade was assigned only to my reservation, and the desk agent couldn’t extend the upgrade to my wife’s booking. We were fine with that.
Since the first stay was in my wife’s name, we stayed in the standard “1 King Bed” room that we had booked. It was nice. If we hadn’t upgraded to the suite later, we still would have enjoyed the stay.
The desk agent issued our keys and told us about the free breakfast, which they included from our Hilton status, and the $100 property credit. This is a “per reservation” credit, and he explained that we could use it for room service, spa treatments, dinner, the bar, or valet parking. Since we didn’t have a car with us, we planned to use it for food and drinks. We also received 2 tickets for “welcome drinks” at the bar, but the man at the desk said we could use it any time during our stay.
Check-in was efficient, and we had a good first impression of the hotel.
The hotel is in a former apartment building, built in the 1960s. Thus, it’s skinny and tall. However, they’ve managed to fit a lot into the property. We didn’t feel like it was lacking anything. Adding a pool would be the only way to improve, but I’m not sure where they could put it.
There is a restaurant on the first floor, and it has a really nice layout surrounded by windows and open space. There are tables of varying types, plus outdoor seating. This is where the breakfast buffet is located each morning.
The elevators sit across from the restaurant. I want to say two things about these. They are small, but I kept reminding myself that this was built as an apartment building 50 years ago. Also, it’s odd that each elevator operates on its own set of button. Thus, if you push the “up” button on the left elevator, you’ll be waiting only for the left elevator. That button won’t call the elevator on the right. You need to push both buttons and then see which elevator comes first. That’s kind of strange.
There is a rooftop bar and also a large patio for events like weddings.
We tried to check out the gym twice but never saw the inside. There are a ton of lockers for while you are using the gym or even for leaving your luggage prior to check-in / after check-out. This is a nice feature.
The gym currently requires reservations, and we couldn’t find an open spot to get in for pictures. It seems small in size, but it’s popular with the guests apparently.
Lighting in the hallway is a bit odd. It has an orange-ish color. There’s no natural light from windows, and the lighting isn’t very bright. It’s not dark, per se, but it’s definitely not bright. Each floor has an ice machine and fresh water cooler near the stairwell, which we liked.
Breakfast each morning was nice. Along with a standard buffet of fruits, breads, cold cuts, cereals & juices, you could also order various hot drinks and hot food items. Options included made-to-order pancakes, eggs, and French toast.
While some items were the same every day, other items rotated. This was nice; it avoided a stale feeling by our fourth breakfast, due to variety.
Upgrading to the Suite
During the afternoon of day 3, after we had been at the hotel for 48 hours, we stopped by the front desk to ask about moving to the suite. We had been on the 12th floor in our standard room, and the friendly woman at the desk confirmed the suite on the 14th floor. She asked if we needed help moving, but we didn’t have a lot of stuff and said we would move on our own.
She closed out the reservation from the first 2 nights but surprisingly offered to roll over the remainder of the $100 property credit. We had only used about $20 of this, so that meant we now had $180 of credit on the remaining 2 nights. That was a pleasant surprise. She also gave us 2 more tickets for welcome drinks–another pleasant surprise.
We signed our papers, made a copy of my ID, and headed up to move our belongings. We called the front desk from the new room to confirm to them, so they could deactivate the old keys.
The suite is very nice. When you enter the room, the bathroom and storage area are to the right, while the living room and then bedroom are to the left.
We are big fans of bathrooms with 2 sinks at hotels. The bathroom layout was spacious and attractive. There are 2 sinks with 2 mirrors. The bathroom had a lot of lot switches, which I found a bit cumbersome. The lights around the mirror are on one switch, while a light above the toilet is on another…one switch for an overhead light or “one switch to rule them all” would be easier. We kept hitting wrong buttons trying to get the lights we wanted.
I will also say that the flat bottom of the sink is a strange design. Water drained out very slowly because of this.
There’s also a bath tub, LARGE shower with option for rainfall or handheld unit, and a toilet sitting in its own, private area. The bathroom was excellent overall.
Just outside the bathroom door, there’s a wall mirror and some storage space. We found 2 very comfortable robes and 2 pairs of slippers waiting for us here.
I wouldn’t call the living room enormous, but it was spacious. The sofa was a bit firm for my liking, but friends who visited us while we were at the hotel enjoyed having a place to sit–rather than hanging out on the bed like you would need to do in a non-suite.
There’s a TV and desk + 2 chairs on the wall opposite the sofa. The wooden shelf running across the wall was a great spot for the remote, room keys, wallet, etc.
We also had a welcome gift of a box of alfajors. This was a nice touch and cleverly packaged.
Along the opposite wall, there is a counter top with coffee and tea, a bottle for getting water from the machine in the hall, plus a mini fridge and drawers. I will note that there was a lot of condensation in the bottle on our arrival, so we cleaned this before using it.
The bedroom starts with more storage, next to that in the living room. There was no shortage of shelving or drawers during our stay at the Canopy by Hilton São Paulo, and that’s definitely a positive.
There’s also a small safe, hangers, and a chair in the corner. On the wall opposite the bed, there’s a big TV.
The king-sized bed was comfortable overall. I will say that the comforter was quite heavy; I didn’t like how heavy it felt on top of me and kicked it away when going to bed.
Each side of the bed has a night stand with multiple outlets for charging your devices. Both the bedroom and the living room have a ton of window space. This lets in a lot of natural light. There are day curtains and blackout curtains.
The first night at the hotel, we didn’t close the blackout curtains in the living room area and woke up at sunrise to a SUPER BRIGHT room. Lesson learned.
The views from the room were nothing spectacular, but we didn’t spend a ton of time in the room anyway, so it was fine.
Using the Property Credits
Since we have friends in São Paulo and had almost $180 of credit on our tab + 4 tickets for welcome drinks, we invited friends to the hotel bar on our last night and paid for their drinks. My wife and I don’t drink alcohol, so we knew we’d never use all of these tickets / room credits.
We enjoyed sitting in the open area and hanging out for a few hours. It went quite well until the end.
When the tab came, the waiter informed us that none of the drinks qualified for using the “welcome drink” tickets. We had specifically asked about options, and another waiter (who had gone home by this point) had told us we could use it on anything. It turns out only 3 drinks qualified, so we couldn’t use the tickets. Communication here could be improved.
I would’ve been upset about this if we’d been paying for the drinks out of pocket. Since our bill was less than the amount of credit we had, we just signed the receipt and left. Using our room credit to treat friends at the bar made for a great experience.
When checking out, the desk agents again were friendly and smiling. They thanked us for our stay and then presented us with…a bar tab to pay. From what they saw in the computer, we only had the $100 credit from the 2nd reservation–not the $80 rolled over from the first reservation. Thus, they wanted us to pay about $23 from the bar tab.
I explained that the credit from the first reservation had been rolled over, and they had to go find the paperwork from our last reservation. Luckily, when the employee went to go ask her manager for the papers/explain the situation, the manager turned out to be the woman who did the paperwork for the suite. That made things super simple. She remembered us, told the employee to zero out the bill, and we sat down to wait for our Uber ride. The employees gave us a printed copy of the bill confirming it was at $0, apologized for the confusion, and thanked us for our stay.
Overall Thoughts on Canopy by Hilton São Paulo Jardins
Overall, we had a good stay. A few bits of communication could be improved. And I wasn’t the biggest fan of the fact there are 6 light switches in the bathroom, 3 switches next to the bed, 4 switches in the bedroom entry area, and 4 switches by the door to the hallway. That’s a bit complicated. As for positives: staff are friendly, the location was accessible to friends we wanted to see, and the bed was good. I would definitely stay here again.