Everyone needs a bit of pampering from time to time. Especially in a town like São Paulo, where the pressures of city life can sometimes get a little overwhelming. Fortunately for softies like us, São Paulo caters admirably for those seeking a little oasis of calm in the midst of their hectic lives. Here, then, is our round-up of the five best day spas in the city.
São Paulo’s Top 5 Best Spas:
The low-down: The Ibirapuera branch of this successful homegrown chain (they have six other set-ups in São Paulo and seven in Rio de Janeiro) doesn’t merely offer its own therapeutic body oils. They also import traditional Japanese salts and oils for their celebrated, petal-strewn hot tub and offer a comprehensive selection of massages (hot stones, shiatsu, Ayurvedic) and beauty treatments (lymphatic drainage, exfoliation, Pilates). The three- and five-hour packages include lunch and the panoramic views across adjoining Ibirapuera Park are an added bonus.
Cost: 60-minute massage: R$143
Where: Rua Manoel da Nóbrega 1944, Ibirapuera, São Paulo. (11) 3052 1756. buddhaspa.com.br
Why we love it: Award winning massages.
The low-down: Situated just off Avenida Paulista within the opulent settings of the Hotel Mofarrej Tivoli, Elements Spa quite rightly claims to offer its clients a feast for the senses – if not a treat for their bank balances. That said, the dividends of forking out are substantial. Geared towards holistic wellbeing, each of the exotic sounding treatments (‘tropical rainmist’, anyone?) incorporates a ‘ritual’ that starts with a footbath and ends with a soothing flower tea. And with all the masseuses either from Thailand and Indonesia, or trained by Thai specialists, you know you’re in for the real deal at this franchise of the award-winning Asian massage chain, Banyan Tree.
Cost: 60-minute massage: R$285
Where: Alameda Santos 1437, Jardim Paulista, São Paulo. (11) 3146 6420. banyantreespa.com
Why we love it: The Hawaiian ‘Manahuna’ massage.
The low-down: The emphasis at Espaço Prana is on escaping modern city life into a quieter, slower world where the balance between mind and body can return. To this end, they’ve created an appropriately soothing environment at their main premises in Morumbi, inside of the huge mall Shopping Jardim Sul. Take your time, then, in deciding between the plethora of massages. There’s also a full selection of hot tubs, exfoliation and facial therapies for those seeking outer as well as inner perfection.
Cost: 60-minute massage: R$118-R$182
Where: Rua Giovanni Gronchi, 5819, São Paulo. (11) 2667 2016. espacoprana.com.br
Why we love it: The hot stones massages.
The low-down: The decision to forego all the beauty treatments and focus solely on the massage side of things sets Narada apart in the São Paulo spa scene. Located in a suite of serene, candlelit rooms in Perdizes, you will find the full complement of massage options on offer here, from hot stones to lymphatic drainage, Shiatsu and reflexology. There are also hot tubs for soaking away your cares and quick (15 minute) massages for those seeking a quite interlude in a busy day. It’s also one of the most affordable spas in the city, offering good value without cutting corners.
Cost: 60-minute massage: R$110
Where: Rua Doutor Franco da Rocha 118, Perdizes, São Paulo. (11) 3868 1203. narada.com.br
Why we love it: The beautiful jungle oasis setting.
The low-down: Situated at the top end of the scale, the award-winning The Spa spares no expense either for itself or its clientele. The results are, admittedly, impressive. Set in and around a jungle-clad gazebo inside the Hotel Renaissance, an icon of São Paulo glamor off bustling Avenida Paulista, you’ll find a comprehensive selection of bodily and facial treatments on offer, including three different types of Indian massage. The rituals come highly recommended, with various combinations of stone therapy, hot tubs or silk body wraps offered alongside the Renaissance Signature massage and, in most cases, a light meal.
Cost: 60-minute massage: R$210-R$220
Where: Alameda Santos 2233, Jardim Paulista, São Paulo. (11) 3069 2081. thespaatrenaissancesp.com
Need somewhere to rest your head whilst in São Paulo? Take a look at this neo-classical beauty…
This classically beautiful, neo-classical building is located in one of the most high-end neighborhoods of Jardins. Abundant natural light fills the open living area thanks to the collection of grand doors leading to the balcony. Sink into one of the comfortable couches and admire the deep coral walls and beautiful dark wood built-ins. Stay in and watch a movie on the flat-screen TV or just enjoy a cold Caipirinha at the end of a long day of sightseeing.Sao Paulo