Hotelier Rogerio Fasano offers his favorite holiday spots—at the beach or in the city.
In the City
Day: Fasano loves the Maria Luisa and Oscar Americano Foundation (pictured), which “has a superb art collection and beautiful gardens.” For lunch, make your way to Rodeio (1498 Rua Haddock Lobo; 55-11/3474-1333; lunch for two $160), a churrascaria, or Brazilian steak house.
Night: Check out a concert at the Municipal Theater (Praça Ramos de Azevedo; 55-12/3397-0300). “It just reopened after three years of refurbishment,” Fasano says. In town on New Year’s Eve? The “it” place to be is the city-organized party on Avenida Paulista—and make sure to wear white for good luck. “And clothes have to be new,” he advises.
Stay: Fasano’s own Hotel Fasano São Paulo (doubles from $720) is right in the center of the action; the new Hotel Fasano Boa Vista (Km 102.5, Rodovia Presidente Castello Branco; 800/745-8883; doubles from $795) is an hour outside town.
At the Beach
Day: “Because it’s summer here, São Paulo over Christmas is a bit like Milan in August, with everyone heading to the coast,” he says. In-the-know locals forgo Rio for the northern shore of São Paulo state, which “is like the Hamptons of Brazil,” Fasano says. “You have beach after beach.” Spend the afternoon sunning at Barra do Sahy, where he travels with his family. Other great beaches include Ubatumirim, Juquehy, Guarujá, and São Pedro.
Night: Go to nearby Camburi to sample Brazilian fusion dishes at Manacá (dinner for two $140), set among banana trees at the end of a 100-foot wooden plank. “It’s one of my favorite restaurants in the country,” Fasano says. “I go for the fresh seafood.”
Stay: There aren’t many hotels on the beaches; your best bet is to rent a house. Fasano recommends booking through Matueté (villas from $1,500 per night, five-night minimum), which specializes in Brazil and is on T+L’s A-List. —Ed Stocker