Opened nine years ago in the well-heeled residential area of Jardins in São Paulo and designed by bold Brazilian architect Ruy Ohtake, Hotel Unique was one of the first of swag of new design-driven hotels in Brazil's largest city. Bellmen in black and security in cool shades make it look as if they are expecting a famous footballer at any moment. The building is built like a copper-clad ocean liner, a massive inverted arch with circular windows like over-sized portholes. The three story high entrance doors and high ceilings set the scene for drama -although of a minimalist type. Expect a green glowing copper-lobby, block -like industrial furniture, gleaming marble and steel-framed glass walls. Amid all this metal there are a few baroque flourishes in the otherwise angular modernist rooms. We love the blood-red swimming pool and the views from the ultra-hip roof terrace.