Focused. Head down, looking at nothing else but my laptop for hours, the streaming TV news on the wall next to me providing just enough ambient background noise to keep me in my work zone. I noticed nothing around me, as what happens when you've been out on appointments all day, only to return to find a mountain of what's managed to pile up in a few hours with an even shorter timeframe to get it all done. Type, respond, complete reports- repeat. For hours, I sat like this recently in every business traveler's hotel-based sanctuary, the club lounge. This time, it was the Intercontinental Sao Paulo, which happens to be one of my favorite business hotels EVER, even before this scene occurred. More on that in a bit.
The ultra bubbly, super helpful Brazilian concierge had been looking after me so well- ensuring I had everything I needed, telling me I was working too hard with a fun smile and after a few hours, she had completely had it with me and implored me to stop, for just a minute. I looked up, and saw she had a man with her that she said she would like to introduce me to, again with that wry fun smile and before I got any wrong ideas, she told me he was a magician. What? OK, I'll play along. She told me I was sitting there for too long and I needed a break, which I did, so he told me he'd like to do some tricks for me. Again, OK- let's see what he's got. This guy treated me to some of the most delightful, mind boggling things I've seen- wallet on fire, stole (and of course replaced) my jewelery, did some absolutely crazy things with multiplying spongeballs and just made me laugh. I felt like a wide-eyed child watching him with wonder and it was just so what I needed.
To break out of a frozen work state, to sit and be forced to relax, and realize at that moment that it's actually alright if I don't answer an email until the next morning. We all need a bit of that from time to time. I've never quite experienced an amenity in a hotel like this (and I've seen A LOT) and I am not sure I ever will again, until of course I return there the next time. That's just something that I have come to expect from a hotel like this- that has really cornered the market on slick, yet friendly, discreet yet proactive service with flair. They have a system here that, for me on my many stays, has been flawless and I commend them from the top management down. But the magician, that was just, well....the best. Intercontinental Sao Paulo - HOTEL. Rafael Bogo Moltz - MAGICIAN.
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