Today we’re meeting Melissa Fernandes Oliveira, the managing director of the Unique Hotel in São Paulo, though she is perhaps better known for her lifestyle blog Melfernandes.com.br and her reputation as an endless font of knowledge on good food and great destinations in Brazil and beyond.
Our meeting is at the Unique Hotel itself, one of São Paulo’s architectural icons with its green copper façade and abstract ark shape.
“I’m looking forward to this meeting,” I tell Maarten as we head to the hotel through Ibirapuera Park. “Several people we’ve met have mentioned Melissa and how interesting she is…”
“Right,” says Maarten, “I heard her blog is a reference across a big part of Brazil. She’s the leading lady when it comes to all things hip and stylish. Can’t wait to meet her in person!
Where did we say we would meet her?” he asks as we enter the sleek minimalist hotel lobby.
“On the roof terrace,” I answer, “apparently it’s got amazing views of the city and a crimson swimming pool!”
“Wow,” says Maarten, “coffee on top of a copper ark beside a crimson pool… not something you do every day!”
As we step out of the lift, we immediately spot Melissa, standing by the bar discussing the day’s menu with the maître d’, but as soon as she sees us she comes over. “Welcome to the Unique Hotel,” she says with a big smile. “Let’s go out onto the terrace. What would you like to drink?”
We order two lattes and follow Melissa outside, where, as advertised, the views are mind-blowing. Melissa and I settle on the chaise longues by the pool (which is indeed crimson) and I ask Melissa about her blog.
“I actually do it more for fun, I don’t really consider it to be work,” she says. “You see, I love travelling and exploring new places. The travelling is very useful for my job as a managing director of the Unique. This is also one of the reasons why I have been asked to be the president of the Brazilian Luxury Travel Association (blta.com.br).”
What happened, is that because of these activities, many people used to ask me for advice about good restaurants, new hotels or designer shops in different places. I was always more than happy to give tips and share my own experiences, and after a while I decided to put it all together on a blog.”
“I heard it has really become a reference site – according to several people we spoke to,” I say.
“Well you know, this is how it goes in Brazil,” says Melissa with a relaxed smile, “people prefer having things recommended by others and to share experiences. I really enjoy the idea of exchanging and sharing information – particularly if I can help young people with my experience.
I always make time for that because I really believe in the importance of encouraging and supporting the young generation in their endeavours.”
© 2013 CoolBrands – Around the World in 80 Brands
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Tags: Anouk Pappers, Maarten Schäfer, CoolBrands Influencers, Influencers around the world, Around the World in 80 Brands, Storytelling, Meeting Melissa Fernandes Oliveira, Melissa Fernandes Oliveira, Melissa Oliveira, Mel Fernandes, Unique Hotel São Paulo, managing director Unique Hotel, president Brazilian Luxury and Travel Association