Carolina filgueiras in Soul-Made

The cars parked on Avenida Atlantica are blue, red and white – the same colours as the sand, the ocean and the urban decorations of landscape architect Burle Marx.I enjoy the view on what is just another dazzling day in Copacabana.

My flight slows as I spot a bright light which breaks up the sequence of facades on the seafront. It is a brilliant light pouring through a perforated covering, a dazzling white graphic effect created by fibreglass. I approach it, slipping through a French window and into a spa suite.

I am brimming with pride as I realise, we have managed to achieve what had once seemed unthinkable in our country. With the first “Emiliano” in São Paulo, we took the idea of luxury to a higher level.

We were the first to raise the quality of every slightest detail. The first to build a helicopter landing pad on the roof. The first to ensure our clients no longer had to endure the nuisance of having to pack their suitcases before checking out. The first to conceive the hotel as an artform. So much so we called them “Emiliano”, in a tribute to Brazilian painter Emiliano Di Cavalcanti. And here in Rio de Janeiro, in our second hotel, it dawns on me that we have once again managed to create a unique experience.

It is unique because the view in front embraces Copacabana, reaching all the way to Sugarloaf Mountain, which looks as if it has been drawn by a child, whilst behind it you can feel the primordial force of the forest pushing up against the city.

I see a woman climbing out of the tub and wrapping her hair in a turban. She moves gracefully, her skin sun-kissed. Pineapple and ipé flower, cocoa and heliconia flower, or acai and Victoria water lily?

The fragrance released is that of Brazil. Intense, wild, instinctive and inebriating. It is the fragrance chosen by my daughter Carolina, who is continuing the work I started but was unable to finish. There is something intimate, spiritual and philosophical about cosmetics. It is something which gets beneath the skin and changes your frame of mind.

She applies herself heart and soul to the task with that unique mix of hers, a combination of Swiss discipline, American high-performance professionalism and a deep, sincere Brazilian spirit.

We chose the name Santapele together for this beauty project, and she added a description which speaks reams: soul-made.

I leave the spa suite and go down to her office. There she is, my very own Carolina. She is seated at the desk, her expression one of concentration. She is perusing some papers. I take a peak and I see a sketch of something resembling a lipstick. I wonder what she has in mind.

Those who don’t know her might think otherwise, seeing her in her high heels, squeezed into a lacy sheath dress, but when the weekend comes round she cannot wait to drive straight out to Paraty, a bay full of lush islands, surrounded by hills covered with tropical vegetation.

People only walk along the town streets to protect their cars from the crooked cobblestones. The streets themselves are graced by the colonial architecture. A place dreams are made of…perhaps a place for the next “Emiliano”?

The Travelling Box

When the iconic magic box meets the place, captured from hotel guests shots to let discover the details of the hotel destinations.

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