They say London is a hundred villages sewn together into a city, while New York is home to its famous five boroughs.
So for a sense of scale, locals say São Paulo, commercial capital of Brazil, is 11 cities stitched together as one.
A sprawling metropolis, home to ten or 20 million people depending on your definition, the city stretches to the horizon in every direction, slender skyscrapers endlessly repeating.
A size to beggar belief, it would take a lifetime to walk every street.
And while São Paulo may not have the reputation of tourism capital Rio de Janeiro, the city is alive with opportunity.
Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Masp to locals, overlooks Paulista Avenue, the glass structure seeming to float above downtown on its concrete supports, while Parque Ibirapuera offers respite from the frenetic city.
In total there are 101 museums dotted around, as well as 164 theatres and nearly 300 cinemas, while Paulistanos also revel in their gastronomic prowess, claiming some of the finest restaurants in South America.
In the heart of it all is Hotel Emiliano, perhaps the finest example of contemporary luxury in the city.
Located on Oscar Freire Street, in the exclusive Jardins neighbourhood, the svelte, shimmering tower rises above the nearby boutiques, galleries, and restaurants; a symbol of sophistication.
Opened in 2001, the design-led property is characterised by its minimalist decor and resolute, striking pieces of art.
Visiting in July this year, I was welcomed to a refreshing lobby, all hushed tones, brushed metal and sleek furniture.
Of particular note is the Cocoon sculpture by artist Siron Franco, while Brazilian designers Fernando and Humberto Campana have also contributed pieces of furniture to the hotel.
It is evident from first blush that the hotel would compete with any in New York or London, with its quiet grace offering a welcome reprieve from the bustle of the city.
Home to just 56 rooms, the boutique Emiliano puts the needs of the guest front and centre.
From the clean lines and spaciousness, to the finely selected amenities, each room is a haven of relaxation.
The views over the city below are also a perk.
Everything one would expect from a property of this quality is included.
A 32” LCD TV offers channels from around the world, with sound provided through a digital surround theatre, while a unlimited Wi-Fi internet is included as standard.
Carrara marble bathrooms offer showers running at massage pressure, while the Japanese temperature controlled Toto toilet seats are a welcome addition.
Charles Eames chairs and an Italian leather sofa offer a choice of places to relax, while the king sized bed is piled high with the softest pillows.
But, as they say, it is the little things that count in life.
Fresh flowers are delivered to the bathroom each morning, a bottle of local wine is included, along with a selection of pastries and fruit, and a semi-sweet chocolate brownie is left as part of the turndown service.
Pressing, essential for business travellers, is also as standard.
This attention to detail is what defines the Hotel Emiliano.
On the ground floor, one of the environments that best expresses the concept of Hotel Emiliano is the Lobby Bar.
A sophisticated, quiet space, guests are invited here for a welcome drink on arrival – also complimentary.
I selected the local favourite, a Caipirinha, which was expertly mixed and served in the serene atmosphere.
Next door Restaurant Emiliano showcases the talent of chef Andrea Montella, who emphasises the use of fresh ingredients highlighting natural flavours.
The wine cellar reputedly has nearly 300 labels of wine, with more than 80 labels of champagne also on offer.
Upstairs on the second floor, Spa Emiliano makes the most of its small space to offer a true urban retreat.
São Paulo has the largest Japanese population outside of Japan and this is reflected in the hot baths outside on the relaxation deck.
During my stay I took advantage of a shiatsu massage, a wonderful way to start the day and to prepare for the jostling city which waits on the doorstep.
Also on offer are lymphatic drainage, reflexology and aromatherapy, while the sauna and fitness centre are open to guests 24 hours a day.
The spa is an impressive asset to the property, a final flourish for this wonderful hotel.
With Emiliano Rio de Janeiro set to open later this year there is also much more in store from this inspiring brand.
Hotel Emiliano is the leading small luxury hotel in São Paulo.
The hotel offers the most sophisticated Brazilian hospitality experience, setting itself apart by reflecting the caring and friendly personality of Brazilian people.
To find out more head over to the official website.