A guide for super demanding travelers
There is not a single kind of luxury hotel and in Buenos Aires this is demostrated. While there are certain conditions that are taken for granted that meet, such as attentive service and comfort, they also admit particularities. Some can stand out in style and architecture, others in the variety of their gastronomic proposals, others can be more attractive for the area they are located. BUENOS AIRES TO GO plunged into this universe of five stars to tell you what is the most valuable of each.
It is one of the historic and iconic hotels of Buenos Aires and, without a doubt, the most aristocratic. It is located in one of the most exclusive areas of the city: on Alvear Avenue, which have some of the best clothing stores and is located a few blocks from Plaza Francia and the Recoleta cemetery. "We try to surprise the guest, so he can get an extra, a plus, always more than what he expects", says one of the hotel managers, with 38 years of experience.
Among those details are the French quilts, the napkins with the dry-engraved logo and the the traditional afternoon tea is served in delicate Noritake porcelain, which is originally from Sri Lanka and Japan. Despite being a classic hotel - most of the rooms are decorated in Louis XV style - in recent years, the hotel from 1932 was able to catch up: for example, the floors 10 and 11 have a stainless-steel pool and 15 rooms, which are heated with solar panels, in tune with modern times. In addition, the Alvear Palace transformed its French rotisserie into a grill where they serve the best cuts of meat (not kobe or dry aged) fed to pasture in the surrounding Buenos Aires fields. "We believe that Argentine beef is so good that it does not need any technique to improve it," says Alfredo Losa, head of the hotel's Food and Beverage area.
The hotel was chosen by Angela Merkel, Vladimir Putin and the presidents of Brazil and South Africa - during the last G20 meeting in Buenos Aires - the Alvear is the most stately of the high-end hotels: drink a gin and tonic in its beautiful lobby, take a cocktail or a glass of wine in their roof bar, while the sun goes down behind the buildings and the planes take off from the nearby airport, all these are unforgettable experiences.
Outstanding aspect: its aristocratic style and architecture (it was declared historical patrimony of the city in 2003)
Where is it located: Alvear 1891, Recoleta.
The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires is the one that best knows how to combine glam and fun. It is a hotel that is alive and is also the first one that managed to get rid of that "stiff" and impersonal air that high-end hotels sometimes have. In part, it was thanks to its Head of Public Relations, Gabriel Oliveri - a main character in the Buenos Aires hotel scene and a promoter of the "relaxed luxury" - which made it a place that is also attractive for those who do not stay in the hotel. Its Restaurant Elena (among the 50 Best of Latam) is a must-try, particularly at Sunday brunch, as well as its Pony Line bar, which specialize in signature cocktails. It also has its own line of homemade ice cream, Dolce Morte, which are considered among the best in Buenos Aires (hint: the ice cream is only served in the hotel).
The Four Seasons has two distinct areas: a contemporary towerand a mansion of the early twentieth century, where the most expensive and exclusive rooms are located. In short, the Four Seasons is the hotel that should choose someone who is looking for the vibrant city, where there is always something going on, the energy that lives in the hotel is a reflection of this Buenos Aires. Also, it is a hotel for those who prefer a luxury hotel less focus on the decorative side and more linked to experiences.
Finally: it is a good option to be well connected, is located in Retiro, minutes away from downtown Buenos Aires, but it also has easy access to the north part of the city.
Outstanding aspect: its gastronomic offer and its lively style.
Where is it located: Posadas 1086 Recoleta.
There are things that are not discussed and among them is the beauty of the Duhau Palace, one of the surviving family residences of the Belle Epoque of Buenos Aires and that was saved from being demolished (as were many other mansions) to become one of the most beautiful hotels of Buenos Aires, part of the Park Hyatt hotel chain. Although many people don’t know, the hotel has a 24-hour underground corridor that connects the old part with the new one (a 15-floors tower) and whose walls of Paris Stone bring together works by contemporary Latin American artists such as Fernando Botero or Guillermo Roux. In a space where they could had chosen to place boutiques or businesses, the Duhau opted for an art gallery.
In addition to this sensitive choice, there are many details that make the tourist feel in a special atmosphere, genuinely aristocratic: the baccarat crystal chandeliers, the pink and green marble floors, the wine bar with 7 thousand bottles of Argentine wines, the bathrooms also of marble, the immense library and the best patisserie of Buenos Aires, with the stamp of the talented Damián Betular. Also, you cannot miss its semi-olympic indoor pool, which follows the bases of chromotherapy and the terraces on the great ravine where the garden unfolds.
To give you an idea, the Duhau is the hotel that the Queen Máxima of the Netherlands usually chooses each time she returns to her hometown.
Where is it located: Alvear 1661, Recoleta.
Among the luxury hotels of Buenos Aires this is definitely the most outgoing and eccentric option. The Faena combines pleasure and hedonism, a particularity that makes it perfect to visit the hotel with a partner. Behind its careful aesthetics – a lot of red, velvet curtains and venetian blinds - is the perspective of the Argentine entrepreneur Alan Faena, now a well-known developer in Miami. Faena was the first to change the look to the Puerto Madero area and he convinced the famous French designer Philip Starck to accompany him on the adventure of converting an old port silo built with bricks that were brought from Manchester in this particular hotel.
Many details denote the different proposal of the Faena Hotel: for example, there is no concierge but an "experience manager" that guides the guests during their stay. The restaurants and the bar (open 24 hours a day) have a scenographic setting: "El bistró" all painted white and with unicorns hanging on the walls, "El mercado", with the spirit of an Italian canteen and a wood-fired oven that is the soul of the place. And the cabaret, Moulin Rouge style, where every night there is tango show that you can’t miss: Rojo Tango.
We also recommend the Sunday brunch and the pool bar.
The spa is probably the best in the city, with a holistic treatment kit and yoga classes, which tempt you to not leave the hotel the whole day. In addition, there is a very good boutique, with a curated selection of Argentine design and art objects such as: ponchos, polo boots, fragrances and more.
Outstanding aspect: its spa and pool.
Where is it located: Martha Salotti 445, Puerto Madero.