“Outrageous opulence in Buenos Aires’ most stunning modern hotel: flamboyant design and fabulous nightlife”
Wow! You can’t help gasping as the door opens. A sensational mix scintillates the eye: white leather, polished wood, cut-glass mirrors, red velvet and little flashes of red glass. Opulence abounds. And the sense of theatre which pervades the public rooms continues here, in the diagonally placed bed and in the floor-to-ceiling red curtains, which swish aside to reveal a glass-walled bathroom. The toilet is mercifully swathed in ground glass, but you can see your partner showering from your bed, and if you’re in the power shower you can gaze out at a view of the river or the port.
There’s wit and fun in the details. The home theatre - TV, DVD player and music system, with Dolby surround sound and speakers in the bathroom - is concealed in a huge mirrored cabinet which reflects your bed, then swivels silently to reveal the goodies behind.
The curtains and blinds are opened by electric switches by the bed, and your laptop - if you’ve brought it - sits happily on a neat desk cunningly hidden behind the curved padded headboard. Your Experience Manager will help you set up the WiFi - and indeed anything else. You’ll be given a small portable phone on arrival, and at any time of day one of your Experience team of 3 will be on hand to book tickets and taxis, arrange polo or even reserve flights.
You get stylish fresh flowers, and incredibly good chocolates; the bathroom is stocked with big bottles of shampoo and conditioner (which could be more luxurious), plus soaps and body lotion. There are lots of white towels, bathrobes, slippers and a hairdryer.
Park View Rooms have queensize beds; Skyline View Rooms are larger and have kingsize beds and bathtubs. The Loft and Corner Studios are more like apartments, with great city views. Then there are several grades of staggeringly large suites with some incredible pieces of furniture and even more impressive views; some even have terraces, full kitchens and dining rooms, though you’d need a pretty special occasion to justify the expenditure. Beds in all are extremely comfortable, with a choice of pillows.
As you’d expect in a hotel which takes sensuous pleasure seriously, the food at Faena is par excellence.
El Mercado is the more informal of the 2 restaurants, with its quirky style referencing traditional Argentine pulperías (rural bars). The ceiling is made of mismatched reclaimed tiles, and the tables are hewn wood, with chic-industrial lights overhead and glamorous Starck chairs. Big glass cases are full of tea pots, crystal, old china and 1950s adverts - the kind of bric a brac found all over San Telmo, but gathered here in ironic reverence. Brick walls are covered with portraits of Argentine and international icons, and there are floor-to-ceiling windows onto the pool.
Breakfasts here are spectacular. Very good fresh juice is accompanied by a lavish choice of fruits: hunks of papaya, melon and mango, and great heaps of strawberries, grapes and kiwi fruit. Eggs are cooked to order by cheerful chefs who toss bacon and banter in the open kitchen. There are cereals ranging from coco pops to homemade granola, plus fresh coffee and a wide range of leaf teas. It's most definitely worth getting up for, but breakfast can be brought to your room if you’ve partied too late.
Superb Argentine steaks are served at lunchtime, along with other good Argentine fare, much of it cooked traditionally in adobe mud ovens. Informal meals can be ordered from the pool bar and the library lounge, where you can also have tea with silver pots and delicate nibbles (though the scones were less than inspiring).
Dinner is an event to be savoured in award-winning El Bistro, and in the right frock. Anything will look good against the white décor, but expect to be upstaged by the row of white unicorn heads with red eyes gazing down at you. The menu is packed with reworkings of traditional recipes plus brand new concepts. All showcase contemporary culinary techniques such as ‘spherifcations’, ‘foams’ and ‘airs’ to develop different textures and tastes. A real treat.
The advantage of having your own Experience Manager is that anything you fancy doing in Buenos Aires - or indeed, Argentina - can be made to happen. All you have to do is ask. These are recommended:
The eye-popping design makes this a fun place for families. Cots, babysitting and extra beds are available on request. In addition, your Experience Manager can provide soft mats for babies, clothes for newborns left in your room as a turn-down gift, animal-shaped biscuits and sweets for kids, and movies for children, which are brought to the room with a bowl of popcorn. The water in the pool is very shallow (1cm) at one end, so perfect for children to hang out in on hot days.
Cots Available, Extra Beds Available
Babysitting is available by arrangement
Baby cots are available on request
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
The smart set hang out here, some of whom may look askance at kids tearing up the place