Faena Hotel Buenos Aires

Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires, Argentina Book from

Outrageous opulence in Buenos Aires’ most stunning modern hotel: flamboyant design and fabulous nightlife
From the moment cape-wearing flunkies usher you down a long red carpet to check in with your Experience Manager in a plush darkened recess, you’re in another world. Gold velvet, black leather and mahogany suggest a Bond casino. The library lounge resembles a gentleman’s colonial club, complete with Chesterfields, stag heads, antique lamps and Persian rugs. Dining in El Bistro - gold-studded white leather, crystal candelabras and unicorns - feels like a surrealist 1940s movie. Wandering through Faena BA (formerly Faena Hotel + Universe) is like strolling through Hollywood film sets, each with its own soundtrack. And you do feel like a star - your Experience Manager’s goal is ‘to satisfy your every need’ - whether sashaying down to the pool among the beautiful people, or showering in the glass bathroom in your opulent bedroom.

Nightlife is unquestionably the beating heart of Faena: exquisite food, the city’s sharpest tango show and top-notch singers attract elite locals and international rock stars. So get pampered in the spa, find a stunning dress, and prepare to party. Faena just screams "Have the time of your life!"

Highs

  • Philippe Starck’s wonderfully extravagant design: opulent, ironic, inimitable - unique in South America
  • Impeccable service: Experience Managers attend to your every whim and make you feel totally looked after
  • Superb entertainment - the best tango show in town, classy live singers in the bar, even a DJ by the pool
  • You’re quite likely to bump into a famous musician or actor: Coldplay, Fito Paez, Charlie García...
  • A gorgeous pool, a superb steam room and great massages make this the place to be pampered
  • Exquisite French-influenced cuisine in El Bistro (in the company of unicorns), plus excellent traditional Argentine fare in El Mercado

Lows

  • Not the spot if you’re looking for a quiet, understated place to hide away. Everything about Faena is extrovert
  • Faena is a constant stage set waiting for performers. If you’re famous, or would like to be, you’ll feel right at home, but it’s not for shrinking violets
  • Rooms are impressive rather than cosy - and might be too cool for some
  • The immediate area has yet to be developed, and the streets around the hotel are a little bleak, though Puerto Madero's restaurants are not far off. You’ll need to take a taxi if you want to shop, however

Best time to go

Buenos Aires is most delightful in spring and autumn (October/November and April/May). It can be impossibly hot and humid in the peak summer months of January and February. Winter is usually pretty mild. If you're coming in January, February or July, or at Easter, bear in mind that these are the peak holiday periods for Argentina’s schools, and hotels and flights across the country will be heavily booked: make your plans well ahead of time.

Our top tips

This is a hotel to dress up for, and you’ll want to look good in the evenings - the tone is striking and fashionable, rather than formal and expensive. Bring your best sunglasses for posing by the pool.

Great for...

City Style
Family
Foodie
Spa
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Design Hotel
  • 87
  • Restaurant and bar (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
  • Bicycles Available
Room: Presidential Suite

Rooms

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.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Cd player
  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • Dvd player
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

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.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

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:

  • Have a personal shopper whisk you around the great malls, cute Palermo boutiques, leather workshops and antique emporia of Buenos Aires

  • Try a tango class at a real milonga, where locals go. Then most definitely do not miss Faena’s own tango show in the hotel's intimate cabaret-style theatre. It’s stunningly choreographed and has attracted some of the city’s finest dancers. Unmissable

  • Watch polo - you’ll be taken to a ranch in the Pampas where polo horses are bred, and will be invited to learn a little about the game over a traditional asado (barbecue) before watching a match

  • Go wine tasting and learn how to find your way around superb Argentine wines from Salta and Mendoza

  • Take in a show at the beautifully restored Teatro Colón. It's the city’s main venue, a stunning Belle Epoque building dating from 1908 and offering world-class opera and ballet. It's top-notch, and will be a highlight of your trip

  • Recover from any excesses in the hotel's spa. The hammam (steam room) is superb. There’s also a sauna, yoga and meditation classes in the Zen room, massage suites, and a lengthy treatment menu

  • Amazingly, bird-watching is possible in the ecological reserve next to the river and the hotel

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Polo
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Tango
  • Traditional cultures
  • Well being
  • Wine tasting
  • Yoga

Kids

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.

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

Cots Available, Extra Beds Available

Babysitting:

Babysitting is available by arrangement

Baby equipment:

Baby cots are available on request

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kids Activities on site:

  • Swimming pool with a shallow end
  • Movies

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Strolling through the Costanera Sur Ecological Reserve next door, looking out for birds and butterflies
  • Watching tango and other street performers in San Telmo
  • Ask your Experience Manager to suggest and book family-friendly activities in BsAs

Families Should Know:

The smart set hang out here, some of whom may look askance at kids tearing up the place

Distances:

  • Shops: 5 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

8/
Rooms
8/
Food
4/
Service
2/
Value
6/
Overall

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Rates for Faena Hotel Buenos Aires