Source: National Geographic Traveller, UK
By: Vicky Baker
Sleep: Buenos Aires
Fiery yet refined, Buenos Aires exudes a European air but with an undeniable Latino spirit. its hotels capture this split personality perfectly, from Philippe Starck-designed boudoirs to French-inspired suites with personal chefs and grand pianos.
If you came from a wealthy Argentinian family and wanted a city pad, this is where you’d lay your custom-made hat. Home to high-end fashion stores, French-inspired architecture and fine-dining restaurants, this upper-class area helped Buenos Aires earn the tag ‘the Paris of South America’. Here, immaculately coiffed old ladies meet for afternoon tea, dog walkers skilfully manage a dozen pampered pets, and politicians and high-flying executives hatch deals over strong cortado coffees. The area lies between downtown and Palermo, making it a handy base, and you’ll also find Recoleta Cemetery here, filled with its awe-inspiringly ornate tombs.
We recommend: Algodon Mansion
With its French classical exterior and opulent furnishings, this converted 1912 mansion takes you right back to the city’s Belle Époque — a fitting choice for a stay in Buenos Aires’ most exclusive barrio. Its 10 enormous suites come with 24-hour butler service, Slovenian oak floors, perfectly restored plasterwork and an abundance of Italian marble. Celebrities and blue-blooded travellers may be best suited to its star suite — the Royale — with a personal chef, baby grand piano and wine-themed wet bar. On the rooftop, meanwhile, there’s an exclusive cocktail-and-cigar bar and plunge pool surrounded by teak decking. Downstairs, the Cognac bar is one of the most sophisticated places in town for an aperitif, and for gourmet dinner, you need only cross the hall to the in-house Chez Nous restaurant.
■ Rooms: Suites from £400 a night, B&B. Montevideo 1647. T: 00 54 11 3530 7777. www.algodonmansion.com
■ X factor: Gigantic bathrooms come with ultra-extravagant touches, such as in-mirror TV screens and underwater speakers in the bath.
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