Perhaps you want to learn the tango, the dance of love invented in Buenos Aires. Or perhaps you’d like to dine on Argentinean beef while sipping a fine wine. Or maybe you just want to be a plain ol’ tourist, sampling all the sights and sounds this great city has to offer. One of South America’s oldest colonial cities, Buenos Aires was founded by the Spanish in 1536. This means there’s a lot of history to devour in the country’s capital.
Of course, you’ll need a place to stay in Buenos Aires as you explore this city on the Rio de la Plata. Buenos Aires has stand out hotels, ranging from those in charming converted Belle Epoque mansions to today’s modernist and minimalist style.
The Vain Boutique Hotel oozes the grace and charm of an older Buenos Aires. Built in 1900 during the Belle Epoque era, the hotel maintains the charm of “casas chorizos” or “sausage houses” – houses with a courtyard on one side and all the rooms backing up to the property line. Interior doors usually had windows in them. This 15-room boutique hotel has been restored, down to the wooden floors and old-fashioned doors. Rooms, however, feature modern décor, and there’s a hot tub on the top floor terrace.
When Luis Duhau built his palace in 1934 on Alvear Road, it was THE street in Buenos Aires. This Neoclassical building was next to a Tudor Revival mansion built in 1900. Together they would eventually become the Palacio Duhau, one of the best places to stay in Buenos Aires. The palacio was named a National Historic Monument in 2002, the year restoration and renovation to make it a hotel started. It is one of the few “Porteño” (an old name for Buenos Aires residents) buildings left in the city.
It isn’t every day you get to stay in presidential digs, which is one thing that makes Duque Hotel Boutique & Spa so special. This French-style hotel was once the private resident of a president of Argentina. The elegant 14-room hotel is situated on a tree-lined street in Buenos Aires’ arty district of Palermo Soho. It’s an adults-only hotel, which makes it ideal for couples on a romantic stay. Besides accommodations, the hotel offers a full-service spa and an outdoor pool in the intimate garden. Guests give Duque high marks for its breakfast.
You can’t help but feel special at Alvear Palace Hotel when a doorman wearing formal attire greets you. This Belle Epoque hotel oozes elegance and charm in the upscale Recoleta district. It was built by a businessman who wanted to bring the elegance of France to his hometown of Buenos Aires. Considered one of the top hotels in the city, it has hosted guests from world leaders to Hollywood celebrities, yet is family-friendly at the same time. An added benefit: great views of the city.
Fierro Hotel Buenos Aires bills itself an “experience for open-minded, food-loving travelers.” Perhaps open-minded means being amenable to trying different foods – the Fierro is known as “the hotel of gourmands” with a chef that sets the pace for the city’s food scene. The Sunday brunch – reservation only – is considered the most lavish in Buenos Aires. A unique fountain pours water into the heated rooftop pool, which is designed for serious loungers, not swimmers. The terrace offers panoramic views of the city.
The name says it all: Casa Calma translates as “calm house,” fitting for a hotel that caters to your wellness. One of the first hotels to adopt the wellness concept, all rooms come with jetted tubs; deluxe rooms have saunas. Bathrooms come with natural toiletries and – the epitome of luxury – towel warming machines. Stress, stress go away and don’t come back another day! Described as eco-chic, the Casa Calma Hotel features furniture made from recyclable materials; floors are made of pine.
Make no mistake about it; the Mine Hotel Boutique isn’t your classic style hotel. It’s an award-winning design hotel with a modernist outlook. It’s also considered minimalist, made of exposed stone and concrete. The natural elements are brought inside, including the hotel’s 20 rooms. Guest rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows, which some think makes for a lack of privacy. Outside, a waterfall feeds a plunge pool. Solo travelers may feel safe having a cocktail here, as the bistro is open only to guests.