Where to stay: ARGENTINA
For people who care where they stay. Authentic. Soulful. Charm. Design. Indie. Local.
Argentina Wine Country
The DNA: A unique mountain inn, the house from the early 20th -century has been expanded with an avantgarde concrete reception and lounge. The new extension has a metal frame covered by wisteria growing onto the new pool deck. The entire project has the characteristics of an unfinished work, which will keep changing its looks and program.
The DNA: Set in a listed red brick century-old townhouse, which acted as a drugstore, residence and school, Azur Real is now an alluring boutique hotel. Exposed brick, wooden floors, dark wood and leather furniture create an inviting atmosphere. The hotel is located in downtown Córdoba, in the Jesuit district just 1 block from the city’s ornate cathedral.
The DNA: Rural Argentina, an hour and a half from Buenos Aires and deep into the endless pampas is not where you’d expect to find a British travel writer-turned cowgirl and her very pretty little estancia. Cinders Paxton single-handedly restored the century-old estate in San Antonio de Areco into a two-suite boutique ranch, a first in the area.
The DNA: The main house dates from 1892, and has courtyards and gardens adorned with wrought-iron gates, ceramic tiles, antique tapestries, adobe walls in some of the grander bedrooms and old-fashioned heavy wooden furniture throughout. Six patios are surrounded by galleries and connected along long, dark passages. A tiny oratory is dedicated to the Virgen de la Rosa, who guards relics originally from Cuzco in Peru.
The DNA: Cutting an impressive figure among the dusty Andean landscape and built in the style of the old farms of Los Valles Calchaquies it sparkles white and majestic with its tall look out tower and sweeping paths through the gardens and divine grounds. The interior is a tranquil haven of giant rooms and long corridors; the vast communal areas are all open-plan but with many a secret nook and cranny and a surprisingly modern bar tucked away amidst the Andean fabrics and local art.
Entre Cielos is a working vineyard, producing Malbec a short distance outside the city of Mendoza snowcapped Andes. This luxury boutique hotel is designed in a modernist fashion and decorated with a contemporary mix of wooden floors, concrete walls and designer furniture. The Vineyard Loft is a self-contained "pod" on stilts that elevate it above the vineyard, with far-ranging views in every direction, including up, for an impressive panorama of the night sky. The terrace features a jacuzzi.
The DNA: A stunning 19th-century Spanish colonial whitewashed façade gleams beautifully with majestic columns and ornate cornices. Behind the historic entrance lies a modern, six-story hotel with a contemporary art collection featuring the works of renowned local artists.
Year opened: 1940. The DNA: Travelers looking for a rugged Patagonian experience, with the comfort of full-service luxury, choose the legendary Llao Llao Resort, Golf - Spa near Bariloche. Located in the heart of Argentina´s lake district, it is reminiscent of a grand mountain lodge, complete with exposed cypress walls and oversized stone fireplaces. Many guest rooms offer views of the Andean peaks and lakes; particularly impressive are those from the deluxe Lago Moreno wing.
The DNA: This new luxury hotel offers interiors from master designer Piero Lissoni, landscaping by Enzo Enea, world-class cuisine at Leynia and an on-site Ciel Spa. SLS Puerto Madero also boasts a hand-curated selection of museum-quality art from the Jorge M. Perez Contemporary Art Collection.
The DNA: A refurbished three-storey townhouse with 11 rooms, with décor midway between museum and private mansion that honours mythical figures from Argentina’s cultural history. Artworks, Andean rugs, bookscases and period furniture decorate the landings. The colour scheme is neutral, and lighting muted. Tranquil inside, it’s only a block away from the hip hubbub where some of Buenos Aires’ smartest boutiques, restaurants and bars are located.
The DNA: Stepping through the gilded glitzy doors of the Palace is akin to stepping into an F Scott Fitzgerald novel, with crystal chandeliers and marble floors that dazzle without a hint of stuffiness. Both the new wing and original mansion are kept fresh and modern; masterpieces of understated elegance.
The DNA: The Faena Hotel is an extraordinary hotel designed by Philippe Starck. It is set in a 7-story brick building, a grain warehouse from 1902, and located in Buenos Aires' upscale Puerto Madero district. Personal concierges ("experience managers") greet guests on arrival -there is no formal front desk- and serve throughout the guests' stay. Flourishes include unicorn heads on the walls, velvet curtains, crimson-upholstered chairs, Venetian blinds and crystal chandeliers.
The DNA: Clad in ivy, Home is a hip boutique hotel with designer decor in Buenos Aires' trendy Palermo Hollywood neighbourhood. It boasts an outdoor swimming pool in a chic garden. Stylish rooms are fitted out in vintage floral wallpapers and retro Scandinavian furniture. The restaurant serves classic Latin American dishes while the hotel's cocktail bar offers DJ nights in the garden every Friday during the summer season. The cosy, all-natural spa uses the hotel’s own range of products.
The DNA: This landmark hotel was the first luxury lodging in Argentina designed to flirt with European bon vivants and diplomats. Today it continues to attract connoisseurs of luxury, and will appease those who enjoy an old-school-swanky style –it’s unabashedly over the top and certainly a little old fashioned, but it works splendidly if you take it for what it is – one of the most important landmarks of the city.
The DNA: Hub Porteño is a luxury boutique hotel set in a Belle Epoque mansion in the upscale Recoleta neighbourhood of Buenos Aires. The hotel stands out for its above-and-beyond concierges, who facilitate introductions to artists, designers, polo players, or literary figures and getting you into the top restaurants, showing you around the coolest estancias out in the countryside, or booking your tickets to the Buenos Aires Philharmonic, a private vehicle or a guide -to name just a few.
Clad in a vertical garden, CasaCalma is an eco-friendly boutique hotel with a devotion to wellness, organic lifestyle and with a zero contamination policy. It is located in Buenos Aires' central business district, just moments from Recoleta, the Pink House and the Obelisk.
The centrepiece of a magnificent conservation project launched by the late eco-philanthropist Doug Tompkins, this comfortable rural lodge is an excellent base for exploring Argentina's impressive wetlands. The food, wine and guiding services are a cut above those offered by comparable ranches in the region.
The countryside around Buenos Aires is dotted with traditional estancias, or ranches, many of which, like Estancia La Bandada, have been converted to hotels. This hacienda-like boutique hotel sits at the heart of a working farm; you’ll see grazing horses from your seat at the generously laid communal breakfast table. Ride one around the grounds, if you please, or relax by a pool shaded with huge old trees. Family-style dinners are built around local produce and Argentine barbecue.
Countless hotels have sprung up in the town of El Calafate to accommodate the stream of foreigners eager to watch house-sized chunks of ice fall off the stunning three-mile-long Perito Moreno glacier and splash into the icy blue waters. Well removed from the town’s tourist bustle is the new Eolo, splendidly isolated on an expansive ranch in the pastoral La Anita valley.
While still a working estancia (ranch) – rearing merino sheep – and scientific base for wildlife researchers, Rincón Chico has been carefully adapted to host guests who expect a high degree of comfort. The building is modelled on the original late 19th century house that stands nearby, with typical corrugated metal cladding and wooden floors. The interior is warm, thanks to open fires, with antique guns, paintings and potted Patagonian plants adding lots of charm.
Set on a small hill overlooking Argentino Lake is the stylish boutique design hotel Esplendor by Wyndham El Calafate. It features lavish, yet uncluttered interiors. Flowing canvas drapes, 15-foot leather sofas, and tables of weathered quebracho hardwood section off the ground-floor public areas. Furniture and décor combine natural materials such as stone, native-sand plaster, and incense timber with resin, wood veneer, and colorful fiber.
The DNA: Located in the chic and lively Palermo Soho district, Mine Hotel is an award winning boutique hotel featuring a wonderful courtyard garden with swimming pool and sun loungers. It is a short walk from the main attractions and night lights of Buenos Aires, as well as many restaurants and designer boutiques of the area.