Park Tower, Buenos Aires, Argentina
THE BACKGROUND: The five-star 23-floor hotel is a member of the Starwood Group's Luxury Collection. Elegant touches abound – the lobby has a genuine 17th century treasure: a French tapestry depicting Alexander the Great.
WHERE IS IT? In the district of Retiro, close to upcoming Puerto Madera and fashionable San Telmo, the hotel is within walking distance of central areas but a 15-minute taxi ride from the trendy shops, restaurants and bars of Palermo Soho and Palermo Veijo. Buenos Aires International Airport is a 40-minute cab ride away
CHECK IN A small desk in a grandiose lobby was manned by two English-speaking staff who took rather longer than necessary to complete our registration details and make copies of our passports.
THE ROOM: My 14th-floor guest room, which apparently had a Biedermeier-style (18th century German) theme, was large and bright with views of a city landmark, English Tower, and the central train station. Features included a 42-inch LCD TV with pay movies and a good choice of satellite channeles and high-speed broadband.
BARS AND RESTAURANTS: St Regis is the hotel's main restaurant and seems to attract a lot of non-residents – always agood sign. Our set dinner menu featured a wide choice of steaks (Argentina has a long coastline but it's the turf not the surf that is usually the highlight of eating out). Breakfast is a substantial buffet with a variety of order-from-the-kitchen options. The large but non-atmospheric Lobby lounge mixes cocktails and glasses of Malbec with live harp and piano music – against an Asian-influenced backdrop that includes an antique Chinese folding screen.
THE FACILITIES: The Neptune Pool and fitness centre has two swimming pools, a gym, wet and dry saunas, two lighted tennis courts and a putting green. There's also an in-hotel shopping arcade providing everything from manicures to jewellery to gift-boxed expensive bottles of Argentinian wine. An excursion desk arranges activities, such as a day trip to an estancia (ranch) for a gaucho show and BBQ lunch.
THE HIGHLIGHT: This would, I suspect,have been the daily 'high tea' featuring finely-cut sandwiches, apple pie, Belgian chocolate cakes and Chinese teas – if only we'd had the time to sample it.
THE COST: From $270 for a deluxe guest room, mid-week in February 2012. The rate is the same midweek in June 2012.
THE DETAILS: Avenida Leandro N. Alem 1193, Buenos Aires, 1001, Argentina; Tel: + 52 11 4318 9100; email: email@example.com
It's easy to see why this conveniently-located and classy hotel attracts its fair share of
celebrities. Stylish and comfortable without being overfussy – and rooms with views.
Editor, Selling Long Haul