by Carlos Melia
During my last resent visit to Buenos Aires, where I spent two weeks planning an official and fully legal Gay Wedding for a couple from San Francisco (BTW this is for another post), I managed to save some time to explore a few Luxury Off the Beaten Path options both within the city and in the outskirts, which I would love to share with all of you, along with a few new tips and hints, as always based on my own personal experiences traveling as an OUT Gay Traveler.
There are two hidden gems in Buenos Aires, and the odds are that both are located only one block away from each other. Two small luxury boutique hotels, right in the heart of the neighborhood of Recoleta, one of the most chic and upscale residential areas of Buenos Aires.
Hub Porteño Buenos Aires
Would have to be, up-to-date, my absolute favorite hotel in the city of Buenos Aires. Their slogan is Live you own local experience in Buenos Aires, and this is the HUB and heart of this new project that opened only a few months ago, in the heart of the district of Recoleta. They propose six experiences based on all or any of the following: Art, Entertainment, Countryside, Tango, Culture and/or Polo. From the moment you step foot into HUB Porteño, you can feel and experience the sophistication and exclusiveness, achieved by using only native elements, materials and creations + Read & See More
During it’s more than 140 years of history, the Club has hosted personalities from politics, science, culture and sports world, always with an important presence and heritage of French origin. The hotel has 28 rooms, of with only two Deluxe Executive Suites like the one I am being hosted at.
The Club Frances itself, is the main building of the original house, which dates from 1866. On top of the house, they have built a tower where most of the rooms are located. Stunning pieces of art, original wood work, marble fireplaces decorate with sophistication the club and the rooms.
I am not the biggest fan of their Art Nouveau rooms in the back of the property, but certainly I would stay over and over at one of their Deluxe Executive Suites + Read & See More
Moving on to Palermo SOHO, how can I forget one of the most emblematic Boutique Hotels in the city, exuberating Argentinean tradition and history.
Legado Mitico Buenos Aires
Charming emblematic boutique hotel in the neighborhood of Palermo SOHO. Born to provide their guests with excellent service and transmit the best of Argentinean history and culture. They are emblematic because they reflect the Argentinean identity. + Read & See More
Since I had the weekend off from my duty as Gay Wedding Planner, I decided to take a break from the urban rhythm and happening, and venture myself in a journey of R-E-L-A-X-A-T-I-O-N, local cuisine and, as I like to call it, Rural of the beaten path luxury. So I chose three totally different destinations and options, all linked in one way or the other to the aristocratic heritage of Argentina.
Hotel del Casco / San Isidro
I have always wanted to stay at this hotel, but I always had second thoughts, since the location… let’s put it this way, it is not the most interesting or the one with the most things to explore about Buenos Aires. Hotel del Casco is mostly popular among corporate travelers during the week, but for those of you looking for a quick getaway from the city, to enjoy great food and explore the area, I think is a fare option. I had a great time, enjoying the pool, the quietness, a few walks around San Isidro and most importantly doing nothing. Built in 1892 as a private residence. A splendid neoclassical “palazzo” that has been carefully restored and is listed as part of the city’s historic heritage. It charm and sophistication, is matched with impeccable service. Service is, as you were on your own chateaux. San Isidro is only 40 minutes away from the city of Buenos Aires, and I would define it as the twin settlement to San Telmo. + Read & See More
La Becasina Delta Lodge / El Tigre
Located in a privileged and exclusive secluded location, out of the Parana River, in the area know as Delta de El Tigre approx. two hours from the city of Buenos Aires, one of the few on growing deltas in the world. La Becasina Lodge (former La Pascuala) is the ideal destination and experience for total disconnection and relaxation. 15 Bungalow- Suites, all individual, surrounded by water and hidden between the exuberant vegetation of the place. + Read & See More
I cannot be bias… the best option was Estancia La Bamba de Areco, located at my favorite weekend getaway from Buenos Aires, San Antonio de Areco the cradle and where you can learn, live and see the true soul and identity of the Gauchos.
Estancia La Bamba de Areco / San Antonio de Areco
This was my first time visiting San Antonio de Areco and staying overnight, and how wouldn’t I, when hosted in such lavish rural style. Ideally located only 120 km from Buenos Aires, in the heart of La Pampa, one of the oldest estancias in Argentina, recently renovated with great care as a boutique hotel, successfully combines luxurious comfort and colonial elegance. The feeling of being welcomed into a private home, into a property steeped in history and tradition makes this hotel a special and timeless place for relaxation. Exquisite cuisine, refined service, gaucho traditions and equestrian sports add to the unique magic of La Bamba. 11 rooms and suites at La Bamba, dark wooden floors, antique colonial furniture, art works, local textiles and modern art combine to create understated elegance and harmonious luxury. Mariposa, Lalabai … each room is named after a famous polo horse. I would say both diner and lunch -typical Asado – were the best meals I have had while in Buenos Aires. + Read & See More
When visiting La Bamba de Areco, book your own private Gaucho Tradition and Skills tour, you won’t regret it. During the tour, you will learn about their origins, music and traditions. The highlight is to experience up-close, the symbiotic relationship developed over decades, between Gauchos and their best friends, the horses. + Read & See More
A few restaurants I tried while in Buenos Aires, were the following, ranging from traditional Argentinean to Peruvian fusion, from exclusive and chic to down and dirty. Check them out and make your own conclusions: El Rincon Bar – Restaurant, Astrid & Gaston and Sirop & Folie.
Buenos Aires, never seizes to surprise you, regardless of the economical situation, Argentines are always keen on bringing culture to the street, example of this are the event that periodically take place right on the 9 de Julio Avenue. This time I was invited to the VIP of The Nutcracker featuring two internationally renown classic dancers as Julio Boca and Eleonora Cassano.
But there are options for everyone, indeed. If you are more into the electronic, trance beats, maybe you should keep in mind for your next visit the ULTRA Electronic Party, which gathered for their second year, a lineup with some of the top DJ’s in the world.
No trip to Buenos Aires is complete without doing some shopping. Of course you have the classics, like Alvear Avenue, Palermo SOHO, Florida Street and the many shopping centers around the city. Despite the political/economical situation, because of which most of the luxury international brands have decided to move out of Argentina, seeing the glass half empty, the positive side is that this has allowed local designers and brands to grow and become known internationally. But again, my quest this time was to find the luxury off the beaten path, and I did. I found Gurruchaga Stree or what I like to call the OUTLET Palermo SOHO. Here you will find local renown brands like La Martina, Etiqueta Negra, Cardon at discounted prices. + Read More
I want to thank LAN Airlines, my official South America carrier for flying me from New York City to Buenos Aires, in style. Among the best options featuring their new upgraded Premium Business Class and brand new VIP Lounges TIP. !!! The crossing of the Andes, seen onboard LAN Airlines is just magnificent, so keep your window shades open.
OH and before I forget, kuddos to EZEIZA International Airport for their new Terminal B. To be honest it was highly time. + Read & See More
Next adventures will be taking me, in the upcoming month to: Bangkok, Golden Triangle and Koh Samui, Thailand. Santa Barbara, Carlifornia for the opening of the new Orient-Express property El Encanto. And finally to London, England to review the iconic St Pancras Hotel. So stay tuned. Till next adventure in full luxury. CM
Carlos Melia is an Experiential Travel Agent, Luxury Travel Curator & Blogger, Wedding Planner, Jetsetter, and Bon Vivant, who travels around the world discovering what’s new and cool in Luxury Travel and Hospitality. His reviews on hotels, restaurants, destinations, and attractions, based on his own experiences as an OUT Gay Traveler can be found at www.carlosmeliablog.com