If tango became a hotel room, it would look like Faena Hotel Buenos Aires. The converted riverfront granary, designed by Philippe Starck, has reams of red-velvet drapes, one of the world’s best Malbec collections, a 20s-inspired cabaret and, of course, tango lessons from local experts.
Spa with hammam, sauna and relaxation room, fitness center, bicycles to borrow, gym, DVD library, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, CD/DVD player, iPod dock, minibar, Organ & Co. bath products.
The outdoor infinity pool is surrounded by red sunloungers and pots of matching geraniums, with a giant gold crown-shaped fountain at the center and a drinks service in summer.
The spa at Faena alone is worth the journey for its lengthy menu of botanical facials, energy-aligning chakras, and deep-tissue massages. Get over jetlag in the candlelit marble hammam, warmed with eucalyptus-scented steam. The hotel also offers an array of private baths, including a detoxifying sea-breeze bath and a couples’ bath in a two-person tub, followed by a massage.
Set in the lively Palermo Viejo district, this upscale, artsy hotel is 10 km from Teatro Colón and 3 km from the Buenos Aires Zoo. Bright, minimalist rooms offer free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and minifridges. Some have terrace access. Contemporary suites add kitchenettes; some feature living rooms. A sleek restaurant serves sushi, while a spa on the terrace offers a pool, a sauna, and a steam bath. Other amenities include an art gallery, a garden, and a fitness center. Babysitting services are available.
As the name suggests, pop art is the theme here in Buenos Aires’ “first budget boutique hotel”. It opened late last year in the emerging Villa Crespo neighborhood, which has a scattering of hip cafes and inventive restaurants but without the tourist saturation of nearby Palermo. Clean, fresh and urban, the 44-room property doesn’t let you forget where you are: its “pop” logo branded on to everything from the hangers to the soaps. You also get plenty of modern extras too, including an iPod dock and a security safe that’s “big enough for a laptop”. Breakfast involves taking a voucher to a cafe down the road, which is unusual but no real inconvenience.