Travel

Of Presidents and Royals

Recoleta’s Alvear Palace Hotel has played host to many a visiting dignitary, among them our late President Nelson Mandela. Chris Buchanan spent the night……..

As Recoleta and Palermo took on the aesthetic of Paris and became home to Buenos Aires’s affluent and elite, socialite Dr Rafael de Miero decided the area needed a hotel of the highest standard within which to house visitors of equal social and financial stature.

So was born the Alvear Palace hotel, member of Leading Hotels of the World and twice voted by Condé Nast Traveller readers as one of the top two hotels in South America. It stands as a landmark in Recoleta among luxury boutiques, French palaces and apartments that ask an entry level price upward of one million US dollars.

Stepping inside takes you back to the Belle Epoque of Paris, lavishly decorated in Louis XV and XVI styles and a smiling concierge in his hat, long coat and white gloves. Reception and lobby areas are quiet with a sophisticated reserve, illuminated via crystal chandeliers and adorned in gold leaf.

Whether you’re in the 200m2 Royal Suite with study, lounge, dining room, reception room and two bathrooms, or the 50m2 Junior Suite, you have the luxury of Italian marble clad bathrooms, hydro massage bath tubs, Hermès de Paris bathroom amenities and Egyptian cotton sheets. Fresh cut flowers are placed in the rooms daily.

Wining and dining offers up superb French cuisine in the la Bourgogne restaurant under Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux Jean Paul Bondoux, while less formal but equally discerning is L’Orangerie, provides breakfast and lunch and a meeting place in the heart of the hotel.

I took an after dinner Cognac and a Cuban cigar in the Cigar Bar, joined by a South African investment banker and an Irish diplomat who frequent the Alvear Palace Hotel for its sense of class and international appeal. We stayed a while and did what South Africans and Irish have in common – a lot of Cognac, a few cigars and a lot of laughs.

Coffee in the Lobby Bar the following morning was just as the Turkish proverb meant for it to be, “black as hell, strong as death and sweet as love” courtesy of the Brasilia Roma vintage espresso machine which holds pride of place behind the ornate wooden counter.

This grand dame of Buenos Aires has seen Hollywood stars, reigning monarchs and heads of state walk the corridors but within the sophistication and style there exists a sense of humility which makes any person feel welcome and at home.

www.alvearpalace.com
+54 11 4804 7777
Avda. Alvear 1891
Buenos Aires
Argentina

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