1647 Montevideo Street, La Recoleta, Buenos Aires
A ten–room French Classical mansion in Buenos Aires’ fashionable Recoleta district provides unparallel personal attention not possible in the city’s other, much larger, top hotels.
Algodon was firsted by a golf and vineyard estate project in San Rafael, south of Mendoza, called the Algodon Estates. While the Estates is refined, it has a rustic mountain feel, covers more than 2,000 sprawling acres, and emphasizes an outdoorsy element that adds golf, tennis, and polo. The Algodon mansion is nearly the opposite. It’s a small hotel in the heart of one of Buenos Aires most attractive districts, La Recoleta, and it defines the word boutique. There are just ten suites, each equipped with enough high tech electronics to entertain Steve Jobs, and the décor is strikingly modern throughout. Compared to the competition in the neighborhood, of which there is a considerable amount –the Alvear Palace, the Palacio Duhau Park Hyatt, the Four Seasons – the Algodon sets itself apart with a level of personalized service that these larger properties just cannot provide.
The 1912 mansion is opulent but with enough contemporary accents that you don’t feel like something is going to break. On arrival, you meet with your personal butler, who attends to anything you might need during your stay. You can call his direct cell number for room service or restaurant reservations around town. He’ll leave you a pocketbook with your personalized business cards with Algodon’s address and the direct phone number to your room. At night he’ll surprise you with champagne, raspberries, nuts, and macaroons. Already in your room is a free bottle of Algodon’s own Malbec, which they bottle at the bodega in their estate property (it may become commercially available in the near future). At the center of your room is a Crestron remote control that controls the drapes, temperature, TV, and stereo (including an iPod docking station).
Of the many highlights of each suite, the oversized bathrooms sit at the top. The huge Italian Calacatta marble and French Limestone bathrooms are separated into three segments: toilet, shower, and main (with the sinks and a lovely Aquamass Senseaurielle soaking tub). The shower has space for a rock star and several groupies and features a massive Hansgrohe designed waterfall showerhead that falls from the ceiling. It also turns into a steam room in minutes with the press of a button. Côté Bastide bath care products are provided.
The hotel has four levels of rooms, ranging from 515 square feet to 1,200 square feet. The difference between levels varies most in space and some added luxuries. The second smallest, the Imperiale Suites, add an adjoined sitting area with couch and space for tea service to the smallest Recoleta Suites. At 600 square feet, the Ambassedeur Suite is just a slight step up from the Imperiale Suites in size and adds a small garden view terrace and wet bar. The top level Royal Suites rival any other top suite in Buenos Aires and will certainly see their share of rock stars and celebs. They add private chef service, a baby grand piano, a fireplace, a wine-themed wet bar, adjoining den, and roll-down projection screens.
While the property is rather intimate—there are just six levels—they manage to squeeze in a bar, spa, restaurant, and pool and it all feels relatively effortless. The rooftop features a small pool and teak decks with lounge chairs. While the spa, which will utilize Vine Therapies, was not open on my visit, several private massage rooms were open near the pool. The ground level features the Cognac Bar—serving fine cognacs, wines, and cigars from 30 private humidor boxes—and Chez Nous restaurant, which attracts a stylish crowd for lunch and dinner. The focus is on Argentine French fusion cuisine with a market driven menu and offers all of the wines from Algodon Estates, which are quite good.
The service at Algodon is what sets the hotel apart from others in Buenos Aires (and helps justify the high rates). It’s not just the private butler, but also the personal attention that begins even before you set foot in the hotel. The Algodon Mansion sits among the best, if not at the top of, stylish boutique hotels in South America, along with Mendoza’s Cavas Wine Lodge, Trancoso’s Uxua Casa Hotel, and Cartagena’s Tcherassi.
Web Address: www.algodonmansion.com
Total Number of Rooms: 10
Published rates: $450 to $1815 BB
Review and photos by Nicholas Gill