Avenue Quintana 465, Recoleta, Buenos Aires
MIO Buenos Aires breathes warmth and unpretentious, sensual luxury, taking you into its embrace in such a way that you may honestly find it hard to leave. If you are looking for hip glamour and celebrity sightings, check out Faena. Want opulence and grandeur? The Four Seasons Buenos Aires right down the road is for you. But if you are looking for a low–profile place where every time you walk through the front door you feel like you are coming home, then the new MIO Buenos Aires is the best.
Masterminded by cousins of the renowned Catena wine family, no detail in aesthetics nor service has been overlooked to provide you with an unforgettable sensory experience. From the time you walk through the impressive 18–foot–tall front door made of French oak from barrels still streaked by wine, you will realize that you are entering a place where every detail is unique. The hotel uses only materials of the highest quality, but combines them in such an eclectic and relaxed way that it feels effortlessly cool. In the lobby you may be greeted by the casual mix of sound ranging from the Beatles, the Cure, or Pink Floyd, to jazz, world music, or indie folk. The front desk staff understands how to exceed the high standards of even the most discerning client and provide such warm, personalized service that they will probably end up seeming more like old friends by the time you check out.
A stay at MIO Buenos Aires is pure tangible sensory pleasure. From the elevator upholstered in buttery leather, to the large fountain that is the backdrop of the lobby, to the scent of verbena that welcomes you in the hallways, to the ridiculously high thread count Italian bedding, to the terrace bonfire that is lit every night, each of your senses will feel completely awakened in MIO.
The rooms are situated so that there are only a couple on each floor, with an intelligent layout that makes you feel like you do not have any neighbors. Even the smallest room, the Deluxe, is almost 500 square feet, and the MIO suites run upwards of 1000 square feet. Many rooms come with a terrace, and each room is completely open and airy, so it tends to feel even bigger than what it is.
What you will notice is that even the standard room is nothing close to being standard with touches like a Nespresso maker, iPod docking station, huge closets, and massive towels and posh robes from Italy. Personal favorite amenities that really set this place apart include complimentary temperature-controlled Catena wine (champagne, white, and red to choose from!) and a hand–sculpted, one–of–a–kind bathtub from reclaimed calden tree trunks. The combination of the champagne dispenser, nightly chocolates, and rose petals for this tub are enough to make even the most jaded hotel guest want to come back time and time again to MIO. Rooms that do not have the calden bathtubs have private terrace whirlpool tubs overlooking Recoleta, so either way you are assured an unforgettable experience. The rooms are great for singles or couples, but for friends sharing a room, it may be tricky to fully enjoy the bathtub with privacy as they are not enclosed. The large shower stalls with a high-pressurized rain shower head would be the option in this case, complimented by French L’Occitane products.
A small detail, but one that really set MIO apart from other hotel rooms is the lighting setup. There are so many combinations of lights to play with, from those above the bed, in the living area, in the bathing area, that you can really experiment and set up the perfect ambiance for yourself. Whether you need full light to work, mood lighting for a relaxing bath, or direct light just above your bed to unwind reading a book or two from the well–stocked hotel library on the first floor, the lighting always feels just right.
The laid–back spa and Zen–inspired gym reflect the relaxed vibe of MIO Buenos Aires. This is not the place where you will find bulked-up guys doing heavy lifting. Instead, cardio machines are complimented by yoga mats and meditation pillows. Floors, walls and the ceiling are all covered in black stone from the Argentine province of San Luis, providing a low–light retreat from the bustling city. The spa is open from 6am to 10pm, but the staff is very accommodating about opening the area off hours. After a dip in the gorgeous stone pool, which has whirlpool jets from below, enjoy a steam bath or an indulgent shower with 8 jets, including both a rain and waterfall cascade.
Oriental natural treatments and massages (on ergonomic massage tables) are also available on site as long as you give 2 hours notice. Once again, the layout is spacious, with the treatment rooms (separated by curtains), pool, and gym all sharing the same open space. Guests that want more privacy while in the pool, or that want a soundproofed massage space may not appreciate the open air feel, although with so few rooms in the hotel privacy is seldom an issue.
Another place where MIO really goes above and beyond is the food. The breakfast in the MIO lounge, included in the rate, is more like a culinary feast. From fresh juices to espresso, to homemade croissants and traditional pastries, veggie–filled omelettes, a great selection of meats and cheeses, fruit, and even a yogurt homemade on-site with real vanilla beans, it would be hard to leave breakfast less than completely satisfied. For lunch and dinner the hotel is proud to have partnered with Tô, which was named the Best Restaurant to Open in Buenos Aires in 2009, to offer an interesting fusion of French and Japanese cuisine, with modern touches like using Ipads for the menu.
From the quirky textural details that make the place truly comfortable and one–of–a–kind, to some of the friendliest service in the city, there is something about MIO Buenos Aires that gets under your skin and leaves you wanting to stay forever. They say that they called the hotel MIO (Spanish for “mine”), because the intention was to create a place that feels like home, as though it somehow belongs to you. For luxury without pompousness and a sense of richness without gaudy flamboyance, a stay at the intimate MIO could not come more highly recommended.
Web Address: www.miobuenosaires.com
Total Number of Rooms: 30
Published Rates: $266-$756 BB
Review by Cathy Brown, photos by Mario Galante.