Avenida Leandro N. Alem 1193, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Do not be alarmed when your taxi pulls into the entrance of the Sheraton Hotel. The Luxury Collection Park Tower attached to it is another world entirely.
The Sheraton hotel opened in Buenos Aires more than 45 years ago and it was the city's first 5-star chain hotel. The Park Tower, a relatively small capacity building (181 rooms on floors with just 10 rooms each vs. more than 700 rooms at the Sheraton), was added adjacent to the Sheraton in 1996 to up the game as a Luxury Collection hotel.
The décor was inspired by the private homes of the city's elite with European furniture brought from Europe or sourced at the famous antique shops in the San Telmo neighborhood of Buenos Aires. There's an Italian tapestry from the 19th century in the lobby and original 18th century paintings, rugs, furniture, and a lot of marble class up the entire hotel.
From the beginning, the Park Tower was designed to be completely distinct from the Sheraton. The staff is entirely separate and many Park Tower staff members speak excellent English. The head concierge at the Park Tower is Golden Key level. And while Park Tower guests are free to use the facilities of the Sheraton, Sheraton guests cannot enter the Park Tower.
Most rooms at the Park Tower are in the deluxe category with 430 square feet (40 square meters) of space. Deluxe room bathrooms have a separate tub and a shower with a huge rain showerhead plus Le Marque bathroom amenities including shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, shower gel, and soap made with mate. In the room there's a large desk, large windows with good blackout curtains, a sofa, flattering and effective lighting, slippers, and run-of-the-mill terry bathrobes (mine had a hole in it).
There's also one 613 square feet (57 square meter) Corner Suite per floor. These spacious suites, which include 1.5 bathrooms, a jetted tub, two TVs, and an even wider range of bath amenities, can be booked by anyone. However, the right elite members of the now Bonvoy Marriott program are upgraded to these suites based on availability. Another nice perk for Elite Members is a complimentary offering of wine, tea, coffee, and a table of sweet and savory treats in the lobby between 5 and 7 pm daily.
The two Gobernador Suites three times the size and have the look and feel of a dignified luxury apartment thanks to tactile wallpaper, rich upholstery and rugs, and original paintings. These worth-the-splurge suites also include a full bar, a selection of Argentinean wines, an enormous jetted tub, a huge terrace with outdoor furniture, a dining table, and a large galley kitchen for entertaining or in-room meetings.
The hotel's Presidential Suite covers more than 5,300 square feet, takes up the entire top floor, and has been occupied by dignitaries including Vladimir Putin and Luciano Pavarotti.
All suites include 24-hour butler service.
The hotel also offers a small spa with a menu of massages. The small gym is packed with treadmills, free weights, balance balls, rollers, and stationary bikes. If you need more fitness options during your stay, Park Tower guests have full access to the larger gym and two swimming pools at the Sheraton.
The Park Tower breakfast buffet is vast and tempting including smoked salmon, lots of baked goods, fresh juices, a bloody Mary bar, fruit, champagne, and eggs cooked to order. This is a very welcome change in a country where a cup of coffee and a medialuna is often all that's offered for breakfast. The Sheraton and the Park Tower may share a building in Buenos Aires, but that's all they have in common.
Web Address: www.marriott.com
Total Number of Rooms: 181
Published rates: $249 to $3,000 double including breakfast
Review and photos by Karen Catchpole, photos by Eric Mohl.