WHAT’S IT LIKE
Guests pull into the porte cochere of the striking tower to meet a team of bellmen to swing open the car door and swiftly assist with luggage. The metal horse sculptures and fountain in the hotel’s front garden are beautiful, but attention quickly turns inward to the colorful glass sculptures that illuminate the public areas through lights in the lobby and meeting areas. The reception desk is crafted from translucent stone with illumination coming from underneath in spectacular fashion. Staffers are friendly, fluent in English, and thoughtfully inquisitive about one’s journey. You feel as if this is your home away from home, which is often the case at many Four Seasons around the world. And this home away from home is positioned right at the end of the bustling Avenida 9 de Julio, the city’s main avenue.
Elena is the dual-level, club-like restuarant with natural light streaming in from an atrium ceiling. An exhibition kitchen creates quite the show, especially at breakfast when dishes are cooked to order. The presentation of the breakfast buffet is a sight to behold: a lavish fruit spread with everything from papaya to pomegranate; a charcuterie and cheese station with the accompanying nuts and jams; cereals galore; a fridge with more yogurt than you could possibly eat; and a hot buffet with artfully crafted gourmet dishes like scrambled eggs with broccoli. Lunch and dinner are equally impressive and serve as the place to see and be seen. Pony Line lobby bar (continuing the polo theme from the front entrance statues) features an extensive list of champagne and cocktails. An outdoor venue in the hotel’s garden terrace serves drinks and light snacks, including traditional Argentine barbecue.
The fine spa has several treatment rooms for massage and beauty services. A terrace swimming pool is surrounded by greenery and lounge chairs. A thoughtful setup table with magazines, fresh fruit, and bottled water is typical Four Seasons perfection. The gym near the pool is open 24 hours per day. Meeting space is ample and takes up much of the floor above the lobby with numerous boardroom and ballroom setups.
The accommodations are divided between a traditional building towering over the city and the majestic Beaux Arts mansion that was once a residence of Argentine aristocrat Elena Pena. In the main building, guest rooms are generously proportioned and boast lovely views of the surrounding cityscape. Modern amenities are fully in place from free wireless high speed Internet to flat-screen cable TVs. Glass desks provide ample work space and numerous international power adaptors, both imperative for the large number of business clientele that bunks here. Bedding is as soft as a cloud and part of Four Seasons’ new bedding package that has divine pillowtop mattresses and oversized pillows numbering to a half dozen. Minibars, laptop-sized safes, robes, slippers, and CD players are in all. Bathrooms are coated in marble with both soaking tubs and glass showers stocked fruitfully with L’Occitane products. French doors in guest rooms open for fresh air to the outside. Suites in the adjacent mansion are massive with large living rooms that appear to be furnished with inspiration from Versailles, giant bedrooms with Illy espresso machines and draped canopies for headboards, and separate dressing areas with immense marble bathrooms. Suite 103 opens in the center of the building to an Eva Peron style balcony allowing guests to give their own rendition of her famous oration to the streetscape below.
This is one of those memorable hotels that wins your business with excellent service, a central location, and the discreetly modern touches that frequent travelers love. Turndown service delivers the weather report. Bathrooms feature soaking salt and fragrant tissues. And best of all, the feeling that you are in a majestic palace no matter where you step in the building.