Algodon Mansion, Buenos Aires

June 22, 2016
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Algodon Mansion is a 10-suite retreat that feels like a stylish friend’s private sanctuary, one where the staff fuses impeccable service with ease and affability. Here’s why you should check in.

There’s no shortage of boutique hotel options in Buenos Aires. Many of them are intimate havens located in trendy but laid back Palermo neighbourhood, where the focus leans more toward cooler-than-thou design. Meanwhile in posh Recoleta district, bigger hotels occupy grand turn-of-the-century palaces and mansions where white-glove service is expected. Closing the gap between both worlds is Algodon Mansion, a 10-suite retreat where the top-notch staff fuses impeccable service with ease and affability.

DESIGN
Located on a quiet street just a stone’s throw from Recoleta’s main shopping area is this onetime private residence originally erected in 1912 in the popular French Classical style—clean, geometric forms and organic motifs sculpted in low frieze-like relief embellish the building’s façade. The splendor continues inside the six-story stately house, where supple leathers, exquisite woods and delicate silks swathe the furnishings. The 10 vast suites (some with terraces, wet bars or fireplaces) overlook the Jacaranda tree lined street and an interior lightwell where a dramatic waterfall cascades down to the lobby.

AMENITIES
A big draw at Algodon Mansion is its rooftop pool and lounge, a rarity in Buenos Aires. The mixologist serves tasty caipirinhas and other Latin concoctions in the Sky Bar. Through a connecting terrace is the spa, where skilled therapists relieve sore muscles during treatments that focus on native and grape elements. The Cognac Bar downstairs features an impressive collection of wine labels from Mendoza and elsewhere in Argentina as well as premium handcrafted cigars. As you might expect in a mansion, there’s 24-hour butler and concierge service at your beck and call.

ROOMS
The architecture may be all dreamy Belle Epoque on the exterior but inside the designer opted for an unfussy and masculine ambiance—think ebony floors, Italian furnishings by Cappellini and B&B Italia and a palette in shades of gray and brown. The smallest suites, if you could call them that, feature 600 square feet of living space. Move up in room category and you’re treated to wet bars and fireplaces. All bathrooms are decked in French limestone and Calacatta marble, freestanding tubs as well as separate steam showers. Every piece of technology in the room—from the DVD player and iPod dock to the drapes, temperature, lights and TV—is controlled from a touch-screen panel that practically requires a PhD to figure out.

FOOD
Chez Nous is the intimate Franco-Argentine restaurant featuring a gold-leaf ceiling, chocolate colored walls and swanky chairs draped in creamy micro suede. The main seating area opens to a glass-covered patio where a crackling fireplace keeps things cozy in the winter months. In a city with so many excellent restaurants, this hotel’s chef stands out by presenting a lighter and more delicate fare than you might expect; the ricotta and rabbit ravioli practically melts in your mouth. But if you want beef, well, there’s that too: the velvety beef cheek is prepared with a delightful potato and black truffle foam. The menu changes seasonally and includes many ingredients brought in from Algodon’s sister property in Mendoza.

SERVICE
Algodon Mansion’s developers knew that to compete in Buenos Aires’ chic boutique hotel scene they’d have to give guests more than just a pretty place to stay and so they invested in training their staff, some of whom spent years working at exclusive European hotels. Unlike at neighboring (and some might say stuffy) Alvear Palace Hotel, the staff here pulls off a proficient-meets-personal approach to service. The concierge will not only help you in your quest to find the perfect pair of tango shoes, for example, but upon return from shopping your butler might present a list of his favourite off-the-beaten path tango halls.

VERDICT
Relaxed jetsetters and Louis Vuitton-clad execs will feel equally at home at Algodon Mansion, where the enviable location and warm staff enhance the impression that you’re staying at a very stylish friend’s private sanctuary.