Like a sparkling jewel atop the crown of the Parisian influenced Buenos Aires neighborhood of Recoleta sits the regal Alvear Palace Hotel. This Leading Hotels of the World palace was built in the Louis XV style in 1932 out of materials brought from France making the property feel fit for a princess. As a luxury meeting point for the Buenos Aires elite, it was even more heightened when the President of Argentina decided to come to the hotel for dinner during our stay, filling the lobby with press, security, onlookers all vying for her attention. It is to say, this hotel with its cozy Champagne Bar and elegant restaurants is a place to see and be seen.
I felt like Pretty Woman, sleeping under crystal chandeliers, running around in white terrycloth robes, eating dulce de leche chocolates from a silver tray (a daily treat from the hotel) and soaking in a golden fixture bathtub. It didn’t hurt that every room of the suite was adorned in red roses as if waiting to be brought to life in a tango dance. We dined at the hotel’s French restaurant La Bourgogne where I had the opourtunity to try frog legs for the first time, and yes, they taste like chicken. There is also fish from Patagonia, table side sautéed steak in a cognac and my favorite french restaurant trick in the book: the cheese cart.
Everyone told me before this trip that Buenos Aires was the Paris of the south and after a few nights at Alvear Palace with the city’s elegant residential district of Recoleta waiting proudly outside the swinging doors to be discovered, I have to say… it did.