A Review of Alvear Palace: A Wonderful Five Star Luxury Hotel in Buenos Aires
While I’m still somewhat fresh off my trip from Buenos Aires, I wanted to share my hotel experience at The Alvear Palace. As many of you know, I consider myself to be a luxury expert. What does that mean? Well, I live in New York City and am completely spoiled in every sense of the word (except space, I’ll give you that one, haters). We have the best restaurants, shows, hotels, this ethnocentric list goes on. My point though is not to drone on about how wonderful my life is, rather it’s merely to get my point across, which is that I am a luxury connoisseur. I have stayed in nearly ten different Four Seasons and many Ritz-Carltons as well. Please don’t hate me just yet. I’m a very down-to-earth person. Hotels are truly my splurge. I merely shared my background with you, my darling readers, to give you a sense of why you can trust me. I’m not backwater person on Trip Advisor who is raving about some mediocre all-inclusive in Mexico. I know what I’m talking about and I can truly sense the difference between a well-run Five Star property and a run down one. My job here (self-employed) is to simply tell you my opinion. This way, if I don’t in fact think that my splurge on an expensive hotel was worth it, that you will not make the same mistake. So, with that said, let me tell you about the Alvear Palace, which is truly a magnificent, old-world gem.
As I have said before, when choosing a hotel, generally I lean more towards classic decor and the Alvear Palace embodies to a “T,” traditional and majestic charm in the most brilliant way possible. If you are looking for an elegant hotel with time-honored, traditional decor, look no further. The lobby is overflowing with marble and the flower arrangements are fit for a king.
I don’t mean to say that the Alvear Palace is not updated, because it is. Every modern convenience and technology is available for guests. All I mean is that, keeping in step with the neighborhood’s French architectural style (the hotel is located in Recoleta), The Alvear Palace Hotel is decorated in the regal styles of Louis XV and XVI. Beautiful art fills every inch of free space while managing not to look overdone. Even guest floor hallways and rooms boast oil paintings. (Sidenote, the carpet in the hallways is even beautiful)
Alvear Palace is located in the Recoleta district, Buenos Aires’ most luxurious neighborhood. French architectural gems line the fanciest streets in Recoleta, which, in addition to sprawling homes, houses the city’s finest high-end restaurants and shops like Hermes. After all, Recoleta is the reason Buenos Aires was nicknamed, “Paris of South America.” Recoleta cemetery is within walking distance (about 20 minutes) as is much of the city’s high-end shopping (5 minutes). You are also just a short cab ride from most local destinations (most cab rides will only run you about $10USD).
The rooms make you feel like you’ve traveled back to the era of Downton Abbey. Not only do all guestrooms include personal butler service, but there is such an attention to detail that you feel like you actually are staying in your very own estate. There are fresh flowers waiting for you each time you return to your accomodations, a touch I have never seen before, even at the finest of establishments. I couldn’t resist stealing a whiff each time I came home. You can also have two items pressed per day (included) by your butler so you look super spiffy for your evenings out. Again, point Alvear, what a nice touch. They’re all about little touches in fact. The rooms have chandeliers and oil paintings to boot. The oil paintings even have their own little lights, which I found impressive for some reason. The rooms of course have every other luxury amenity, these are just the ones that struck my fancy. What else? Hmm, well rooms also boast 500-thread-count Egyptian-cotton bed linens and gorgeous, luxurious, European-style curtains that I wanted to take home with me.
Now that my dirty little secret of bathroom obsessions is out (that’s what happens when you have a travel blog, I suppose) I can tell you about all the fabulous goodies that The Alvear Palace had awaiting me. First of all, since the hotel’s most recent renovation, the bathrooms have been considerably enlarged, which as a New Yorker with limited space, I always really appreciate. The bathrooms are entirely marble and contain: a large, stand-up shower, a very spacious Jacuzzi (complete with flatscreen TV at the foot), toilet, double sinks and bidet (strange how this accords luxury, but it does). I especially appreciated the Hermes bath products, which smelled just as you would expect Hermes to smell, if it had a scent–oh wait, it does. And it’s yum! They also had fluffy robes and monogrammed towels that read: Alvear Palace, which I thought was pretty cool.
The staff was remarkable, although perhaps a bit formal for my liking. I’m a very casual person and this hotel is not. At times it felt a little stuffy, but of course, I am only 31, and a plethora of guests, I am sure, prefer polite formalities. Not that manners aren’t my thing, but as I said, I’m just casual. That said, the service was extremely personalized and professional throughout our entire stay. The staff really did go to every possible extreme to ensure our requests were accomodated. When our flight was delayed the Concierge on duty spent over an hour on hold to ensure that we were taken care of. Such gestures do not go unappreciated in my book. The Concierge was also more than happy to help with recommendations and reservations.
You may not know but The Alvear Palace was named a historical monument by the city of Buenos Aires in 2003. Appropriately then, The Alvear Palace has had its fair share of celebrities and VIPs over the years like Robert Duvall, Donatella Versace and Liza Minelli. And I hope they brought their appetites because The Alvear Palace houses some of Buenos Aires’ most famous restaurants like La Bourgogne, which serves excellent (though pricey) French cuisine and a spectacular Sunday brunch. L’Orangerie, is a Buenos Aires staple and serves a grand breakfast and famous high tea that is not to be missed. Our particular package included a breakfast buffet, which was out of this world. I’ll let the photographs speak for themselves. Plus, the espresso drinks here were top notch and super strong.
Have you stayed here before? What are your thoughts? We’d love to hear! Let us know in the comments.