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Park Hyatt Buenos Aires

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Park Hyatt Buenos Aires

Front of Palacio Duhau, the mansion entrance to the Park Hyatt Buenos Aires.

© Susan Breslow Sardone, licensed to About.com, Inc.

The Charm of Park Hyatt Buenos Aires:

One of the world's top ten hotels according to Travel & Leisure, the Park Hyatt Buenos Aires is actually a happy marriage of two structures: The 23-room Duhau Palace, a family mansion built in 1934, and the modern 12-story Tower.

Opened in 2006, the hotel combines the classic and contemporary. To travel between the two sections, guests cross the Park Hyatt's private garden or pass indoors through an art-filled arcade, where exhibitions change several times a year.

The most scintillating part of this top Buenos Aires hotel is its Crystal Room...as in Baccarat crystal. Here sparkling chandeliers illuminate a marble floor. Radiating out from the room are three inviting spaces: the masculine Oak Bar, proffering cigars and Scotch whiskies; the Piano Nobile Tea Room, where tempting sweets array before you; and the Library, offering succor to the mind and the appetite.

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Guest Rooms at Park Hyatt Buenos Aires:

You'll want to stay in room 401, in the old part of the hotel. A big square, it is the only private room in the Park Hyatt that maintains the mansion's original boiserie (wood paneling).

Pristine, modern and minimalist decor calls attention to the wood floor, elegant millwork, Persian rug, fireplace, and crystal chandelier overhead. The bed is as vast and white as a Patagonian snowfall. Blue silk curtains gracefully cascade to the floor. The balcony, with a chair and two tables, overlooks the hotel's private park, hotel restaurants, and a nearby neighbor: the Vatican embassy.

An upholstered fainting couch substitutes for a sofa. Behind a wooden door with an elegant filigreed brass doorknob is the bathroom, which has a freestanding oval tub for two and fluffy bath sheets. There's also a separate rainshower, marble sinks, a magnifying makeup mirror, and toilet and bidet.

A small knob on the bathroom wall imports audio from the main room TV, which except for a few English-speaking channels including Cinemax, sounds like Telemundo to the non-Porteño ear.

There is free wi-fi, a DVD player and library. The in-room safe features an outlet to charge a laptop, and at the desk guests can choose from three different current chargers, including an American outlet.

Note: This one-of-a-kind room can be requested when you make a reservation, but no guarantees. Those who prefer to go modern all the way will be happy in a sleek and modern Park Suite, in the Tower. Its bathroom features an oversize spa tub.

Dining at Park Hyatt Buenos Aires:

Couples will want to experience the Duhau Restaurant and Vinoteca. The latter is the place to visit for an exceptional wine and cheese tasting (held daily between 6-11 pm). Although Argentina's specialty is wines made from the Malbec grape (opt for a bottle from Angelica Zapata), other types are available.

While you're letting your Malbec breathe (this marvelous wine gets better the longer it's out of the bottle), step into the air-conditioned and fragrant cheese cave with the maitre fromager. Rounds of local artisanal treasures are on display. If you like fondue, request it with your tasting.

Hours after that repast, if you're hungry, slide into a two-top at the rosy colored Duhau Restaurant, where a fire warms on cold winter nights. Sophisticated Argentine fare in on the menu, with many items featuring the country's delicious smoky flavor.

Pleasures of winter include a smoked and spiced pumpkin purée, served as a side dish; and a roasted garlic paste that adds piquancy to protein. In summer, dine al fresco on the terrace beside the garden.

There's also Gioia, the Italian restaurant on site (but you didn't fly to Buenos Aires to eat spaghetti, did you?) Executive chef Maximo Lopez oversees the restaurants as well as room service, which will be delivered by your butler.

Destination Weddings at Park Hyatt Buenos Aires:

Location-savvy Porteños desire to have their wedding photos taken inside the Palace, but the dramatic backdrops are only available to couples who wed here. The hotel's largest space is its 3,200 square foot ballroom, which can hold 220 guests for dinner. Smaller facilities and private rooms can be customized for more intimate groups.

Honeymoons and Romance at Park Hyatt Buenos Aires:

If you don't feel more romantic inside Duhau Palace, you're with the wrong mate — not in the wrong hotel. Old-world elegance and attentive service reign. The hotel's romance package includes early check-in and late checkout, an upgraded room if available, a credit toward dinner for two in the Argentine restaurant, and chocolate-dipped strawberries and sparkling wine in the room.

And there's much more here to bring out the cupid in every couple: Every Friday and Saturday night, guests may take a free tango lesson. And if you visit in the spring (October-December), there's Tango Under the Stars in the manicured garden.

Activities at Park Hyatt Buenos Aires:

Inside Ahin Spa in the Palace section of the hotel — where the lighting changes throughout the day — is a 25-meter heated lap pool plus a fitness studio and five spa suites. If you enjoy unique body treatments, experience one inspired by the traditions of Argentina's aboriginal Mapuche tribe and have your skin replenished with pure Patagonian mud. Couples who want to get out and about can take advantage of Park Hyatt's bike program. Pick up complimentary wheels and get a picnic lunch to fit in the basket and a map of city bike runways. There is an ATM in the mansion.

Nearby Park Hyatt Buenos Aires:

Duhau Mansion faces Alvear Avenue in the fashionable Recoleta district and is a two-block walk to Patio Bullrich mall, where the world's leading luxury brands are tenants. On the way, Ermenegildo Zegna, Ralph Lauren, amd Escada boutiques. Extensive Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires' main attraction and well worth a visit, is a six-block walk away. On Sunday its grounds feature a market where vendors sell hand-woven textiles, leather goods, silver items, mate gourds, and other locally produced goods.

Drawbacks at Park Hyatt Buenos Aires:

Room 401, an ideal honeymoon aerie, is not work-compatible. (Perhaps it should not be.) A stiff, hard-backed chair is too tall for the handsome polished wooden secretary it accompanies and has a bar across the knees, preventing pulling close to the desk. Couples who need to stay connected, and perhaps do some work, will be happier in a modern Park Tower room or suite.

Vibe at Park Hyatt Buenos Aires:

The Park Hyatt hotel attracts a sophisticated crowd. Men gather in the Oak Bar, one of the few places smoking is allowed indoors (and a cache of Cubans is there to induce). Well-heeled ladies who lunch meet in the Tea Room, where breakfast and dinner are also served. Intense-looking types — authors? psychologists? academics? — converse in the library. And the staff politely and efficiently serves them all.

Park Hyatt Buenos Aires Info and Reservations:

Park Hyatt Buenos Aires
Avenida Alvear
Buenos Aires C1014AAD Argentina
Telephone: 54 11 5171 1234
Official Hotel Website

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As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary accommodation and meals for the purpose of reviewing those services. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy .

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