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From Fantasy Friday polo packages in Palm Beach last week, we’re going straight to the home of polo today: Argentina. Here, the Four Seasons Buenos Aires is going through a little freshening up, to the tune of $40 million no less.
A first phase has been completed, including a redesign of the lobby, an initial set of rooms, and the addition of a courtyard restaurant. Another part of the makeover? The opening of Pony Line, a bar inspired by – you guessed it – polo.
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Nothing like finishing up the year with a little gossip: Tennis great Roger Federer got some rest in the arms of the Algodon Mansion last week, putting his feet up after a few exhibition matches and children's training camps in Buenos Aires.
We're not surprised, as the Algodon Mansion is certainly one of Argentina's more upscale properties. Here's what we know: They have the self-appointed "hottest" staff in the city, the smallest of the ten rooms will run you about $400 a night, and they throw one hell of a party so long as you have some cash to throw down.
It's a five-star hotel, but we like to think of it as a luxurious B&B, replacing the oh-so-sweet-cinnamon-bun-baking innkeeper with a 24-hour at-your-freaking-service private butler.
More on Fine Federer's stay after the jump...
Although not as popular in the US, it seems like the rest of the world goes bonkers for a little soccer. And if you're a fan of the fast paced game, you know not to call it soccer, but football. So with a rich history of football, it makes complete sense for Buenos Aires to open up the first football-themed hotel for players and fans.
Rest assured The Hotel Boca isn't a sports bar turned hotel with a few footballs hanging from the ceiling or framed jerseys adorning the walls.This is a modern and avante-garde designed property with all the luxuries we adore . Public areas and the two restaurants are themed in the blue and yellow of the hometown team, Boca Juniors, and decorated with memorabilia from the over 100 year old club.
Each of the rooms and suites are decked out with great design and comfy living space that would impress even the highest level athletes. The simple layout is complemented with pops of team color, but in a way that would make you think you'd walked into a 'superfan's' closet. Think tasteful, not gaudy.
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There's tons of hotel news flying around and we don't have time to give each and every story the love and attention it may deserve, so you will have to settle for some news briefs.
Tomorrow morning Westin Hotels is having a 5K run in New York to celebrate the launch of their exclusive New Balance gear lending program. Both Westin, New Balance associates (and now Top Chef-host, Padma Lakshmi) will run to benefit Soles4Souls, an organization that provides shoes to adults and children around the world. A majority of the donations will support Hurricane Sandy victims. The run starts and ends at the new Westin New York Grand Central where there will also be a Soles4Souls donation station the public can drop off gently used or new footwear throughout the day. After the run, Westin and New Balance will donate more than 15,000 pairs of shoes to Soles4Souls. For more info, visit westinnewbalance.com
Sandals Resorts International has purchased Grenada’s all-inclusive LaSource Resort for an undisclosed sum. This is the brand’s first property in the country. The hotel will be renamed Sandals LaSource Grenada Resort & Spa, and will add 100 more guest rooms to its current space for a total of 200 private cottages and bungalows. Many of these will be concierge- and butler-level suites, as is common in the Sandals brand, and also the famous octagonal-shaped Rondoval suites. We wonder if Sandals will keep LaSource’s former amenity of one free spa treatment a day. Sure it was only a 25-minute teaser, but it was something. A part of us believes they’ll be cut, but we’ve been pleasantly surprised before.
The travel-savvy and sun worshippers will chase the good weather and head to the southern hemisphere next month. It'll be springtime in Buenos Aires come September with temps topping out in the low 70's--the right time to take in fashion shows and wine festivals and to check out the new Buenos Aires Grand Hotel opening in the stylish Recoleta nabe.
The 90-room hotel will provide all the comforts travelers crave—free WiFi, 40" plasma TVs, and Nespresso coffeemakers. Plus, they can boast as being one of the rare B.A. hotels to have a rooftop pool (with an artificial current), so we’re anticipating quite the scene of designer-swimsuit wearing patrons come summer evenings starting in December (yep, remember it's opposite season).
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Imagine going on vacation and having your long-awaited, hard-earned days of rest interrupted by this? That's yet another, in a long list of, crowd of screaming girls hoping to get a glimpse of Justin Bieber at the W Santiago. Except...Justin wasn't even inside!
We know Justin decided to stay in Buenos Aires an extra day ... so he wasn't even in Chile when the fans stormed the hotel. According to our sources, the mob scene prompted local authorities to contact Bieber's camp and order him to come to the hotel by helicopter ... because they feared they couldn't control the crowd.
Director/vintner/hotelier Francis Ford Coppoloa is having a tough go with his Jardin Escondido in Buenos Aires. The small boutique hotel got robbed the other night, for the second time. From the Washington Post:
Police say the robbers made off with money and valuables, but more details were unavailable about how or when the robbery occurred. The official news agency Telam quoted a hotel employee as saying nobody was hurt in the incident.
If you're looking for a great deal on a brand new boutique hotel this fall, head south. All the way down to Palermo Hollywood, the stylish nabe in Buenos Aires, where Fierro Hotel opens on September 1.
This spacious Superior Room (438 square feet) will set you back just $145 USD a night with the hotel's special opening rate, and that includes a breakfast buffet and unlimited internet access.
But if you can wait a bit longer, you may want to schedule a BA trip for September 30—that's the night of Fierro's VIP Opening Event, including a cocktail reception and dinner at the hotel's Hernán Gipponi Restaurante paired with Argentine wines.
This might be a first on HotelChatter.
We've heard of hotels holding secret pre-opening parties for celebrities and posh events (GPH, Thompson Beverly Hills) a few days or weeks before the hotel's actual opening, but the all-suite luxury hotel, The Algodon Mansion in Buenos Aires, is hosting investors and private parties for a few more months before opening to the general public. Apparently, an Hermes bash was hosted there last week.
The hotel was expected to open in March and now it looks like summer is a more realistic time. Hopefully, the hotel staff will still be hot by then.
The Algodon Mansion Hotel thinks so!
The hotel sent us some snaps of the pre-opening party they hosted for Buenos Aires architect/interior designer/socialite Javier Iturrioz (wow, he certainly has a lot of jobs!) Amongst the snaps of BA socialites and modelizers partying it up at the hotel, we came across this shot of the staff. And we likey. But we thinks they might need a few more good men!
If you're headed to BA soon, you can meet the staff in-person when the hotel opens which should be any day now. And if you've got socialite money, splurge on one of the rooms which are actually suites. Those start at around $775 a night and come with your own personal butler.
Random Argentinian male socialite shots below.
The Algodon Buenos Aires: your private dancer. Er, we mean mansion.
Joining the long lineage of estate-cum-hotels is Buenos Aires' Algodon Mansion, a 20,000 square foot property whose roots date back to 1912. The hotel, set to open in March of this year, is being described in an all too familiar manner: your home away from home (or "Your Own Private Mansion").
The hotel's "mi casa es su casa" messaging is certainly inviting, but more fantasy than reality, as these things go. Not many people have a personal butler at their beck and call 24/7, let alone a rooftop pool, baby grand pianos, suites with a view of an interior two-story waterfall, or a cognac bar with a selection of "premium handcrafted cigars" at their actual homes. That's in addition to some of the other cushy amenities we reported on last year.
We've since come across more hotel specs, photos which you can see after the jump.
There’s nothing quite like a glowing hotel endorsement from the New York Times. And by glowing, we mean flickering like a string of Christmas lights about to expire. That’s the feeling we got reading this week’s Check In, Check Out column, in which a Times-er describes the 28-room cE Hotel de Diseño in Buenos Aires as “slightly more stylish alternative to the corporate chains.” Sort of ouchy, don’t you agree?
“While the minimalist-cool hotel, which opened in 2005, offers a few sumptuous extras like Jacuzzi hydro-massage tubs in every room,” writes the NYT, “it lacks such basics as a full-service restaurant and closet space readily available in this price range.”