Jacaranda tress were just beginning to bloom as I landed in Buenos Aires at the beginning of December. The air was fresh and buds of yellow flowers gently flew to the ground and covered the streets with every subtle gust of wind. As I arrived in Buenos Aires, I couldn’t help but feel as if I were transported back to Europe. Parts of the city feel like Paris, especially the Recoleta neighborhood. Passion fills the air and the essence of the ’30s lingers throughout the streets. Grand dame hotels such as the historic Alvear Palace give you a sneak peak into what life was like back in the city’s hay day.
Our delayed flight limited our time Buenos Aires but with the help of the Hop on-Hop off Buenos Aires Bus, we still managed to see as much of the city as possible. Tickets are $37 USD each and it’s an efficient way to see the city in a short amount of time.
What to Do
Some of the noteworthy stops along the ride include the Recoleta cemetery, La Boca and Caminito and more.
1.) Recoleta Neighborhood and the Recoleta Cemetery
Stroll through the peaceful Recoleta cemetery to observe the stunning tombs and to visit where Evita Peron lays to rest. More than 6,400 vaulted tombs and mausoleums carry many of the nation’s most well known figures. It’s easy to get lost within the peaceful environment of this place.
2.) El Ateno Bookstore
Spectacular! An old theater transformed into a beautiful book store. Definitely a sight to see, especially for book worms
.3.) La Boca Neighborhood
Bursting with color, culture and photo ops, the La Boca neighborhood is a fantastic place to explore. Get a real feel for the Boca area by walking from the Boca Juniors stadium to El Caminito. *note: the area can be a little sketchy in some parts so be sure to be aware of your surroundings.
A street museum located within the La Boca neighborhood with colorful houses, tango dancers, shops and restaurants. We had a blast taking photos here!
5.) Visit the Steel Flower by Artist Eduardo Catalano.
A staple landmark in Buenos Aires, the Steel Flower, also known as Floralis Generica, is a beautiful sculpture that replicates the actions of a real flower as the petals open during the day and close during the evening. Unfortunately, the mechanism no longer operates due to the flower being broken. Hopefully there will be a way to fix it soon! Nonetheless, it’s a beautiful sculpture to see. The Flower can be found in Plaza de las Naciones Unidas.
6.) Lounge at the park overlooking Casa Rosada
The pink facade is enough to make you want to hang out in front of this gorgeous palace meant for Presidential matters. One of the theories behind the building’s pink color that it could have come from President Sarmiento’s desire to make peace at making peace during his term (by blending the red and white of the Federalists with the Unitarists). The famous balcony in the middle of the building’s facade is made famous as the place where many of Evita Peron’s famous and glorious speeches happened.
Where to Stay
If you’re curious as to how the crème de la crème once upon a time lived life in Buenos Aires, Alvear Palace is the place to stay. Set in the heart of the Recoleta neighborhood and just steps from the famous Recoleta Cemetary, Alvear Palace is a real treat.
The hotel has hosted everyone from Presidents to royalty to celebrities such as His Royal Highness Prince Charles of Wales, Walt Disney, Antonio Banderas, Sophia Loren and Presidents and Heads of State from Italy, Germany, Brazil, Mexico, Portugal, South Africa, Czech Republic, Israel, among others.
Alvear Palace is located at the corner of Alvear Avenue is a landmark of luxury Buenos Aires and the Recoleta with Parisian style architecture lining the streets.
The room was spacious and the details, impeccable. We were even greeted with fresh fruit and flowers upon arrival in our room’s beautiful living room.
– Hermés toiletries
– 500 thread-count Egyptian cotton bed linen
– Complimentary pressing of one piece of clothing per guest on the arrival day
– Complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access
Where to Eat and Drink
Even if you are not to staying at the Alvear Palace, Afternoon tea in the hotel’s L’Orangerie Restaurant winter garden room is a must! The experience is one to remember, laced with white glove service, towers filled with delicious cakes, mini pâtisserie, fresh fruit tarts and exclusive teas presented by their tea specialists.
An incredible breakfast spread includes a variety of exquisite local foods by the hotel’s Executive Chef. I mean, just look at the photos! Talk about a dream breakfast. I suggest having breakfast in the hotel’s glorious winter garden.
La Bourgogne for Dinner
Treat yourself to Alvear Hotel’s La Bourgogne restaurant by Chef Jean Paul Bondoux, offering delicious modern French cuisine. Come hungry: the restaurant offers a 6 course tasting menu. We sampled everything from local wines from Argentina to frog legs to beautiful cuts of Argentinian meats and more. The service provided by every person we came in contact with was incredible as they were all attentive, knowledgable and kind. Tip: opt for a table next to the glass window with the view of the restaurant’s gorgeous kitchen and roasting chickens!
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Nastasia was invited to tour the cities of South America with LAN Airlines and as a guest at Alvear Palace. All opinions are my own.