The leading brand in luxury travel was born in 1960 in Toronto, Canada, and is on schedule to reach 100 hotels total by next year. One of my favorite properties in the collection that completely stole my heart is Four Seasons Buenos Aires, housed in the well-to-do leafy neighborhood of Recoleta. I’ve never exactly had the excuse to book a room here on the chance that I’d be vacationing in the city. Why? Because I live here. For the past year I’ve lusted after the tower and the luxuries that live inside it. After my one year anniversary, I decided it was time. A staycation was in order.
| The Concept |
Lucky for me (and every guest who stayed after November of 2013), Four Seasons Buenos Aires recently completed a $49 million renovation. With the generous sum, they transformed every inch of the hotel into a modern attraction that continues to pay homage to its distinguished past and spirit of the porteños, or local Argentines, including both the 1920’s La Mansión along with the 1992 modern tower.
Few things stir up so much passion in Argentina as the tango, which is why it served as inspiration for the renovation. Fluid movement and energy can be seen in the carpets of the salons, plush furniture and interior lighting. Polo gets the Argentines going as well, so it’s no surprise to see the sport come alive in various ways, both discreetly and boldly, throughout the hotel. The eclectic two-story lobby invites locals and travelers to feast their eyes on hundreds of pieces of blown crystal suspended from the ceiling, oversized furnishings, and the blue hued South American stone that lights up the reception desk is not something to be missed.
The furnishings are grand, the linens fine, the marble immaculate, and yet the atmosphere emits a very humble elegance made possible by the warm and welcoming staff that I was given the opportunity to know over the past few days. Incredible emphasis is put on making the guest’s stay personal, as if the smiling faces you recently met have been your next door neighbors for years. The people of Four Seasons aim to transport you to the perfect home-away-from-home, calling you by name and creating personal touches I’ve never seen done before in my many years of travel. I was told by many staff members that they loved the name of my blog. I had never mentioned The Road Les Traveled, but it’s these little details that truly make you stand in awe at the highest caliber of work these incredible people exude. Upon checking into our suite, my boyfriend and I were greeted by a framed photo of us climbing Perito Moreno glacier, an activity we did a few months ago in Patagonia. Left speechless for a few seconds due to A) the obvious amount of research put into our stay and B) a framed photo of me looking like a geeked out tourist in one of the nicest hotels in the world, I realized this was just the spirit of Four Seasons, and that they were a notch above all the rest.
| The Suite |
Room 405 lent itself as a modern yet timeless, elegant and spacious second home, as my first was just right down the street, and I never wanted to return. The living area came equipped with a plush couch and chairs where I devoured my club sandwich from room service, a work desk where I took scheduled calls for the day, a coffee table where I drank heaps of caffeine, and refreshments for days where I discovered a love that I now fear can never go undone (or unordered from Amazon), the beloved Nespresso. I’ve never seen coffee brewed in so little time. HOW could I have missed this magical machine?! I’d like to thank Four Seasons for opening my eyes to a brand new caffeinated world.
Moving into the generous sized bedroom, the sophistication continued with a bed that hardly allowed an exit as the sun came up and a view that could leave a guest wondering if they woke up in Paris. Don’t even get me started on what was behind the leather-clad sliding doors leading into the bathroom. The soaking tub and the LCD TV behind the mirror along with the calming tones of the polished walnut and blue hued glass mosaics presented a heavenly oasis. Why would I ever need to leave? Well, I hardly did all weekend. Robe life consumed me, and I was taking no prisoners.
| Cuisine & Cocktails |
As much as I wanted to live in a plush robe all weekend, to travel is to learn and experience, even if that means wandering downstairs into a hotel lobby. After de-robing and dressing in appropriate casual chic wear to stand among my well-heeled friends of Four Seasons Buenos Aires, I began to notice something extraordinary about each individual subculture within the hotel. They were destinations within a destination, providing their own incredibly unique atmosphere, attraction and menu.
Next to the eclectic lobby was Pony Line, a bar where urban sophistication meets carefree, rugged chic in an attempt to bring the sport of kings known as polo, to life. Makeshift horse stalls and riding motifs and leather details oh my! I’m confused. Did I just apparate to Dallas, Texas? It was as if my brain couldn’t separate the cowboy from the polo player. With a common denominator of horses and leather, I don’t fault myself for the connection. If you follow the staircase leading mysteriously upwards, you’ll find the Pony Spirit laboratory, a club-like atmosphere made for those who appreciate custom-made cocktails and rich cognac leather. It opens onto a sprawling terrace above the hotel’s lobby, presenting itself as the crème del la crème late-night party scene. How posh. Tip: Follow my lead and order the Backhander, a take on Argentine tea known as mate, mixed with Bombay Sapphire gin, lemonade, lemongrass and cucumber. I’ll most definitely be back to bask in the winner’s circle come polo season in November.
An entirely different concept can be found down the hall in a double-height space bathed in natural light and modeled after a courtyard. Elena, named after the bride of La Mansión, the historic building that houses Four Seasons’ most opulent suites and social events, features the best of Argentina as Executive Chef Juan Gaffuri creates magic in his kitchen with dry aged beef, rotisserie, charcuterie and local wines. Rich furnishings include a dramatic spiral staircase, a glass enclosed dry ageing case, marble butcher’s table, and like Pony Line, the space incorporates black and white carrera marble floor in a herringbone pattern taken from the San Telmo neighborhood in the city.
Finally, the hotel decided to let the public in on the best kept secret in Buenos Aires, its Nuestro Secreto restaurant. A welcome escape from the busy city just outside, this indoor-outdoor venue was one of my favorite features of Four Seasons Buenos Aires. Based on the tradition of the Argentine asado and the gathering of friends and family around the fire, the restaurant uses various types of quality meat as the stars of each meal. When in the land of beef… The best part? The menu is printed newspaper style, emulating the tradition of reading the Sunday newspaper before using it to light the fire. Every day is Sunday in Nuestro Secreto Restaurant. When can I move in permanently?
| Amenities |
A luxury hotel cannot be complete without outstanding and outrageous amenities. Let’s start with the pool, shall we? Because Buenos Aires can’t seem to make up its mind about continuing with winter or springing forward, I was sadly under the impression that the use of the outdoor pool was out of the question. Throughout my years of travel, I learned it’s always good to pack a swimsuit, just in case. Four Seasons Buenos Aires has the only outdoor heated pool in the vicinity, so you know that swimsuit came in handy, as did the heated pool in 58 degree weather. The surprises didn’t stop there. As my frigid exit into the elements came near, I noticed a plush towel, robe and slippers placed oh so delicately on a lounge chair for me. With that service and this view, I can’t. I just can’t. I literally just can’t even.
After experiencing the suite, the restaurants, the pool, and friendly staff, I thought to myself, “There’s no place like home.” HA. I wish. I asked myself how a hotel could possibly get any better. I was then presented with an invitation from the hotel to relax with one of their signature massages in Cielo Spa. Much like Beyonce when she comes on the radio, you don’t turn that down. Like every aspect of Four Seasons, the spa transported me into a unique environment that pleased all the senses. My masseuse, Augustina, was quite possibly the most talented professional I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. I hope she reads this, and I hope she continues her magic for years to come. Guests would only be so lucky. More perks include a gym I figured I’d only see in my dreams, with personal trainer Santiago poised to help at a moment’s notice with snacks, iced towelettes and a choice between spa water or bottled water. Spa water every time. At this point, I was under the impression that Four Seasons could do anything. I thought about asking Santiago if he could subtract 5 pounds from my person. But, nah.
| Extraordinary Experiences |
I was already having an extraordinary experience as one does while living the life at Four Seasons, but the luxury chain went a step further by unveiling a new exclusive collection of Extraordinary Experiences only available through the hotel. Four Seasons’ philosophy has a huge emphasis on constant creativity and innovation, and they delivered by offering bespoke luxury adventures, as unique and individual as the destinations where they take place around the world. Luxury adventures, eh? Sounds a lot like what The Road Les Traveled is all about. I knew we’d go together just right. Feel like ascending Mount Fuji with private guide, chef and butler during your stay with Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi? Do it. Have a tequila obsession and staying with Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, México? See the family-run Jose Cuervo distillery in Tequila, Mexico via helicopter.
Good news for the Four Seasons Buenos Aires guests. You no longer have to be a pop star to craft your own personal fragrance. Move aside, Britney. Guests are able to create a distinct scent with legendary Argentine perfumer Julian Bedel, co-founder of Fueguia 1833. After visiting the micro-laboratory, Bedel works his magic blending an original scent that embodies the aromatic identity. The final product is then bottled in three sizes and packaged in wooden boxes crafted from fallen trees in Patagonia. One Extraordinary Experience not enough for you? No problem. Just hop on the company jet to travel in style to your next Four Seasons destination.
| Friendly Four Seasons Faces |
I want to give a special thank you to the friendly faces that made me feel especially at home over the weekend. Thank you to Rodrigo on site, Antonela at the front desk, Max at Nuestro Secreto, Santiago at the gym, Lisa and Agostina at Cielo Spa for an unforgettable experience, and to all those working behind the scenes. I hope to see you again sometime soon at the Four Seasons Buenos Aires!
Rates start at $525/night.
View more photos from my stay at FSBuenos Aires below!