Argentina

Overview

From Andrew Harper

Stretching more than 2,000 miles from north to south, Argentina is a land of incredible diversity. Dramatic polychrome mountains and dense cloud forest provide a stunning backdrop for the Spanish Colonial cities of the northwest; farther south, Mendoza’s neat patchwork of vineyards is set against the majestic scenery of the snow-covered Andes. Directly west of Buenos Aires, you will encounter breathtaking vistas in the lake country around Bariloche. And at the continent’s tip, awesome glaciers grind their way through the jagged peaks of Patagonia.

For much of its history, Argentina has lurched from one crisis to another, the most recent debacle having occurred in 2001 with the abrupt abandonment of a fixed dollar/peso exchange rate. Since then, however, there has been a period of sustained growth and stability. We therefore decided it was time to take another look at a country that has long promised much, but in the past has fallen short of our expectations. We are delighted to report that on a recent incognito trip, we discovered a succession of stylish inns and estancias, all with real individual charm, ideally located to take full advantage of the astonishing natural splendor. At last, Argentina has joined the world of luxury travel.

CLIMATE : Argentina is south of the equator, so its seasons are reversed, with December-March being summer and June-September winter. Buenos Aires enjoys a Mediterranean-style climate, with January being sufficiently hot and humid to prompt a mass exodus to the beach. The immense expanse of Patagonia is drier, cooler and notoriously windy at its southernmost tip.

TIME : Two hours ahead of New York (EST).

CURRENCY : Argentine peso (ARS). Fluctuating rate valued at ARS8 = US$1.00 as of April 2014. Note: Our suggested hotels quote rates in US$.

U.S. EMBASSY : Buenos Aires, Tel. 11-5777-4533.

DIRECT DIAL CODES : To phone hotels and restaurants in Argentina, dial 011 (international access) + 54 (Argentina code) + city code and local numbers in listings.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS : Passport. Visit travel.state.gov, and for travelers’ health information, cdc.gov.

GENERAL INFORMATION : Visit turismo.gov.at before your trip.

Hotels

All recommended hotels in Argentina

Bariloche, Argentina
Llao Llao Hotel & Resort
Llao Llao Hotel & Resort

Imposing stone-and-timber lodge within Nahuel Huapi National Park, a short drive west of Bariloche.

Buenos Aires, Argentina
Algodon Mansion
Algodon Mansion

Atmospheric 10-suite property in a 1912 French classical-style limestone mansion, well-located in the leafy and chic Recoleta neighborhood.

Alvear Palace Hotel
Alvear Palace Hotel

Atmospheric Old World hotel situated in the heart of the fashionable Recoleta district near  many of the city’s best restaurants and shops.

Four Seasons Hotel Buenos Aires
Four Seasons Buenos Aires

Sophisticated high-rise hotel incorporating a Belle Epoque mansion with 165 guest rooms and suites in heart of city near central business/shopping district.

Palacio Duhau-Park Hyatt Buenos Aires
Palacio Duhau - Park Hyatt Buenos Aires

Exceptionally stylish hotel combining an ornate neoclassical limestone mansion with a sleek  17-story tower, located in the most fashionable part of the city.

Mendoza, Argentina
Cavas Wine Lodge
Cavas Wine Lodge

 

Stylish, secluded hideaway on a 55-acre vineyard estate in Argentina’s premier wine-producing  region, a half-hour drive from Mendoza city.

La Posada de Vistalba
La Posada de Vistalba

Stylish Tuscan-style guesthouse of just two luxury suites housed in a former wine cellar, part of the remarkable Vistalba wine complex south of Mendoza.

Mendoza
Nahuel Huapi National Park, Argentina
Estancia Arroyo Verde
Estancia Arroyo Verde

Renowned fly-fishing lodge with six twin-bedded guest quarters set along a private 10-mile  stretch of the famous Traful River within Nahuel Huapi National Park, in a scenic mountain  valley.

Neuquén, Argentina
Las Balsas Gourmet Hotel & Spa
Las Balsas Gourmet Hotel & Spa

Peaceful inn 45 minutes north of Bariloche, directly overlooking Lake Nahuel Huapi.

Salta, Argentina
House of Jasmines
House of Jasmines

Enchanting ranch of just 14 suites set on a 250-acre estate. in Salta.

Dining

All recommended restaurants in Argentina

Azul Profundo

Azul Profundo is located in the lively Bellavista neighborhood. As the name — “Deep Blue” — would lead you to suspect, the specialty is seafood, a suspicion confirmed by the nautical décor. The menu features fish from Chile’s 3,000-mile coastline — swordfish, sea bass, salmon, hake and flounder, plus yellowfin tuna from Easter Island — and the best way to order them is a la plancha, which means grilled on a cast-iron skillet. Nothing else is required, except perhaps a turn of pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon. A good way to begin is with ceviche or the selection of ocean-fresh shellfish. The perfect accompaniment is a crisp Sauvignon Blanc — Chilean, of course.

Manuel Acevedo 1001 Banfield
Buenos Aires 1828
Argentina
Café Tortoni

For years, this has been a gathering spot of politicians, writers and artists. Belle Epoque in style, it has dark wood walls and crowded tables where you can have coffee, sandwiches and pastries. The evening tango show is one of the best in town.

Avenida de Mayo 825
Buenos Aires 1084
Argentina
US$15
Chila

This handsome addition to the thriving Puerto Madero area has splendid water views, a sleek interior in earth tones, and a dramatic wine wall. While the stated tradition of the kitchen is French, the results seem more like contemporary American. Regardless, the food is delicious and beautifully presented. Watch for dishes such as the starter of egg cooked with a rich truffle cream flecked with blood sausage, and a main course of Chateaubriand accompanied by quinoa and cheese risotto with bacon, a mushroom purée and string beans. The wine wall contains more than 1,200 bottles from 250 producers, including some of the best in Argentina.

Alicia Moreau de Justo 1160 Puerto Madero
Buenos Aires
Argentina
US$65
Don Julio

There is a saying that the only part of the cow Argentinians don’t eat is the “moo.” This is a casual, comfortable place — the lighting fixtures are made from wagon wheels; the kitchen is open; old wine bottles line the walls — to explore the pleasures of Argentinian beef. The cordial staff will help you make your selection, but the most appealing option for me always seems to be the sirloin (but don’t overlook the sweetbreads). Order a fine Malbec, and you will enjoy a memorable evening.

Guatemala 4699
Buenos Aires 1425
Argentina
US$30
Francesco

It seems inevitable that the craze for Peruvian cuisine would come to Buenos Aires. This stylish restaurant was started by Aldo Danovaro (who was in Lima and also opened a restaurant in Coral Gables). As you would expect, the ceviches are excellent. Look also for appetizers such as yellow Peruvian potato stuffed with shellfish, and a squid-ink tamale. Seafood dominates the main courses, which might include sautéed flounder and shrimp with Peruvian white beans, or the salmon and shrimp platter with onions and peppers. Don’t forget to have a frothy pisco sour!

Soler 5598
Buenos Aires 1425
Argentina
US$65
La Cabrera

The people of Buenos Aires love this typical parrilla (grill). Tucked away in the Palermo Viejo neighborhood, it has a comfortable, low-key atmosphere with dark wood, exposed bricks and a congenial (if noisy) bar. Start with the arugula salad, then go for the bone-in sirloin. Try it well done, which in Argentina means slightly charred on the outside, pink in the center. And if you want to stick with tradition, order an indulgent flan for dessert. The wine list is extensive; the service friendly and unhurried.

José Antonio Cabrera 5099
Buenos Aires
Argentina
US$45

Special Offers

Special Offers

Four Seasons Buenos Aires - Stay Longer
Four Seasons Buenos Aires - Stay Longer

Extend your stay to enjoy even more of our renovated facilities, including new guest rooms and suites, new spa area with gym and garden, two restaurants, and new polo-inspired Pony Line bar. Confirm a minimum stay of three nights in a City View room and receive the fourth night with our compliments.