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Argentina's Finest Hotels

Livia Corona The Neoclassical exterior of Esplendor.

Photo: Livia Corona

Home Hotel Buenos Aires

THE LOOK The brainchild of porteña Patricia O'Shea and her English husband, ex-record producer Tom Rixton, Home became the biggest boutique hotel in the Palermo neighborhood (thanks, in part, to the investment of U2's producer, Flood) when it opened last December. Scandinavian design, vintage French wallpaper, and a beautiful staff make this the home you wish you had.
THE SCENE British expats and hipster Americans in Diesel jeans and Prada sunglasses discuss music and film in the garden over cocktails and tapas. On Friday nights, Rixton and his DJ friends kick off the poolside party, with potent vodka concoctions passed around.
THE ROOMS All brushed concrete and understated Saarinen furnishings, the 17 muted rooms and two spacious suites are brought to life by vivid floral wall coverings and flower-filled window boxes. The showstopper is the secluded Garden Suite—its private plunge pool and rooftop terrace are perfect for hosting your own pool party.
THE SERVICE Upon arriving at a concierge-recommended ethnic restaurant in the neighborhood, we were pleased to discover that the hotel had called ahead—the maître d' greeted us by name and promptly seated us at a desirable table.
THE AMENITIES No breakfast buffet here. Instead, Home serves guests a small but delicious selection of medialunas (croissants) and breads, with fresh marmalades prepared by the owner's grandmother, as well as yogurt and exotic smoothies (try the celery, pineapple, and ginger). Don't miss the antioxidant grape wrap at the spa.
DIRTY SECRET There's a lot of construction going on in this trendy Palermo neighborhood, so don't be shocked if you wake up to the sound of a jackhammer.
NICE SURPRISE We loved the thyme- and-verbena bath soaps made by a local artisan especially for the hotel. 5860 Calle Honduras; 54-11/4778-1008; www.homebuenosaires.com; doubles from $115.

Palacio Duhau, Park Hyatt Buenos Aires

THE LOOK Originally built in 1934 by French architect León Dourge for the Duhau family, the hotel shares the block with two other stunning Neoclassical buildings. The entire estate merges innovative design with ironwork, crystal chandeliers, and gardens that recall the Belle Époque; this Park Hyatt may redefine luxury in the Argentine capital.
THE SCENE Expect diplomats and CEO's mingling with socialites in the bar and Baccarat Room. At teatime, Chanel-clad ladies of a certain age take over the elegant Piano Nobile lounge and terrace.
THE ROOMS An underground walkway and gallery connect the classical Palacio and its 23 guest rooms with a new building housing 142 rooms. All have hardwood floors, exquisite fabrics, and marble bathrooms—and every room includes butler service. IPod nanos loaded with everything from classical music to tango are available upon request.
THE SERVICE The multilingual staff knows the city inside and out and can arrange anything from a private backstage tour of the iconic Teatro Colón to an outing with a personal shopper.
THE AMENITIES Before dinner at the exclusive Duhau Restaurant, where wood-grilled dishes emphasize fresh ingredients, stop at the Vinoteca. The sommelier and maître fromager will pair wines from among 3,500 bottles of Argentine vintages with the best regional cheeses. The Ahin Spa, which takes its name from the language of the ancient Mapuche tribe of southern Argentina, has luxurious treatments with Comfort Zone products, an indoor heated pool, and an expansive fitness studio.
DIRTY SECRET Guests must sign up and pay a daily fee for Wi-Fi and broadband.
NICE SURPRISE Museum-worthy paintings and sculptures by local and international artists such as Guillermo Roux, Toutain, and Guerrero Medina are everywhere, as well as in the underground gallery, Paseo de las Artes. 1661 Avda. Alvear; 888/591-1234 or 54-11/5171-1234; www.buenosaires.park.hyatt.com; doubles from $410.

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