Alvear Palace Hotel
The posh Alvear Palace Hotel, which celebrated its 80th birthday in 2012, recalls Buenos Aires’s Europhile past. Afternoon tea in the L'Orangerie restaurant combines English tradition with Argentina’s obsession for sweets (try the Alvear Cake, smothered in dulce de leche); chef Jean Paul Bondoux’s La Bourgogne serves the city’s best French cuisine (using Argentine ingredients); the design is pure Louis XV; and even the bathroom amenities are French (custom-made for the hotel by Parisian designer Hermès). A top-to-bottom 2011 remodeling dropped the room count from 210 to 191, expanding room size, adding a new Grand Suite, and installing hydromassage bathtubs and LCD TVs in the bathrooms. Service remains top-notch: a bilingual butler assists guests with everything from unpacking and ironing to drawing a bath.