Today (February 3, 2016): Review of Palacio Duhau – Park Hyatt Buenos Aires (Argentina).
- Location: Google Maps
- Address: Av. Alvear 1661, C1014AAD Buenos Aires, Argentini
- Hotel website: Palacio Duhau – Park Hyatt Buenos Aireso
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso
There are plenty of reasons to take a trip to Buenos Aires: whether it’s to visit the home of Evita or in fact the home of footballing legend Maradona; or to immerse yourself in the many art galleries, try your hand, or should I say foot, at the Argentine Tango, enjoy exquisite fine dining or simply to drink a cup of freshly roasted coffee with a crispy medialuna (Argentinian croissant) – a personal favourite of mine. If you are ever in this amazing and cosmopolitan city, then for me there really is only one choice of where to stay: Palacio Duhau – Park Hyatt Buenos Aires. This legendary five-star hotel is breathtaking inside and out, truly one of the finest hotels in Buenos Aires. The hotel perfectly blends the 1930’s charm of the French Palacio Duhau with contemporary design, décor, and modern day comfort and amenities. Much of the hotel overlooks beautiful gardens that are like a secret green oasis in the centre of bustling Buenos Aires. The artistic nature of this city is reflected throughout the hotel and its guestrooms with works of art adorning many of the walls and the hotel even boasts its own art gallery for you to while away the hours. Offering standard and deluxe rooms or suites, outstanding restaurants, the atmospheric Oak Bar, the luxury Ahín Wellness & Spa as well as an art gallery, pool, Tango classes and fitness studio – there is very little you are left wanting for.
In this review (more information below the slideshow):
- Pros & things I like
- Cons & things to know
- My verdict
- Tips for future guests & save money
- Best time to visit
- How to get there
PROS & THINGS I LIKE
- First and foremost, I must mention the service which is an art form at this hotel. Expect the staff members to greet you by name during your stay (always impressive I think) and there are other wonderful touches like if you have an early departure the staff will arrange hot coffee and pastries to be waiting for you in the lobby or if you wish to finish your wine from dinner in your room they will have it personally delivered to your room even before you’ve left the restaurant! I have even heard some guests remark that the restaurant staff have remembered where they sat a whole year before!
- The hotel enjoys a central city location with gardens that offer you a tranquil oasis to escape the city’s hustle and bustle. Lying in the heart of the French heritage district of Recoleta, the hotel is just a stone’s throw from MALBA (The Latin American Art Museum of Buenos Aires) and Puerto Madero – which are both must sees! Plus great shopping, nightlife and dining are right on your doorstep – you couldn’t ask for a better location in Buenos Aires.
- This is a hotel to get happily lost in. Its long, winding and luxurious public spaces are filled with elegance and sophistication with stunning crystal chandeliers, impressive fireplaces and plentiful marble floors and bathrooms. The hotel also provides an impressive collection of art adorning the walls as well as the hotel’s very own gallery showcasing international and local artworks.
- You can enjoy complete peace and quiet when you request a room with palace views which gives you a beautiful vista over the gardens and makes you feel like you are in a secret green oasis in the centre of this busy city. All of the guest rooms feature every pampering amenity you should need, from butler service to wireless internet access. 33-55-sq. metre Standard and Deluxe Rooms feature very comfortable plush king-size bed, oversized work desk, 30-inch flat-screen TV with cable, minibar, safe, tea and coffee facilities and marble bathroom with majestic bath tub with bidet and walk-in rain shower as well as complimentary morning newspaper and bathrobes.
- All the suites which vary in size from 59-160-sq. metres enjoy a private Butler Service as well as added extras like balcony’s or private terraces, one or more bedrooms, separate living, dining and working spaces, kitchenette, guest bathrooms, walk-in-wardrobes, fireplaces, panoramic garden views and stunning décor touches like Persian carpets, hard-wood floors, silk curtains and crystal chandeliers. Some suites even feature private pantry’s and bullet proof windows!
- My favourite suite is the Duhau Suite, which is more like the urban loft apartment of your dreams with a chic modern decor of beautiful aquamarine and rich aubergine hues. It offers 160 sq. metres of elegant living space, including dining and sitting areas with two fireplaces, Bang & Olufsen sound system and television, private pantry, kitchenette, master bedroom with king bed and connecting bath featuring bidet area, tub and rain shower, plus 360-degree views from a beautiful wrap-around terrace.
- If you are away on business, the hotel caters to your every need with wireless broadband Internet access in all public areas and guestrooms, a Business Centre with state-of-the-art work stations as well as full multilingual secretarial support, meeting facilities and multilingual hotel staff.
- There are excellent and varied dining options including: the main restaurant of the Palace – Duhau Restaurante & Vinoteca which offers sophisticated Argentinean cuisine with contemporary style and flawless service. Gioia Restaurante & Terraces offers spectacular views of the Palace and the garden with service available throughout the day and extensive seating on the terrace for alfresco dining. Piano Nobile Salones offers breakfast and elegant snacks throughout the day with special emphasis on their delightful afternoon tea.
- Breakfast can be enjoyed in three different dining locations which adds a nice touch of variation for longer stays.
- The beautiful and atmospheric Oak Bar (which takes its name from the stunning 17th century oak paneling on the walls) is the perfect rich and warming setting for a nightcap with a real wood-burning fire and a terrace overlooking the hotel garden. It feels more like an exclusive member’s club when you’re in there and offers an excellent selection of spirits from around the globe and don’t forget to try one of their excellent cocktails.
- The housekeeping is outstanding with immaculately clean guestrooms and public areas and if you wish them to unpack for you, you will find clothes neatly folded, put on hangers or perfectly arranged and your shoes will be shined, cleaned and put into place – wonderful!
- The fitness studio is everything you need as a traveller with state-of-the-art cardiovascular and isotonic equipment and separate facilities for men and women with a whirlpool as well as a sauna.
- If you are travelling by car the hotel offers an impressive 100 parking spaces, which is very handy indeed.
- For an experience of true indulgence, head to the 8,000 ft2 Ahín Spa, the perfect reflection of this hotel’s belle époque grandeur. It offers a diverse menu of wellness and health therapies including massages, facials and body treatments as well as two private suites with special tubs, two individual treatment rooms, a hydrotherapy room, a 25-metre heated indoor pool and a state-of-the-art fitness studio.
- The hotel also has an annual New Years Eve Party which is renowned to be excellent with International entertainment, dancing and delicious cuisine.
CONS & THINGS TO KNOW
There is very little to say against the Palacio Duhau – Park Hyatt Buenos Aires as it’s grandeur and classic belle epoque glamour sweep you off your feet and the impeccable levels of service leave you wanting for nothing, but there are a few things it’s worthwhile noting to ensure you have the perfect stay:
- If you can, try to request a room on the higher floors, especially in the high rise building, as these rooms are the newest and offer some simply stunning views over the beautiful gardens and rooftops of Buenos Aires.
- The famous courtyard is truly beautiful and definitely worth an hour or two of your time, but if you wish to recline in its ambience do note that you will have to order drinks or food and unfortunately (for me) the outdoor terrace does permit smoking.
- If you are travelling as a family and require connecting rooms, note you will have to reserve a standard room and junior suite as the hotel does not offer connecting standard rooms (also maximum room occupancy is 3 guests regardless of age).
- The subterranean pool is quite stunning, but if you like laying in the sun on a lounger, watching the world go by, you might struggle in this hidden and tranquil underground oasis.
- There is an underground corridor linking the two parts of the hotel which is very welcome in rainy weather (!), however having said that, it is a bit of a windy path with numerous staircases or lifts.
- Location: 9/10
- Design: 9/10
- Rooms: 8/10
- Food: 9/10
- Service: 10/10
- Overall experience: excellent: 9/10
TIPS FOR FUTURE GUESTS & SAVE MONEY
- Save money: read my tips for getting the best deal at a luxury hotel like the Park Hyatt Buenos Aires. Book a room at the cheapest price and/or receive many free perks.
- Save money: enjoy complimentary VIP amenities when you book your stay at the Park Hyatt Buenos Aires via Virtuoso: room upgrade, daily breakfast (for 2), wine and cheese tasting (for 2; at Palacio Duhau Vinoteca), early check-in and late check-out.
- Save money: make use of Hyatt’s best rate guarantee to discount the cheapest room rate by an additional 20%.
- Elite members of Hyatt’s loyalty program, World of Hyatt, are well treated, with – amongst other benefits – complimentary room upgrade (when available), early check-in or late check-out (when available), and free breakfast. Click here to read my review of the World of Hyatt program (with pros & cons).
- Request a room on a higher floor if you don’t want to be disturbed by street noise.
- Read my tips for preparing your trip in time.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Buenos Aires has a humid subtropical climate, with very hot and humid summers (Oct-Mar) and mild winters (Jun-Aug). Most would find January and February rather too hot and humid (with a daily average temps of 25 °C / 77 °F) and March endures the highest rainfall, so I would suggest the best months to visit weather-wise would be October and November or April and May. The winter months of June to August are much cooler and require warmer clothes and less time spent outdoors. Having said all this if you want to experience the excellent hospitality of their New Year’s Eve Party then head over in December for dinner and dancing!
HOW TO GET THERE
There are two airports serving the Buenos Aires metropolitan area: Aeroparque Jorge Newbery, located in Buenos Aires city offering scheduled domestic and regional flights and Ministro Pistarini International Airport, also known as Ezeiza, located 22 km outside of the city, serving mostly international routes. Flight time from London is about 14+ hours depending on whether you get a direct route and once there you can get a bus, train or the underground into the city or arrange a private transfer. The TripAdvisor page for Ministro Pistarini International Airport gives you some essential Travel information regarding entry to Buenos Aires including Argentina’s reciprocity fee (aka entrance fee of $160/person) which must be purchased online prior to travel and their departure regimen of being photographed and thumb-printed and so on.