IN THE CITY
The city of Buenos Aires always gives us another reason to return.
Buenos Aires has its own scent, its own dance, its own rhythm; always the same and yet always different, like an old friend who brings out the best in you or a new
lover ready to discover your brightest side. It’s a city that flows with creativity and drama, with grace and authenticity. Its residents, the Porteños, call it the city of a hundred neighbourhoods—although
in reality there are only 48.
From March to July, with an average temperature of 18 degrees, something almost magical happens in Buenos Aires. It becomes ‘a multi-coloured paradise of autumn leaves’, as described by Marta Minujín, one of the most international contemporary Argentinian artists, whose enormous creations and performances are often splashed across her city. The acacia and jacaranda trees embrace and bring relief to travellers in avenues, gardens and parks that make you want to stay and settle down (for good, or just for a while with a good book). They include the Bosques de Palermo and Borges’ beloved Lezama Park, where he sometimes stayed until dawn.
Just a few minutes from the Casa Rosada and the Plaza de Mayo, in the financial and commercial centre, you’ll find the Hotel Meliá Buenos Aires. ‘ We’re known for our unbeatable location: a 10-minute walk from Puerto Madero, home to some of the city ’s most prestigious restaurants and giant, modern buildings that are driving it into the future’, says Guillermo Díaz, General Manager of the Hotel Meliá Buenos Aires.
‘Buenos Aires is lovely in autumn. The city breathes with the adventure of the immigrants that set out for America, and there’s something to remind us of it on every corner. It’s wonderful to enjoy a totally new city, built up from the mud in very little time, where cultures mix and retain the freshness of something new. It’s a city that’s alive and thriving, with people full of hopes and dreams that autumn can’t extinguish’, he notes.
With 209 guest rooms, the hotel and its attentive staff meet the standards of even the most demanding travellers. ‘It’s extremely modern from the outside, but inside it has an incredible European refinement’, explains Díaz. It’s the perfect headquarters from which to cross everything off your to-do list, from places of hedonistic indulgence to those where you’ll find the perfect souvenir. Don’t forget the alpargatas and top-quality leather belts at Arandú Talabartería (Ayacucho, 1924) or the luxurious eroticism of Fueguia 1833 (Av. Alvear, 1680), a laboratory of Porteño perfumes. The latter was founded by Julián Bedel and Amalia Amoedo, and its creations have won over Lady Gaga and Elton John, among many others.
Wandering around Puerto Madero at twilight, you’ll come across the Puente de la Mujer, a neighbourhood emblem that represents the image of a couple dancing the Porteño tango. This pleasant path leads us toward Chila restaurant (Av. Alicia Moreau de Justo, 1160), headed by chef Pedro Bargero. His tasting menu (also available in a vegetarian version) is the perfect way to discover the roots of Argentinian cuisine with a modern spark. He works with small producers to prepare seasonal dishes, washed down with the best Argentinian wine. Reserve a table next to the windows; the twinkling lights are the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable night.
The party continues at Florería Atlántico (Arroyo, 872). Where? How? Appearances can be deceiving. Look for a refrigerator door; once you open it, you’ll understand.
Incredible drinks await you, like the Espuma de Cynar, the Polaco Blanco and the Bisonte de Varsovia, in an avant-garde atmosphere that exudes pure joy.
But if there’s one neighbourhood that represents the essence of Buenos Aires, it’s La Recoleta, which boasts the best designer shops and the majestic cemetery of the same name. Close to the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (National Museum of Fine Arts) and Avenida Corrientes (home to major theatres like the Ópera, Astral and San Martín), you’ll find the magnificent, beautifully landscaped Meliá Recoleta Plaza Hotel.
‘This is a historic building, having been the first residence of Eva Perón in Buenos Aires between 1942 and 1944. This fact is recognised by a resolution of the city legislature’, says Damián Pais, General Manager of the Meliá Recoleta Plaza Hotel.
Warning: you run the serious risk of making this your Buenos Aires autumn residence for life. ‘It’s an extraordinarily luxurious hotel, and throughout the facilities you can enjoy finely selected pieces of art, soak in the sun on our terrace, take a refreshing dip in our pool, attend a jazz show right in the hotel and end your day with a relaxing massage or a trip to our spa’, the manager tells us.
Delve into one of the world’s most beautiful burial places: La Recoleta Cemetery. Its labyrinthine streets are full of sculptures and fraught with historical figures, including Eva Perón, 21 national presidents and 28 local mayors—plus hundreds of stories that will help you understand the city’s evolution. Its 54,843 square metres contain 4,780 burial vaults, the majority of which are privately owned in perpetuity.
Combine a classic and timeless lomito sandwich at La Rambla (Posadas, 1602) with the modernity of the Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires (MALBA) and its fantastic shop.
Stroll aimlessly among embassies and palaces, letting your eyes capture the elegant essence of Buenos Aires, and celebrate its beauty at the area’s best eateries. At number 1519 on Calle Posadas, near the corner where it meets Callao, you’ll find Fervor: a classic and sophisticated culinary concept. Try their mollejas (sweetbreads), provoleta, Argentinian beef and grilled seafood. The warm atmosphere and personal service win over locals and travellers alike.
‘Buenos Aires is the other street, where I never set foot; it’s the secret centre of the blocks, the rooftop patios; it’s what the facades hide’, wrote Jorge Francisco Isidoro Luis Borges Acevedo—better known as Borges—the universally beloved Porteño. I’ll have to hear you once again, Buenos Aires, and let your days be open and fertile with possibilities.
Puente de la Mujer by architect Santiago Calatrava, in Puerto Madero, close to the MeliáBuenos Aires.
Below, the entrance of the Meliá Buenos Aires, perfectly located to ser ve as a base forexploring the city.
Above, the hotel’s elegant lobby—one of its hallmarks—and the A,zorín restaurant. the Casa Rosada in the Plaza de Mayo, and a Premium Suite at the Meliá Buenos Aires.
On the left, the lobbybar at the Meliá Buenos Aires, and tOhne indoor pool.t,he opposite page the Floralis Genérica sculpture by Eduardo Catalano, in the Plaza de las Naciones Unidasin Recoleta. , tango on the streets of SanTelmo, and a piece in the Ruth Benzacar galler y in Villa Crespo.
The lobby of the Meliá Recoleta Plaza, located close to the Museo Nacional deBellas Ar tes.
Abovethe br,eakfastarea of the Meliá Recoleta Plaza hotel,and the jacuzzi in the hotel’s One Spa. Below, a Deluxe Room and the bathroom of a suite at the MeliáRecoleta Plaza.