A Visit to the Alvear

Travel Blog  •  Alexander Basek  •  03.31.09 | 2:51 PM ET

Photo by Irargerich via Flickr (Creative Commons)

While in Buenos Aires last week, I got a chance to tour the Alvear Palace. As part of a test of social media web 2.0 blahbitty blah, I also tried to tweet about my tour, with marginal success. It’s really hard to type little messages on your phone during a meeting with someone and not seem like a total jerkwad in the process.

Maybe, though, I gave you guys an eye into what the travel-writing game is about—namely, nodding appreciatively at pools and gym machines. OK, I actually was impressed by the Alvear’s gym—the machines have flatscreens with videos explaining how to do all the exercises. That’s right in the wheelhouse of a doughy nerd such as myself. 

Anyway, the Alvear is Buenos Aires’ grand dame property. It’s in Recolata, BA’s Upper East Side. The hotel scene down there is sort of relentlessly hip, but if you like old hotels it’s worth swinging by, as it’s enjoyably starchy in the way that old hotels are sometimes. The rooms are representative of the high price point (big bathtubs!), but you’re just as well off parking in the main lobby’s cafe where you can eat petit-fours, sip espresso and, if you’re hungry, eye the enormous breakfast spread for guests that’s just out of reach.

If that whets your appetite sufficiently, I recommend the empanadas at El Sanjuanino on Posadas, just a block away. The only thing they fuss about there is whether you’ve eaten enough empanadas yet.

Alexander Basek is a food and travel writer based in New York City. He is the Best Deals reporter for Travel + Leisure. His writing has also appeared in the New York Post, Time Out New York, and Fodor's.

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