Buenos Aires is a cool, edgy city that blends a Latino vibrancy with European culture. There is plenty on offer for the luxury traveller in BA, whether it be the chic shopping on offer in Recoleta or the flourishing restaurant scene in Palermo.
Below is a complete guide to the best hotels in Buenos Aires, best restaurants in Buenos Aires and the best things to do in Buenos Aires.
Best hotels Buenos Aires
We used Buenos Aires as a base to travel further afield in Argentina, to the Perito Moreno Glacier and Iguazu Falls.
We stayed in BA for ten nights in total and booked a luxury penthouse apartment in trendy Palermo Hollywood.
The apartment is in a safe district and has 24/7 security. It comes with Sattelite TV, fully equipped kitchen, outdoor hot tub and great views across the city.
Our management agent Cristian was fantastic and even exchanged our US Dollars for Argentinian Pesos on the blue market.
The best luxury hotels in Buenos Aires are the Alvear Palace and Four Seasons hotels in the upmarket Recoleta district.
Home hotel looks like the best boutique hotel in Palermo Hollywood while Club House Buenos Aires brings a little bit of Soho House to the Argentinian capital.
For me, Recoleta is a bit soleless, and I far preferred the trendy Palermo Hollywood. It depends on your taste. If you prefer the Knightsbridge / Mayfair scene, then Recoleta is for you. If you are more into the Shoreditch vibe, then Palermo is the better option and has a far livelier restaurant scene.
Best restaurants Buenos Aires
Palermo Hollywood is a great place to base yourself if you are a foodie looking for an authentic Argentinian experience served up in a trendy atmosphere. You will find some of the best restaurants in Buenos Aires here.
Oui Oui in Palermo Viejo, wouldn’t go amiss in Notting Hill and is a great place for breakfast or brunch and serves up a mean croque monsieur and eggs benedict.
For some of the best Argentinian steak in Buenos Aires head to Parilla La Dorita, a two-minute walk from the apartment on Humboldt. You can share an entire roll of fillet steak and bottle of wine for around $30!
La Pescadorita, the sister restaurant of La Dorita, specialises in fish dishes and is a fantastic place to share a Paella in the sunshine.
The best local bars in Palermo Hollywood were Miranda (also a restaurant) which serves up great cocktails and Bakano Pizza for some seriously potent caipirinhas!
Things to do Buenos Aires
Shopaholics head to Recoleta where you can find all the major luxury brands among the best 5* Hotels of Buenos Aires.
Recoleta cemetery is a must see. The cemetery, burial place of the creme de la creme of Buenos Aires, is vast with some amazingly lavish tombs, including that of Eva Peron.
You can’t come to Buenos Aires without experiencing a game of football at either Boca Juniors or River Plate. A word of advice, choose your game carefully. We tried to attend the title deciding game. However, the fixture had been oversold, and safety at the ground was almost non-existant. It is not one for the fainthearted so approach with caution.
Another must do in Buenos Aires is a night experiencing ArgentianianTango. Choose your venue carefully as we tried Querandi in San Telmo and it was on the tacky side. Your hotel should be able to recommend a good show, but it’s worth telling them you prefer an authentic, local experience. Bar Sur seems to get good reviews.
If you have enough time you should take the 1.5 – 2 hour drive out of Buenos Aires to Las Pampas to experience the Gaucho life on a working Estancia.
The best Estancia for the luxury traveller is La Sofia, a boutique hotel and Polo resort run by the lovely Silke and Marcos (a former professional Polo player).
The grounds are beautiful and the thoroughbred horses, bred and trained by Marcos are of an international standard. They are very tame, and the club is used to riders of all levels (including the complete beginner like myself).
Marcos and Silke served a fabulous lunch of barbequed steak, salad and potatoes with an excellent accompanying wine.
This couple know how to live the luxury lifestyle! Afternoon tea is served on the beautiful lawns before the journey home (unless you stay overnight that is – which I would highly recommend as you won’t want to leave).
What to wear
I wouldn’t advise on flashing your cash in Buenos Aires. The city is safe but be sensible and leave your Rolex and other jewelry at home and wear sensible clothes.
Jeans and t-shirts are the best option depending what tme of year you go.
Take a money belt.
Travel Advice and Safety Tips
As stated above Buenos Aires is safe but…this is South America and there is also a large, rich / poor divide.
Be sensible and leave your expensive jewellery at home. Ladies leave the necklaces behind. I bought a very cheap watch in the airport on the way out to South America, but we left our wedding rings in the UK.
Take a money belt. I also hid some cash in my trainer just in case. Do not take lots of cash and cards (always have another card in the hotel) out with you around the city and do not wander off the beaten track.
Buenos Aires is a great city, and you want to enjoy it. If you are street wise and sensible you will have a great experience – I would recommend BA to anybody.
If you are going to travel to a football game, do so in the knowledge that there is almost no safety control, and the local police can get pretty nasty and indiscriminate if trouble flares – which it often does!
How to get there
British Airways fly directly to Buenos Aires from Heathrow.