Four Seasons Hotel, Buenos Aires
2 reviews from the community
Review of "Four Seasons Hotel, Buenos Aires"
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I stayed at the Four Seasons Hotel in Buenos Aires for four nights in January 2010. We were looking for somewhere special to stay for our anniversary as we were traveling around South America - and the Four Seasons seemed to fit the bill. At the time it was rated number 2 on Trip Advisor (although this rating has now slipped) and it has been the winner of the Travellers' Choice Award in the luxury category.
We were picked up from the airport in a chauffeur driven limousine (which was part of the package that we'd booked). I'd always wanted to turn up at the airport and have a uniformed chauffeur waiting for us with one of those boards with my name on - and this fulfilled this fantasy of mine! The drive from the airport was about 40 very comfortable minutes - and so we arrived in style.When were greeted by the doorman when we arrived, and while we were whisked off in one direction, we were assured not to worry about our luggage as it would be deposited to our room shortly. We were then introduced to the hotel manager who greeted us by name and escorted us immediately to our room for check in. Therefore there was no hanging around reception waiting for a receptionist to become available....which was wonderful because we were pretty tired after our early morning flight.
In the 3 minutes it had taken us to get upstairs with the manager, our luggage was already sat waiting for us with a butler who asked us if we'd like him to unpack (we declined for fear that we hadn't packed neatly enough!). Check in with the manager took around 5 minutes, but only because he was just letting us know about what services the hotel could offer - and he made some recommendations. The actual check in paperwork had all been completed before we even checked in - and so it was just a matter of confirming it with my signature. Easy, hassle-free and, I've come to believe, the way all check-ins should be!!
Our crash pad in Buenos Aires
Considering the personalised service offered at this hotel, I didn't feel that the rooms were personalised to the same degree and although it was a very nice hotel room, it did feel pretty standardised. Having said that, it was clear that the room was decked out with furnishings that were a very high quality and we had everything that we needed to make our stay enjoyable and very comfortable.Like every hotel, there are different types of room available - and we had the "Superior Room" which are the least expensive type of room available at this hotel and so this is the type of room I will be reviewing. If money is no option, then at the other end of the scale is the La Mansion Presidential Suite which is pure decadence (and the price is only available on request.....which I've found is never a good omen!).
The Superior Room was large (40m squared) and airy and had a large window that overlooked the city and as we were on the sixth floor we were able to see for quite a distance as the buildings in Buenos Aires were not overly tall. Because the window was large, it allowed a lot of light in the room (which I prefer) and also you could open the window to allow a breeze through. Unfortunately there was no balcony which was a shame, but then this is probably more usual for city hotels anyway.The absolute best feature of the room was the extraordinary king sized bed. Now, I have slept in beds all over the world in hotels of all types and classes - and I have never.....I repeat NEVER slept in a bed that is as ridiculously comfortable and luxurious as this bed! It looks like a normal bed, but there is something very special about the beds here! Apparently, these beds are legendary - and with very good reason. I would love one of these beds at home because I think my insomnia would become a thing of the past!
The other thing of note in this room is the gorgeous bathroom which is decked out in marble and features all of the usual bathroom amenities. However, what stood out for me was the deliciously deep and wide soaking tub because, one of the things that I really miss about being at home, is being able to lay in a bath because hotels rarely have baths which are very comfortable. This hotel however is the exception and I could lounge about in the bath, using the very nice complimentary bath products, and feel pampered after a long hard day of sightseeing. The shower was also a power shower and very refreshing - but for me, the bath wins hands down!The standard room also has an LCD TV, CD and DVD player, and private bar - and so if we wanted a bit of down time then we were perfectly catered for. I would have liked to have a large squidgey sofa to snuggle up on and unfortunately this was absent, but this was really the only thing that was missing. There was plenty of storage space for our luggage with large wardrobes and drawers - and there was a laundry service which, although expensive, was very prompt and reliable.
Overall, the room was very comfortable and was a haven from the busyness of Buenos Aires. I was surprised at just how quiet the room was considering we were bang in the middle of a very noisy city - until I found out that the rooms are actually sound proofed.....something else that I'm beginning to feel is a bit of a necessity!
The Four Seasons Buenos Aires is set up to provide its guests with relaxation and, between sightseeing and a fairly busy schedule, we tried to take advantage of this at any opportunity. While this is clearly a luxury 5 star hotel, I have to say that I didn't find the atmosphere stuffy or oppressive and so relaxing was actually very easy in a way that can be difficult in some luxury or wannabe luxury hotels that feel they have something to prove.
===The Swimming Pool==
There is an outdoor heated swimming pool which is in a courtyard between the buildings of the hotel and surrounded by La Mansion, which is the very picturesque and classic facade that is typically associated with the hotel. The pool is fairly small being just 13.5m in length, but it is not very busy and so it's size really isn't a problem unless you are looking to use the pool to do laps. The pool was very clean and was warm enough to use even as the sun was going down. My only complaint about the pool area was that sometimes it seemed to close earlier than the 8pm that the literature said it would close - and very often after about 6.30pm the pool bar was closed and staff were clearing up around us which made us feel like they wanted us to leave. Having said that, between the hours of about 9am and 6pm, the pool area was a very chilled out place to be - with waiter service and pool staff making sure that you have to move as little as possible!There are sunbeds around the pool area - and you are provided with luxurious towels when you arrive at the pool area. You can use the robe and slippers in your room to go to the pool area. As I said, there is a pool service at the pool with a nice snack and cocktail menu which, although not extensive, is very nicely prepared.
There is a fully equipped fitness room which is complementary for guests of the hotel. I have to say that I avoided the fitness room (not my idea of relaxation), but my partner was impressed with the equipment in the fitness room and the facilities there. Apparently, for most of the equipment there, there was only one machine of each, but again, the fitness room does not get busy and so this really isn't a problem either.
The SpaThe spa is located on the same level as the swimming pool - and so its possible to have a full day of pampering and relaxation without having to move locations. The spa area is quite small, but it is intimate and again the emphasis is on professional and personalised service.
I had a couple of treatments here over the 4 nights I was staying here - and each treatment was fantastic. I can highly recommend the Porteño tango treatment which is one of the signature treatments in which you have a massage to the beat of tango music - using traditional massage and hot stone massage over about 90 minutes (cost is about £110).Although the cost of the treatments are fairly expensive, they are not ridiculously expensive and you could have a couple of treatments over an afternoon for around £200. When we checked into the hotel, we were given a £50 off spa treatments voucher and so this helped a little.
I wouldn't say that this was the best spa I have ever visited - but it is certainly very nice but it's not a "must do" and I would only recommend it if you feel in need of a little extra pampering.
Eating and drinking
The restaurant at the Four Seasons is called Le Mistral, and with the exception of breakfast, we only ate there on one occasion. It is situated just off of the lobby area and from the outside it looks like a nice restaurant with a relaxed and romantic ambience. Booking wasn't necessary on the night we ate there as I would estimate that only about 50% of the tables were occupied - and I think most of these people were hotel guests.Breakfast was a typical buffet breakfast in a 5 star hotel where you had a choice of fruits, cereals, fresh breads and pastries, juices etc. and then you could also add something from the a la carte menu - which was all cooked to a high standard. It was a good breakfast that set you up for the day.....and I would recommend adding breakfast to your package if you are staying here because it's just very convenient.
Dinner was not as good as I expected - and to be honest, we had better meals elsewhere in Buenos Aires. We both had Argentian steak dishes - and while nicely cooked and tasty, there was nothing very special about it. The dishes were pretty standard and obviously catered for a American and European clientele - and I would just like to have seem something a little more exciting on the menu. The service however was impeccable as the waiters were very attentive in a non-intrusive way and were willing to help in whatever way they could.Le Dome is the bar / lounge area which is situated in the lobby of the hotel - and is a very relaxed and elegant space to have a cocktail or two. In the early evening there is a man playing the piano and so its very nice to start off the evening here before heading out. We always ended up here at the end of the evening and had a few nightcaps before bed and we really enjoyed this space. I can recommend the Caipirhina here - very fresh and very yummy!
The personal touch
One of the things that really amazed me about staying here was that every member of staff knew our names and always greeted us using our names. This is a large hotel and I really don't know how they manage to remember their guests names like that, but it really did make us feel quite special.The other thing I really thought was great was the recommendations and the services offered by the concierge. Not only did he recommend which experiences we would be most likely to enjoy, he really did seem to tailor this for us. In addition to this, once we'd made the decision to do something, we'd just let the concierge know and everything would be arranged to the smallest specification without us having to raise a finger or even confirm that it had been down. For example, we said we'd like to go to a dinner tango show - and left him to make the arrangements. The show he booked for us, I believe was the best one in Buenos Aires (it just had 50 other people, the most beautiful 6 course meal, a fantastic sensual and intimate tango show etc.) and all we had to do was be in reception at 6pm and then let our chauffeur know what time we wanted picking up again afterwards. It was a perfect night!
There were other little personal touches I enjoyed - some of them really small, but they combined to make a great experience. For example, the bar staff remembered our favourite drinks, and the waiters at breakfast remembered how we liked our coffee.Overall, I have only experienced personalized service to compete with this hotel in two other venues (Thanda in South Africa and the famous Raffles in SIngapore).
How much does it cost for the privilege of staying here?
The downside of staying at the Four Seasons Buenos Aires is that it comes at a pretty substantial cost, not only in terms of the accommodation cost, but also in terms of what you'll shell out during the process of staying here. As I said, we stayed here because it was a special occasion and so we were willing to pay extra for some Argentinian luxury, but unless you're literally made of money, this type of lifestyle is not one you'd be able to maintain for long!To stay for one night in a standard Superior Room will cost upwards of £309 per night, but if you're planning to stay during peak season (we were!) then you're going to pay around £570 a night. They do do some special offers that make it a little more reasonable - for example, if you stayed for 3 nights then you received and extra night free, which reduced our overall accommodation cost from £2280 for 4 nights to £1720. Yes, I know, still extortionate but then Buenos Aires isn't the cheapest city anyway and if you want luxury then they demand that you pay for it.
Was it worth this amount of money? Well, obviously no because no accommodation is really worth spending such a massive amount of money on and in a country that does have a lot of poverty, it is a little obscene that we can wade in like this and spend so much money on a hotel room! That being said, it was a wonderful experience and I would indeed pay it again if I was in Buenos Aires and I wanted somewhere extra special. So, is it worth it? No. Did I enjoy every moment of it? Undoubtedly yes!
Overall, this is a very classy hotel which allows you to be surrounded by elegance without it being stuffy or oppressive. For me, it is the personalised service at this hotel that makes it outstanding and makes a stay here really worth while. It's not perfect and there are a few areas where there are room for improvement, but that being said, it is an experience to stay here and enjoy some of the luxury and style that Buenos Aires has to offer.
Product Information : Four Seasons Hotel, Buenos Aires
Manufacturer's product description
Listed on Ciao since: 30/12/2005