I visited L’Orangerie at the Alvear Palace in Buenos Aires, Argentina, for the first time for a breakfast meeting and knew David and I had to return to stay at the hotel for a few days. We stayed in one of their newly renovated top-floor suites, with a bird’s-eye-view of Recoleta. We were more than a little giddy when we discovered our room came with butler service. (“What do butlers do?” We brainstormed some requests.) The newly redesigned rooms have an elegant simplicity. I have to say, there are few places that make you feel like a princess the way the Alvear does! From the incredible sheets to the Hermès bath products, there were lots of ooo’s and ahh’s as we settled into our new space.
Enjoying the Alvear’s signature afternoon tea in the Winter Garden is a must for any visit to Buenos Aires, whether you stay at the Alvear or not. We both love the ritual of afternoon tea, and this one was an afternoon to remember! (Also worth noting that Argentines consider 4pm-8pm the afternoon, and we enjoyed our tea starting at 5pm.) When you sit down all you need to decide on is your tea. We both selected pots of the delicious Imperial Darjeeling and settled into a 2 hour affair. A three-tiered tray of the chefs finest treats came out alongside scones hot from the oven, which I paired with the rose-hip jelly while enjoying the lively buzz from our surrounding tables.
Over an hour later, as we savored the last bites from our tiered tray, I opened what I thought was a sterling silver container of breath mints and offered some to David. We exchanged startled looks when our mouths instantly turned saccharine sweet and we realized the mints were actually concentrated artificial sweetener! Thankfully, a server with a massive cart of desserts swept up to our table and offered us a choice of 2nd desserts (and 3rd, and 4th if we wanted). We selected the strawberry cheesecake and topped it off with a glass of champagne.
Recoleta is one of my favorite neighborhoods, and at the Alvear we were right in the middle of the action. Here are a few of my favorite activities within walking distance:
- Recoleta Cemetery – Perhaps an odd thing to see a cemetery while on vacation but I highly recommend visiting these beautiful memorials to some of Argentina’ss most important residents.
- El Ateneo Grand Splendid – A former grand theatre turned bookstore, this dramatic space is a great place to pick up something to read while enjoying the solarium (sun deck) at the Alvear.
- Floreria Atlantico – Walk through an elegant flower shop then down the stairs into an underground cocktail lounge. I love how they serve their drinks in creative containers (my drink came in a blue ceramic conch shell!), and the small bites are all divine!
- Shopping – Boycapel Vintage is dangerously close to the Alvear, and one of the best collections of vintage clothing and accessories I’ve ever encountered. If nothing at Boycapel catches your eye, Avenue Alvear is home to the showrooms of some of Argentina’s best new designers such as Maria Dahn, Ménage à Trois and Evangelina Bomparola line Avenue Alvear. I also found so many treasures amongst the tents at the Feria Artesanal Plaza Francia, from oversized alpaca tassels and handmade ceramics, to hammered silver boxes and tooled leather clutches.
- Architectural Tour – Recoleta is home to some of the most magnificent facades in Buenos Aires, so it’s certainly worth dedicating a few hours just to wander, and perhaps walk off that decadent afternoon tea…
After a day of exploring on Saturday, we stayed close to “home” and enjoyed drinks on the Alvear’s Rooftop Bar. We were treated to delicious cocktails, and the most spectacular sunset views over Buenos Aires. I love the playful neon pink sign and flamingos on the menu, which mirror the lively vibe amongst the guests.
Thank you to the Alvear Palace Hotel for a truly incredible weekend!
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All photos by Stacie and David Flinner for stacieflinner.com