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Source: Condé Nast Traveler


New York-based entrepreneur Scott Mathis already owns Algodon Wine Estates, an elegant country resort in the wine-producing Andean province of Mendoza. His fastidious restoration of the 10-room Algodon Mansion, the first five-star boutique hotel in Buenos Aires, has taken four years. Housed in a 1912 villa in the capital's embassy-studded Recoleta district, it has a painstakingly restored interior of Slovenian oak parquet and belle époque plasterwork, updated with sumptuous yet understated modern fittings. Everything exudes a quiet sense of wealth, with discreet technology and hard-to-find imported woods favoured over glitz and gold. The ample rooms are artfully dressed with ebony-and-leather furniture, silk curtains and suede walls; the spacious bathrooms are fitted with 80-jet showers and lined with Calacatta marble, and bathtubs in the larger suites even have underwater speakers. This is no hipster home-from-home: the staff's formal, slightly stuffy attitude is tailored to please visiting powerbrokers and local gentry, who are assigned a personal butler and soothed with a free massage on arrival. Travelling chief executives looking to impress clients will find little to disappoint in the walk-in humidor lined with Spanish cedar, the rooftop plunge pool edged in teak, and the French-inspired restaurant with its womb-like interior of ox-blood acrylic walls and scarlet-leather banquettes.

When to go As a pied-à-terre for business visitors, year-round; for the best sightseeing weather, go in spring (October-December) or autumn (March-April).

Room to book One of the Royale Suites for lavish floor space (120 square metres); or the second-floor Ambassadeur Suite for an outside terrace.

Algodon Mansion: 00 54 11 3530 7777; Doubles from US$605

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