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By: Susan Breslow Sardone

The Charm of Algodon Mansion:
Every once in a while a new hotel gets everything right -- guest rooms, service, cuisine, location. That's Algodon Mansion. Opened in 2010 in a former townhouse on a quiet block in Recoleta, this charming and intimate hideaway has been honored to become the first and still the only Buenos Aires hotel member of Relais & Chateaux.

Guest Rooms at Algodon Mansion:
Your butler, who may be an efficient young woman, will lead you to your room (there are just 10 in the mansion) and acquaint you with its many amenities. The room we stayed in, #3, is the largest one. Its bedroom has a four-poster bed covered in Frette sheets. In the living room is one of the biggest and most comfortable couches we've had the pleasure to recline in at a hotel, several stylish yet comfy chairs, an engaging selection of coffee-table books about Argentina, an impressive wine rack, and a Nespresso machine. Heaven! There's also a dining room that branches off of the living room.

Everything is well designed and of high quality, from the lights that gently come on to the room-darkening shades that electronically descend. A wide, well-equipped modern desk features a variety of built-in outlets, including a familiar North American one. The marble bathroom has a therapeutic spa tub with jets and a color therapy option. A small TV is embedded in the mirror at the foot of the tub.

Dining at Algodon Mansion:
Intimate Chez Nous seats just 20 diners and offers a gourmet menu. The seductive-looking room features ruby velour banquettes, an important piece of modern art on one wall, and a gilded ceiling (see photo #2). The menu changes often. If you're lucky, you'll get to taste the chef's quinoasotto, a delicious risotto made with quinoa, vegetables, and tiny, tasty shrimp. Complement your meal with a Malbec from Algondon's own Estate winery.

After dinner, toast your good fortune at the hotel's Veuve Cliquot bar, the first in Argentina. If you're up for a smoke, the rooftop Davidoff lounge enables you to puff on the house's Cubans in comfort and privacy outdoors.

Parties at Algodon Mansion:
Algodon Mansion is a fine place for a private dinner. Its indoor patio, with a glass roof, can seat up to 25 for a meal catered by the Chez Nous kitchen.

Honeymoons and Romance at Algodon Mansion:
Feel like spending the night in? Inform your butler you'd like a bath, and there's a good chance she will show up with a pair of grape-scented candles, wine bath crystals, and intoxicating soap slivers to float atop your bubbles.

Consider crafting a city/country honeymoon, combining your stay at Algodon Mansion with one at Algodon Wine Estates in San Rafael in Mendoza's wine country. This uber-exclusive property on 4,000 acres has just 9 rooms, a golf course, and tennis courts. Guests who want to go horseback riding or bike can also do it to their hearts' content. Of course, you should love wine, or at least want to learn more about it. The winery produces 11 labels. And if you've already developed a taste for Malbec, you will like its Bonarda ("the next Malbec") even more; it's a big, mellow red. Pair it with the fine cuisine served at the property's Chez Gaston restaurant.

Spa and Swimming Pool at Algodon Mansion:
Up on the roof there's a small heated pool, a few lounge chairs, and a hot tub overlooking the city. The pool area is adjacent to the Davidoff smoking area. The hotel's spa is on the same level and has two treatment rooms where couples can have facials and massages separately or a deux.

Nearby Algodon Mansion:
Upper-class residents and luxury-brand boutiques are your neighbors in the fashionable Recoleta district, and the hotel's security officer stands watch outside the hotel portal. The massive Recoleta Cemetery is about four blocks away, and a fascinating place to meditate on how wealthy Porteños paid tribute to their dead with elaborate mausoleums. Sundays there's a market on the grounds where you can buy silver jewelry, colorful textiles, leather bags, and other handmade items.

Drawbacks at Algodon Mansion:
The drawback is that you will have to leave.

Who Checks in at Algodon Mansion:
Like all Relais & Chateaux properties, Algodon Mansion attracts a sophisticated and well-heeled clientele.

Algodon Mansion Info and Reservations:
Algodon Mansion
Montevideo 1647 (between Guido and Quintana)
Capital Federal, Buenos Aires
Telephone: 54 11 3530 7777

Official Hotel Website

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