Buenos Aires is a city both old and new, a place that’s as focused on its future as it is upon its glorious past. Though it has a well-known habit of looking towards Europe for its cultural identity and sense of style, Buenos Aires is still regarded as an iconic capital of South America: a land full of fables, possibilities, and mystique.
Faena, one of the city’s newer luxury hotels, maintains the best of old world tradition while embodying the freshness and originality of the new world. Since 2004 the Faena Hotel has been at the vanguard of new millennium Argentine style, offering luxury accommodations where guests can expect the royal treatment, enjoying only the finest amenities in a chic setting that has a modern yet timeless feel.
Though the gruff brownstone exterior tells of the working class past of Puerto Madero, the refurbished interior of the hotel provides a lush atmosphere that hearkens even further back to the time of kings and queens. Once inside you’ll discover that Faena gives you every chance to live your own fairy tale.
My story began on a golden-lit April afternoon in the old port. Stepping out of the cab and onto the sidewalk I was merrily greeted by the smiling doorman who took my bag and walked me through the doors. Magic was in the air and everything seemed to be pre-ordained as I was led into the lobby, which is nicely niched off to the left of the main hall, just past the doors of El Mercado, one of Faena’s two restaurants, offering guests a casual yet sumptuous dining experience (unlimited breakfast buffet goes for around $50 USD, including champagne mimosas).
After a brief check-in I went upstairs to tuck my luggage into a clean and contemporary suite with ample closet space and a roomy bathroom. Thus situated, I adjourned to the interior courtyard where I enjoyed a refreshing glass of rosé from the Poolbar. I let my eyes wander, taking in my surroundings while the early autumn sun played upon the brick façade of the hotel—a repurposed warehouse in what is the old port district. My gaze then fell upon the crown-shaped fountain in the swimming pool, reminding me that though a guest I could rightly expect to be treated as the king of the castle.
Apart from the tasteful décor, the first thing that one will notice is the staff anticipates your every need. More attentive than overbearing, the experienced managers at the front desk volunteer suggestions that are so perfect it’s like they’ve read your thoughts before you even had a chance to think them. They also ensure that when you walk out the door not only are you heading in the right direction, but that you’ll get precisely where you intend to go, calling ahead, making reservations, and doing whatever is needed to help you strategize your conquest of the city.
In between meetings, explorations, or whatever your business may be, you can take advantage of the daily entertainment that Faena offers. The world class Rojo Tango offers an intimate and enticing entrée into Argentina’s famous national dance. The Library cocktail lounge represents things Americans (both North and South) aren’t known for, yet attain through sheer force of will: erudition, noblesse, refinement. What we are known for: hipness, freshness, boldness. The Library has become a place for Porteños in the know to gather alongside hotel guests to celebrate the success that spans between the Old World and New.
Whether dining in one of the two restaurants, enjoying a cocktail in the lounge or by the poolside, or taking advantage of the ample offerings at the spa, Faena’s casually cordial staff bring just the right amount of presence and touch, ensuring that your stay in the Faena universe will not be forgotten.
The basic idea at Faena is that fancy shouldn’t be boring; instead the staff at Faena bring a cheeky, playful attitude to the job of providing luxury accommodations. The effect is surprising. Instead of starchy stiffness, you actually feel relaxed, pampered, and nearly invincible.
The result of all this boldness is a new take on an old concept, more than mere luxury—Faena surprises by both honoring and breaking with tradition—providing guests the unexpected pleasure of a new experience; which is what vacation should be.
- Full gym and spa—including traditional sauna and Turkish steam baths.
- Two restaurants: formal dining in the avant-garde Bistro Sur, less formal though equally delicious fare in El Mercado, plus the light fare and drinks available at the Poolbar. The Cabaret and Library lounges offer nightly entertainment, some food and great drinks.
- Event and Meeting rooms are available – a variety of spaces to meet any need you have with a capacity of between 12-600 visitors.
- Live Entertainment, the aforementioned Rojo Tango in the Cabaret as well as live music on occasion in the Library lounge
- Faena Art Center, if you love art don’t miss the changing exhibitions being showcased here
This story was accurate when published. Please be sure to confirm all details directly with the sites in question before planning your trip.
To learn more about Matteo, read his bio!