WHAT’S IT LIKE? Part of Starwood’s Luxury Collection, the Park Tower enjoys a prime spot in the business district of Retiro, in front of Rio de la Plata. It is perfectly placed for hopping to the main tourist sights of nearby San Telmo, gleaming new business district Puerto Madero or Florida Street, the bustling pedestrian shopping hub. The 157-metre-high tower was renovated in 2007, with guest room décor and furnishings being upgraded and public spaces and meeting rooms refreshed.
The lobby is a grand affair, with an original 17th-century French tapestry, antique Chinese screens and decadent furnishings. To the left of the lifts in the lobby are doors leading to a lounge area that connects the Park Tower to the Sheraton hotel and convention centre. Guests at the Park Tower share conference and leisure facilities with the Sherton.
On arrival, the hotel was quiet and I was seen to swiftly – it took just a few moments to check-in and my luggage was waiting in my room when I arrived. Throughout my stay the service was quietly efficient and unobtrusive – room service was cleared, the room refreshed and extra amenities delivered without me ever being disturbed.
WHERE IS IT? Beside the port, in the heart of the business district. It takes about 45 minutes to drive to the international airport if traffic is good.
ROOM FACILTIES All guestrooms are of generous proportions with separate work areas and entry-level rooms starting at 55 sqm. The interior is classical, inspired by the European Biedermeier-era – it’s all golds, thick carpets, deep colours and marble cream bathrooms. All rooms have 42-inch LCD TVs, iHome audio systems, minibars, laptop safes and, in the bathrooms, a separate bath and rain shower and L´Occitane products. Internet costs US$15 a day, but wifi and wired internet is free for grand deluxe rooms and above.
My street-facing deluxe room offered great views of the busy streets below and was peaceful thanks to the height and double-glazing. The windows did not open, and it took a while to get the air-conditioning to a comfortable temperature. The space was welcome, with plenty of room to keep work and lounge-time separate. The only thing that slightly marred my good nights’ sleep was the annoyingly bright radio clock light.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS There is one restaurant, the St Regis, which doubles up as a particularly generous breakfast buffet in the morning with all the usual European and American options (though doughnuts were probably not top of my list) and traditional Argentinian sweets. For lunch or dinner, it provides simple European fare and great views over the busy Retiro district. Guests can head to the entry lobby for tea and cocktails, where a harp player hails in the sunset every day.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES A small business centre is located opposite the St Regis restaurant. It provides secretarial services, printing and faxing and PCs. Everything worked perfectly when I was there, my only gripe was it seemed to be a meeting spot for staff when they have downtime, and was therefore noisy with chatter. There are four boardrooms, each seating 12, and two meeting spaces with the largest accommodating 200 theatre-style. Guests can also use the Sheraton’s business facilities, which boasts it has the city’s largest events space at 1,311 sqm.
LEISURE FACILTIES There is a small gym with Wi Tech equipment on the third floor, but the best bet for fitness fanatics is to head to the Neptune pool and fitness centre, shared with the Sheraton, where there is an outdoor pool (open in good weather) with a large terrace, an indoor pool, floodlit tennis courts, treatment rooms and a gym with Technogym equipment open from 6am on weekdays and 8am on weekends. In the interconnecting lounge between the two hotels, there are also several high-end boutiques selling jewellery, leather goods and clothing.
VERDICT Well-located for business and leisure, the hotel is ideal if you want to tag on some sightseeing to a business trip. The décor can be a little old-fashioned and dated in parts despite the refurb, but the excellent amenities and luxury bathroom were welcome attributes.
HOW MANY ROOMS? There are 181 guest rooms, including 16 corner suites with separate livings rooms, two terrace suites with outside space and a presidential suite with two bedrooms, three bathrooms, a living room, dining room, kitchen, work studio and panoramic views of the Rio de la Plata below.
ROOM HIGHLIGHTS The space, views and luxury bathrooms.
PRICE Internet rates for a flexible midweek stay start from US$350
CONTACT Avenida Leandro N. Alem 1193, Buenos Aires; tel+ 54 11 4318 9100; starwoodhotels.com