A short stroll from stylish Recoleta, Hotel Pulitzer Buenos Aires makes a calm and cool first impression, but has a playful side too. Library shelves are stocked with books on Argentinaâ€™s history and art, inspiring curious guests to explore local sites. Those who would rather unwind should snag a sunlounger by the rooftop pool and bar, checking out bustling Buenos Aires from this eighth floor vantage point.
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A glass of red, white or cava in the bar
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12pm, but flexible, subject to availability (and a half-day rate). Earliest check-in, 2pm.
Double rooms from $79.00.
If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.
Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (USD79.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.
Rates usually include buffet breakfast.
The hotel has a library with comfortable chairs and a slew of interesting books. The country’s national library, one of the most robust collections in the hemisphere, is 3km from the hotel on the site of the palace where Evita and Juan Perón once lived.
At the hotel
Library, free WiFi throughout, gym. In rooms: flatscreen TV, minibar.
Our favourite rooms
The rooms are all decorated in the same somewhat nautical style with blues, tans and white walls, so it’s hard to go wrong, but 1104 has a terrace and lets in plenty of light. If booking a standard room with a terrace, ask for 610 or 611, which overlook Maipu Street and have bigger terraces than the courtyard-facing rooms.
The sun-heated pool on the rooftop of the eighth floor is lined with loungers and soundtracked by chilled-out tunes; it is usually open from December to April, but dates vary depending on the weather.
Bring dancing shoes: some of Argentina’s best tango clubs are within blocks of the hotel.
Rooms 212 and 312 are wheelchair-accessible.
The hotel does allow children; baby cots can be reserved at no charge, and rollaway beds are available for $60 per night.
Sit on the first floor by Visit Cocktail Bar for a brighter, more comfortable space than the lower level.
Light dresses and button-down shirts are best unless you’re headed to the pool, in which case less is more.
Served in a light, but windowless room on the lower level of the hotel, breakfast includes pastries, yogurt, egg dishes and dulce de leche. At other times, Pulizer serves ‘Visit Easy Food’, a menu of sandwiches, pasta and salads, available in the library or bar.
Visit Cocktail Bar is the lobby-level watering hole, with a 500-bin wine list and mod interiors. Up on the 13th floor, Visit Sky Bar is an alfresco option (the bar can be booked for rather elegant private parties too). The bartenders mix mojitos, caipirinhas and martinis on the wood deck overlooking the city.
Visit Easy Food serves until 11pm.
Sandwiches, salads, classic breakfast items and other dishes can be delivered from 7am until midnight.
The city’s domestic airport is 20 minutes away by car. From Ezeiza International, which operates flights directly from London (www.britishairways.com), New York (www.aa.com) and elsewhere, the drive will take around 50 minutes.
The nearest train station is Retiro, 1.5km, or five minutes’s drive, from the hotel. Three national lines depart from the station. The city also has a metro system with a station, Plaza San Martin, a short walk away.
Retiro is on the western edge of Buenos Aires. The hotel has a car park on site ($22 a day).
Worth getting out of bed for
After you’ve sunned by the pool and sipped cocktails high above the city streets, head out to see Recoleta Cemetery, a sprawling maze of mausoleums patrolled by neighbourhood cats. Devoted fans of Eva Perón continue to make pilgrimages to her tomb. Outside the cemetery, the Recoleta barrio has a large number of galleries and museums. Be sure to visit the National Museum of Fine Arts (www.mnba.org.ar), one of the continent’s largest museums, which has collections dating from the Middle Ages to the 20th Century, including works by Argentine artists Della Valle and Morel, along with classic pieces by the likes of Degas, Gauguin and Modigliani.
On the same block as the hotel, Tancat channels Spain with Catalan tapas. Sit at the long bar, order wine and try garlicky shrimp or tomato-slathered bread (+54 11
4312 5442; www.tancatrestaurante.com). A 20-minute walk from the hotel in Recoleta, El Almacén de los Milagros serves food all day, from pastries baked in a mud oven in the mornings to French-Italian cuisine at dinner (www.elalmacendelosmilagros.com). Piegari plates inky squid pasta, ravioli and caprese salads in a beautiful, perpetually packed dining room only five minutes from the hotel (www.piegari.com.ar).
Twenty minutes from the hotel, in Recoleta, Sirop & Sirop Folie serves a convincing afternoon tea, with scones, house-made marmalade and finger sandwiches (+54 11 4813 5900; siroprestaurant.com). Tired of steak? the aptly named and eco-minded Bio in hip Palermo Hollywood, about 6km from the hotel, serves vegan dishes made with local veg (biorestaurant.com.ar).
A short walk from the hotel, Gran Bar Danzon fills later in the evening with locals who choose from hundreds of Argentine wines to pair with sushi and small plates (www.granbardanzon.com.ar). In a refurbished old house, Milion serves cocktails over multiple levels, indoors or out in a garden. The basil daiquiri is not to be missed (www.milion.com.ar).
Al Pacino led me to Argentina. Ever since Scent of a Woman, I’d always wanted to tango, albeit it with someone much taller, a lot younger and with 20/20. (Mr Smith would like it known he ticks all these boxes.) Also, Mr Smith and I can consume more steak than we’d ever admit, plus, who doesn’t enjoy a good, earthy malbec?
Which is why we chose Buenos Aires (or BsAs, as shortened by locals) for our first stop in a year-long world tour/writing sabbatical. This reviewer’s 30-cough birthday fell two weeks into our six-week sojourn in the Paris of South America, and I opted for an in-town celebration. With Mr Smith’s next book project on our minds, Hotel Pulitzer was an auspiciously named choice. So, we left our apartment in trendy Palermo Soho in an always libre taxi, for the Retiro neighbourhood, where bustling Microcentro meets grand old Recoleta.
Mr Smith and I agree that city hotels need the following: a quiet, clean room with a huge bed and space to swing a cat (we wouldn’t, really – Mr Smith is allergic); temperature and light control; a decent bathroom; and a relaxing lounge bar for drinks and nibbles. In a walking city, as BsAs is, with its wide, open avenues, the ideal hotel also needs to be central and, for that, the Hotel Pulitzer, a contemporary urban tower, certainly wins the prize.
After check-in, Mr Smith left me to siesta in our surprisingly cat-swingable Superior Double room furnished with a slim writing desk (purely for decoration – this was a strictly work-free weekend) and buttery-soft leather chairs and accents. Two hours later, I reluctantly crawled from the cocoon of our very comfortable bed. And, following one of the best showers I’ve ever had – a real skin-wrinkler – in the modern, black-tiled bathroom, I went in search of Mr Smith. The 13th floor Sky Bar (said to have postcard-perfect city views) was closed for the winter, and I found him contentedly settled into the first-floor Visit Cocktail Bar.
Scanning the impressive selection of books scattered around the sunken lounge, and, after forgiving the curator for forgetting Mr Smith’s most excellent tomes, I too eased into this cosy and hip – without being precious – literary lounge. Expanding on the bedroom palette with a neutral base, black lacquered tables and mirrors – including a black and white beauty in the shape of a flower – and deep blue velvet Chesterfield sofas popping with mod burnt orange cushions, I thought, perhaps, Megan Draper had turned to interior design. At the mention of Mad Men, Mr Smith ordered a Martini and I had a tasty coconut mojito.
We were well into cocktail mode, but the locals were still just digesting afternoon tea – we hadn’t adapted to the Porteños’ (as the locals are called) 10pm dinners. We had an early 9pm (30-cough birthday, remember?) reservation at La Brigada. A bottle of malbec along with skirt steak and ojo de bife made for a decadent feast.
We slept brilliantly and, mindful of the weekend’s indulgences, especially the previous evening’s on-going quest for the best parrilla, we glanced at the basic but serviceable hotel gym. We opted for a long, invigorating walk instead – but only after breakfast, of course. The buffet was a tempting spread – breads, fresh pastries, fruits, yoghurts, cereals, cold cuts, egg – served in the below ground (yet, cleverly not basement-feeling) restaurant where classic American diner meets modern chintz.
Walking the short distance to Plaza San Martín we said hola to the enormous statue of Jóse de San Martín, who, along with Simón Bolívar, is one of the most famous of South America’s libertadores. Crossing Calatrava’s tango-inspired Puente de la Mujer, we explored Puerto Madero, where the streets are named after famous Argentine women. As we admired the redeveloped red brick warehouses and swanky new builds on either side of the dock we were reminded of London’s own Docklands.
It was Sunday, so we made our way to the not-to-be-missed San Telmo Antiques Market. We ducked into shops and indoor markets for respite from the crowded streets, then, admiring the tango singers along the way, travelled the twin track of stalls of knick-knacks down several blocks to Plaza Dorrego. Here, in this pretty square, we found the best of the antique stalls. After deliberating over a beautiful silver-handled gaucho knife (which I regret not purchasing,) we spotted Gabriel del Campo. We could have spent hours in this den of antiquities, with its marble columns, busts, disembodied statuary feet and vintage trunks.
However, it was finally time for my first tango with Al – as in Alejandro, our dance instructor. His card read: embrace life. So we did, and each other, as we stumbled around his studio. We learned to communicate with gentle touches and, under the tutelage of Alejandro, to speak to each other through our sternums. We laughed a lot and eventually, we danced (okay, shuffled) counter-clockwise, as locals and tourists do in the city’s many milongas.
Lighter on our feet, we happily returned to our hotel and slid into what was becoming a familiar pattern: cocktails at the bar, out for malbec, parrilla sampling (this time, juicy steaks at Don Julio, our favourite, if you’re asking), repeat. We toasted to a splendid birthday weekend (again and again), deeming it definitely one for the books…
Whenever you book a stay at a Smith Hotel with us, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Hotel Pulitzer Buenos Aires’s Guestbook below.
Great room, loved the offer of organizing the airport transfer. Rooftop bar is terrific. Several local bars and restaurants are great.