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Fodor’s Choice Argentina: Lodging

Buenos Aires
The Faena Hotel+Universe in Buenos Aires — the actor Owen Wilson once said it’s “the coolest hotel” he’s ever stayed in. If the Butterscotch Stallion can dig this creation of Argentine fashion impresario Alan Faena and famed designer Philippe Starck, then chances are you’ll love it too. Rooms are feng shui perfect with rich reds and crisp whites. Velvet curtains and Venetian blinds open electronically; marble floors fill expansive bathrooms; velvet couches and leather armchairs, flat-screen TVs, and surround-sound stereos lend still more luxury. Martha Salotti 445, Puerto Madero, 1107. 11/4010-9000. 105 rooms. AE, DC, MC, V. $$$$

Marriott Plaza Hotel, Buenos Aires
Crystal chandeliers and Persian carpets decorate the sumptuous public spaces at the city’s first grand hotel. The rooms are spacious and elegantly appointed, and some have bay windows overlooking the park. The pool affords views of the park at the health club, a modern oasis. Florida 1005, El Centro, 1005. 11/4318-3000, 800/228-9290 in U.S. 313 rooms, 12 suites. AE,DC, MC, V. $$$$

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Mansion Dandi Royal, Buenos Aires
For a glimpse into early 20th-century high society, look no farther than this hotel. Owner and tango legend Hector Villalba painstakingly transformed this 100-year-old mansion into both a hotel and a tango academy. The 15 rooms are decorated with classic wood furnishings and period murals. It’s calculated for effect, and the effect works. Piedras 922, San Telmo, 1070. 11/4307-7623, 15 rooms. AE, DC, MC, V. $$$$

The Wine Country

00808_laposada.jpgLa Posada Carlos Pulenta, Mendoza Province, Wine Country
Many of the enormous rooms on the second floor of this two story terra-cotta building face east, where the sun rises over the vineyards. Cream-colored tile floors, dark wicker furniture, and taupe and café-au-lait-covered furnishings are luxurious and infinitely comfortable. Sumptuous chairs await you on the veranda for lunch. Breakfast and lunch or dinner are complementary, and meals can be served in your room. Equally appealing is the restaurant, La Borgogne. Wine tours are also available. Roque Sáenz Peña 3531, Vitalba, Luján de Cuyo. 261/498-9400. 2 rooms, restaurant. AE, MC, V. $$$$


Estancia La Paz, North of Córdoba City,
Colonnaded galleries run round the outside of Estancia La Paz, which belonged to Argentine president Julio Roca at the end of the 19th century. Ducks swim serenely on the huge lake behind the estancia, whose manicured grounds make for perfect picnic territory. When you sit down for dinner at the long, damask-clothed dining table, expect some surprises: as well as top-notch classic Argentine fare, chef Bruno Glaudo also prepares exotic national dishes that feature llama, deer, and wild boar. Ruta E66, Km 14, Ascochinga 5117. 3525/492-073. 23 rooms. AE, DC, MC, V. $$$$


0808_lasbalasF.jpgLas Balsas, Patagonia
A short drive down a secluded and unpaved road brings you to this handsome hotel at the edge of Lago Nahuel Huapi. Each room has a different decor, but all have views of the woods or the lake. The relaxing spa features an indoor-outdoor pool framed by the lake. Afternoon tea and evening cocktails are served in the living room, a homey blend of wicker, natural wood, kilim rugs, and old photographs. In the dining room, fresh trout and game dishes are accompanied by vegetables and spices grown in the hotel’s organic garden. Don’t miss the venison ravioli. Dinner reservations are advised if you’re not a guest. Bahía las Balsas, 8407. 2944/494-308. 13 rooms, 2 suites. AE, MC, V. Closed May-Aug. $$$$

Puerto Sur, Patagonia
An ingeniously designed masterpiece from architect Nora Larosa. Stone and wood flow together in harmony throughout the space, which is built into the side of a hill. Views of the lake and mountains pour in from enormous picture windows and skylights. Every room is graced with a lakeview Jacuzzi and modern art. The spa, pools, and private beach couldn’t be more elegant, and the service is as impeccable as it is down-to-earth. Los Pinos 221, Puerto Manzano. 2944/495-624. 7 rooms, 3 suites, 4 cabins. Restaurant, pool, private beach. AE, DC, MC, V. $$$$

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