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We test the city’s best.
Ever since I first envisioned a trip to Buenos Aires I had wanted to stay at Park Hyatt Buenos Aires. It’s a converted palace, modern, and had been one of the best deals for Hyatt points when we booked it at a Category 5 ( 20k per night ). I’m a big believer in visualization, and since 2012 I had cyberstalked the hotel time and time again. When our trip pulled into focus, and dates were available for 20k a night, I just couldn’t imagine the trip taking place without me experiencing the hotel. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and the path opened up.
Our Park Hyatt Buenos Aires Stay Details
- When: November 2018
- Where: Buenos Aires
- Nights: 2
- Program: World of Hyatt, Explorist
- Price: 10k + $125 per night at category 5 pricing ( now 25k, cat 6 )
- Upgrade: 2 twin deluxe
How did we get the points?
Hyatt is a 1:1 transfer partner with Chase Ultimate Rewards. Dave and I are both Chase cardmembers and utilized the ability to transfer to book this property. If you’re interested in learning more about great cards, read these reviews:
- How to build the best Chase wallet, the Quadfecta
- Chase Sapphire Preferred
- Chase Ink Business Preferred
- Chase Ink Business Unlimited
The Palacio Duhau Park Hyatt Buenos Aires background and location
The Park Hyatt Buenos Aires is situated on Alvear Avenue in Recoleta. Recoleta is a wealthy neighborhood that is a short walk to the gorgeous Recoleta Cemetery, Casa Rosada, and the Teatro Colon – Buenos Aires famed opera house. While we spent more time in Palermo than we did in Recoleta, I would certainly stay here again. In fact, I’d recommend checking out the Alvear Palace’s rooftop bar for incredible views.
The Palacio Duhau, as the hotel is also known, originally belonged to Alejandro Hume, but sold to the Duhau family in the 1920s. It was expanded under the expertise of Leon Dourge for the family and held under their ownership until 2002. In fact, it was unoccupied from 1973 until its sale in ’02 to Juan Scalesciani who partnered with Hyatt to form a new Park Hyatt ( the old one is now the Four Seasons).
$74 million and 4 years later it opened in 2006 with 115 rooms, 27 suites, 2 restaurants, bar and tea room.
Other Park Hyatt Properties we’ve reviewed:
I really wanted to stay at the hotel, and we knew we’d be spending two separate 2 night stays in the city, on either side of visiting Uruguay, so we let the award avail dictate when we’d stay. I chased two nights for quite a while and then, voila, the space opened up and we booked.
The interesting thing is that shortly after we secured our reservations Hyatt changed their cash and points booking policy. When we booked we locked in 10k + $125 per night. The hotel regularly sells entry levles rooms in excess of $500 so our 10k points were worth a minimum of $375, not including taxes/fees, which is a home run redemption in my book.
However, Hyatt changed the policy and now charges you half the rack rate for the cash portion of the room. On redemptions like the Park Hyatt Buenos Aires, its a major devaluation of the program and you feel it in your wallet.
The hotel is split into two sides. You’d think that after wanderlusting over the hotel for years I’d have researched where you’re supposed to pull up to check-in. I had not. This is where you should arrive:
I’ll preface what happened with a couple of asides. First, I had checked Uber prior to leaving the States and saw how much a fare was supposed to cost us from the airport – 540 ARS or roughly $12. The problem is Uber was/maybe still is outlawed in all areas of Argentina except Mendoza. The fare it was suggesting was simply the algorithm spitting out numbers. After several failed attempts we decided to hop in a taxi. The meter was never turned on and when we arrived he pulled up to the backside of the hotel, which still looks very official. Mind you we were jetlagged, piecing together our Spanish, and honestly I should have listened to my gut which said this feels off, but I didn’t. Listen to your gut.
$100. Dave and I were flabbergasted but at the same time, exhausted, and not exactly fluent enough to start a fight over the fare. What an absolute ripoff. After paying him and lugging our bags to the door we we met with a very confounded front desk clerk. She quickly tried to help us, and we soon realized we’d been dropped off at the back of the property, near the spa. She was super apologetic, helped check us in, and even escorted us to the spa so we could freshen up and store our bags while our room was prepared.
We inquired about exchanging money so that we could avoid a similar circumstance and pay in Argentine Pesos, but the hotel restricts the amount to $30 a day. As do ATMs, and the only place you can acquire more money is via authorized dealers.
Argentina is under an economic crisis and up until that point, the only country I’ve visited with capital controls in place that really restrict your ability to get currency. In fact, dollars are easily and regularly used not only at businesses but with most taxis offering a fare exchange rate. Our first experience was tainted, but after that, all things seemed fair enough.
There are two buildings, and we ended up in the taller of the two that faces the old, original palace on Alvear. We were given a slight upgrade to a King deluxe room with a courtyard view.
The website says these rooms range between 40sqm and 55. I’d say this is a fair assessment and our fell somewhere in the middle. One thing to note…the King bed is simply two twins pushed together, and housekeeping came up and split them at our request.
If you have globalist status, I would highly recommend bumping to a suite as some of the pictures look amazing and the value per night is huge. Suites regularly clock in over $1k a night, and the beginning square footage is between 600-700.
Our room offered a work station, mini bar with comped water
The bathroom offered a separate shower, tub, and a walk through closet to the entry hall.
The Hotel Spa and Pool
In the same tower as we were staying, in the basement level, resides the indoor pool and spa. As I mentioned we took advantage of it when we arrived to shower and freshen up while our room was made up.
There are a few dining options Oak Bar, pictured below, Los Salones del Piano Nobile, Duhau Restaurante & Vinoteca, and Gioia Restaurante & Terraces.
We enjoyed a couple of celebratory bellinis on the terrace of Gioia Restaurante & Terraces. Not a bad deal at roughly $8!
Other areas of interest within the hotel
The two buildings are connected underground with a marble walkway. You’ll see a florist, South American art exhibits, business center, and a vibe that feels more like a museum than your typical hotel. There are also cool outdoor spaces, small sitting rooms which give insight into how this property once served as a home rather than a hotel.
One of my favorite parts of the bar…the scotch and cigar selection.
Overall Impression and recommendation
The hotel was an absolute no brainer when we stayed. Beautiful, central, and ticked a bucket list hotel goal off for me. Paying 10k points + $125 is a downright steal, but that reality is no longer available. At 25k points per night, you’d still be getting roughly 2 cents a point, a very solid deal for an all points stay, but I’d shy away from the new Cash + Points offer which would mean spending 12.5k + $250-$300 a night for an entry level room. If you’re flush Hyatt points or Ultimate Rewards, transfer those bad boys over and enjoy yourself an all point stay.
For those out of pocket prices I’d consider paying to stay in Palermo, or at the Intercontinental as I did on our return. If you’re wanting to stay within brand, SLH has CasaSur which is also in Recoleta and one I’d be keen to investigate.
South America 2018: Buenos Aires, Uruguayan Wine Country, Iguazu Falls, and Rio
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