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In the past few years I’ve participated in my fair share of IHG promotions. Without a whole lot of effort I was able to strategize a few stays and participate in stayless promotions ( Remember when you could fill out notecards to earn 50k+ points?) to accumulate a couple hundred thousand IHG points in addition to those I pick up here and there from organic stays. I’ve been able to stretch those quite a ways because both my IHG Select credit card and Ambassador status reimburse a total of 20% back into my account every time I redeem points. As a result, if I can use points to effectively extract value in excess of 7/10 per point ( the price you can typically purchase IHG points for ) I use points.
When our South America trip started to shape up, and it became apparent that we would be needing two separate two night stays in Buenos Aires, I thought it’d make a lot of sense to check out the Intercontinental for our return stay. My buddy, Dave, also has a healthy balance of IHG points, as well as free night certificates from keeping an IHG Select credit card, so we each picked off a night and redeemed points.
- When: November 2018
- Where: Buenos Aires, Argentina ( Monserrat area )
- Room: Standard
- Rate: 30k a night
- Status: Platinum Ambassador
Intercontinental Buenos Aires is located in the Monserrat district of Buenos Aires near the Avenida 9 de Julio which is a large multi-lane artery running through Buenos Aires central business district. The hotel is 19 floors and in contrast to our first hotel, the Park Hyatt Buenos Aires, completely uninspiring. You’ll reach the Opera house within 15mins +/- and the Recoleta cemetery is closer to 30-45 min walk. Heading off in the opposite direction, you’ll get to La Boca within 60-75 minutes on foot. Taxis are uber cheap and you’ll need one to get to my favorite area of town, Palermo.
As I mentioned…the hotel isn’t anything to write home about aesthetically. In fact, it feels quite dated upon entry, but well maintained. But, here’s the thing, it’s a good price ( just 24k after my rebates ) and often prices in the mid $100s to low $200s a night. If you want more of an experience, try out the Park Hyatt. If you want a place that is safe, nice enough, centrally located, and has tons of availability…this is a solid option. It was pretty much what I thought we’d be encountering based of the tripadvisor reviews and hotel website.
Turn left and you’ll arrive at the front desk. Check-in was swift and we were given 2 free welcome drinks in recognition of Platinum Ambassador status.
You can tell if you’ve been upgraded by the flooring. If its carpet…you’re still in a standard room. If you end up with wood flooring, congrats you got yourself an upgrade. We weren’t planning on spending much time at all in the hotel, but it was nice to have a bit of an upgrade, and the city view provided more light.
The bathrooms feature a separate shower and bath. I’ve stayed in my fair share of hotels around the world. I couldn’t believe the volcano of pressure that this shower provided. We’re talking amongst the best I’ve ever had anywhere, in my house, the fire hydrant on a hot summer day, that one time I volunteered as a firefighter ( this didn’t happen, but made this sentence more exciting ), I’m just saying…that thing had some hardcore pressure.
The hotel was not heavily occupied. We grabbed our welcome drinks ( soda, beer, house wine ) in the bar, but there is a Mediterrean restaurant, lobby lounge, and terrace restaurant. Personally, there are far better places to dine outside the hotel. Namely…Don Julio’s, Proper, and Gran Dabbang. Don Julio’s is known as the single best restaurant in all of Argentina, and Gran Dabbang is a deconstructed Indian Tapas restaurant that is truly unique. Food at some of the best restaurants will set you back $25-30 and this includes massive hunks of steak with a bottle of wine. I’d venture out.
Business Center/Fitness Facility
The business center is staffed everyday from 8am to 9pm. There are meeting rooms, where I was able to shoot an audition without fee, and a handful of computers. Printing did cost a small fee and is facilitated by the attendant. There is a nice indoor pool and fairly comprehensive fitness facility.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the hotel to anyone looking to offset the cost of their trip with points. Could you find more boutique properties or AirBnbs to suit the budget in the same ballpark…probably. But with IHG selling points often around 1/2 a cent, the ability to redeem for a net 24k points is a fantastic deal. It’d also be a good place to redeem a free weekend night certificate, or make use of the 4th night free benefit the IHG Premier card offers.
South America 2018: Buenos Aires, Uruguayan Wine Country, Iguazu Falls, and Rio
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