As I got off the plane I was expecting to breeze through Passport Control as my husband had 3 days earlier ( I was meeting him for the weekend). My travel agent had offered a VIP greeter to expedite the process, and my husband said no need- it took all of 5 minutes. Well, I’m not sure what the difference was, but I was on that line for almost two hours. It was not air-conditioned. People were going nuts on the line. It seems as though there were 2/3 people working, and approximately 300 on line.
I asked the agent if this was normal, when I finally got to him, and he said yes- everyday, so I think the stars aligned for my husband. My advice to you, if you are able to afford it, get a greeter!
Once I cleared passport control and went to collect my bag, there was no mention of my flight on the board. I asked two different airport workers if they knew where the bags were and was told by both- “I have no idea”. That was reassuring!
Luckily, an eagle eyed traveler on my flight spotted them lined up randomly between two carousels. I exited into the chaos of arrivals. I looked for the driver sent from my hotel the Palacio Duhau/ Park Hyatt. He was no where to be seen. I did find the driver for the Alvear and asked him, and he said the Park Hyatt drivers are often hidden off to the side near an ATM. Well, that makes sense?!? Ultimately I had to call the concierge who asked me what I was wearing and he found me. Indeed he was off to the side, hidden away from all the other drivers. Frustrating. Well, we found each other, and off we went.
By this time it was noon, and my travel agent had confirmed early check in for me, so I was looking forward to arriving and taking a quick shower. I had heard from many people that the Palacio Duhau/Park Hyatt was the nicest spot in town. There are two sides to this hotel, the historic Palace side (Beautiful)
and the newer Park Hyatt side (not quite as beautiful).
We had tried to get accommodation in the Palace side but it had been sold out for the weekend in question. We instead booked a suite on the Park Hyatt side, and hoped for the best. When we arrived the front desk had no notation about the early check in. Luckily I had the reservation managers name cited in an email from my travel agent, though that was still met with some skepticism. After many conversations amongst themselves they came up with a suite that had just been cleaned and they would be able to bring me right up. After landing at 9 am, I had been under the impression that I really needed that early check in, but by the time I got up to the room, it was 1:45 pm!
The room was nice, on a low floor, but spacious. It was very brown, which is generally a pet peeve of mine.
There was a dining room, living room, large bedroom, dressing area, spacious bath, and second 1/2 bath.
There was also a small terrace.
There was an espresso maker and mini bar area as well.
I did what I love to do when I arrive at a new hotel, order a club sandwich from room service as I unpack and settle in.
The room service operator was friendly, and the food arrived within about 20 minutes. It was nicely presented, and filling. It was not especially delicious.
Finally I ventured out to explore the hotel, and adjoining Palacio. The common space between the two is beautiful, and the Palacio itself is very special. It also seems as though they have a staff that is trained to a slightly higher standard. If heading to Buenos Aires and a room is available in the Palacio side, I would definitely stay there. I’m not confident I would return to the Park Hyatt side.
During our stay we enjoyed a cocktail on the Palacio side
as well as a complimentary wine and cheese tasting which was given to us as a Virtuoso amenity. This was quite nice, and we were able to speak extensively to the cheese sommelier. He is young and incredibly enthusiastic about Argentinian cheese.
The breakfast service was extensive, with lots of pastries, fruits, jams, and other local specialties including the best yogurt made from buffalo milk I have ever had.
The coffee service was disjointed, but friendly, which seems to be a common theme.
During our first day in BA I received an urgent note from our travel agent. There was a city wide strike announced as of midnight on what was to be our last day in Buenos Aires. The airport would be shut down for travel, so he needed to book us on a flight home a day earlier. It seemed as though this trip was not fated to be one of our best, but we were determined to make the most of our time in BA.