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Argentina: Town and CountryMay 7, 2007 By: Judy Bernhardt Travel Agent
Travelers revel in this South American country's combination of urban sophistication and stunning natural beauty
To experience the essence of Argentina, travelers need only
to combine the sights and sounds of Buenos Aires—known as "the Paris of
South America"—with a trip to Patagonia, the southern region of the
country thats scenery runs the gamut from steppe-like plains to glaciers and
the beech- and conifer-blanketed Andes Mountains.
The town of
is home to Llao Llao Resort &
Spa, a member of The Leading Hotels of the World. The hotel is an ideal
reprieve for nature lovers. Set at the foot of the
of snow-capped peaks and miles of
Guests will have no shortage of activities to keep them
busy. Whether it's playing golf on the property's 18-hole course, hiking among
the dozens of trails, hitting the nearby slopes for skiing or relaxing in the
indoor and outdoor pools, the resort prides itself on its adventure components.
Activity sheets listing hikes, yoga classes and other activities are
distributed to guests daily.
There are eight different categories of rooms, each with its
own character and style. Request the
the best mountain and lake views, because they are located in the corners of
the buildings. Request a room with a balcony. The rooms on the fourth and fifth
floors offer expansive views of the surrounding countryside.
Agents can contact Gilda Fuentes ([email protected])
or Veronica Peralta ([email protected]);
both work hard to meet all requests they receive. Fuentes can set up activities
such as a private horseback riding trip. Also, Head Concierge Daniel Cosavella
can arrange for a number of customized services, including private hiking
tours, heli-skiing in the El Boson area, private boat tours and romantic
dinners at the lake. General Manager Carlos Burgoo has hosted guests such as
Robert Duvall and the Clintons.
A highlight during our trip to Bariloche was the half-day
excursion to Roca Negra. Driving up the mountain in four-wheel-drive jeeps is
quite an experience. The road is very bumpy, so travelers will feel a bit
jostled, but the ride is worth it for the views from the top. The little café
perched on top of the mountain offers stunning views of Bariloche, the
surrounding lakes and miles upon miles of the
After an amazing lunch of cheese fondue and an impressive spread of local
meats, guests don snowshoes for a walk in the wilderness. This excursion can be
arranged by guest services at Llao Llao.
For a true taste of local Patagonian fare, have travelers go
to Parrilla de Julian (
San Martín Avenue
The array of fresh fish—trout is the restaurant's specialty—and beef served
with local spices will prove that one doesn't need to be in a big city to enjoy
For a more elegant experience, visit Llao Llao's signature
restaurant, Los Cesares. Fare ranges from freshly caught salmon and
succulent duck to a variety of savory beef filets. Special wine and food
tastings can also be arranged. The more casual Asador Criollo
restaurant, also on property, features typical Argentine asado
the feel is cosmopolitan: The streets are alive with tango, the country's
fast-paced signature dance. High-fashion stores, such as Louis Vuitton, dot the
main boulevards, and restaurants serving world-famous Argentinean beef abound.
is home to the Alvear Palace
Hotel, one of the most luxurious hotels in the city and also a member
of The Leading Hotels of the World. It is in the Recoleta area, the most
exclusive neighborhood in
where wide avenues, beautiful parks, traditional cafés and commodious mansions
All rooms have private butler service, and the two-to-one,
staff-to-room ratio exemplifies the premium placed on service. Opt for one of
the Presidential suites, which offer a separate sitting room, dining room and
Jacuzzi bath. The premier deluxe suites are also an excellent option—they have
flat-screen TVs above the Jacuzzi bathtubs. The best rooms are those on the
eighth and ninth floors, which boast vistas of the River Plate, Recoleta parks
(request rooms 904-924).
Head Concierge Alejandro Noya ([email protected]) can arrange
for private Mercedes-Benz transfers, give shopping recommendations in the areas
of arts, antiques and haute couture and arrange private tango lessons with some
of the city's top dancers.
The hotel is also a popular site for weddings, which are
hosted in any of its 12 ballrooms. Agents may contact Wedding Coordinator
Sandra Ofner ([email protected]).
General Manager Olga Petroni plans to launch a spa in the first half of 2007.
Rooms are bookable over the GDS and via The
Leading Hotels of the World's web site.
One of the highlights of Alvear is the food. L'Orangerie
is consistently voted one of the best breakfast buffets in
meats, cheeses, pastries and local dishes is unsurpassed.
in the hotel, is the only Relais Gourmand in
The legendary wine cellar is perfect for wine tastings, live dinner shows and
After spending a few days in
the vast wilderness, which is primarily national-park land.
Getting There, Getting Around
Book your clients in business class on LAN; the seats are spacious and the
service is exceptional. LAN flies into both
arrange private tours around the city. Request guide Yanina Barri; her English
is excellent and she has an in-depth knowledge of Argentinean history. Suggest
the world for its rich architecture and the famous personalities buried here,
it is an absolutely stunning site and a great way to get an understanding of
history. Also, be sure to stop at Café Tortoni, one of the most famous cafés in