Nov 13, 2009

A Starck Universe

The curtain-draped hallway of the Faena Hotel + Universe

La Boca may be the designated tourist attraction in BA but the Faena Hotel + Universe in the Puerto Madero district of Buenos Aires is the soul - red as blood with Astor Piazzolla's "Muerte del Angel" as the serenade. This Philippe Starck designed hotel captures the essence of the tango and the spirit of the Porteno in one single gasp.

This hotelier has experienced beautiful hotel settings all over the world, but the Faena is special. Beautifully clad women, in stilettos with their Bottega Veneta purses in tow, parade along the long, red carpeted hallway as if this hotel runway was designed specifically for their self indulging pleasure. Then there's the ultra posh, el bistro, theatrical in her white and gold motif. Outside, a dj spins tunes in the red-drenched pool and pool bar. The alluring design doesn't stop there. It continues on with the minimalist boutique, the cabaret and even down to the floor to ceiling marble bathrooms.

Our group settled in the Library Lounge with it's grand piano and array of comfortable leather and velvet seating. Expecting to pay a premium to indulge in the ambiance of the Faena, the $25 martini's was a bit of a shocker given the best steaks in the city cost less. Nevertheless, we made ourselves at home, as we always do, despite the "hush-hush" nature of the setting.

Some destinations are indescribable in words and photographs. The Faena Hotel + Universe is such a place. A must-see next time your travel brings you to BA.

The pool
The pool seating area
The Pool Bar
A seductive entrance sets the mood
The Library Lounge
Our group taking in a big laugh in the Library Lounge
Mens Bathroom. Yes, that's the urinal on the right...
El Mercado

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