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A must for lovers of kitch. Breathtaking in parts and enjoyably vulgar in others, this old red brick storehouse was gutted, rebuilt and redecorated by designer Philippe Starck.
Set in the rapidly expanding docklands of Puerto Madero, the Faena Hotel + Universe does do justice to its name, living in its own little world of catwalks, cabarets and anything glossy since Alan Faena – look out for the cowboy hat – opened the site in 2004.
It’s luxurious and you could spend a week here without leaving, so if what you’re looking for is fashionable segregation in a cut-off area close to touristy dock-side restaurants (which is what Puerto Madero really is), then the Faena delivers.
The towering corridor entrance has that jaw-dropping Alice in Wonderland feel to it, while the scarlet sun lounge and infinity pool deck is unmatched in Buenos Aires. The Faena’s day spa attracts a solid number of models, so rest assured you will not just be bathing alongside pasty tourists; it offers every treatment and treat you can imagine, including rose-petal baths.
Each of the 105 rooms has white goddess beds, red carpets and transparent glass-fronted bathrooms, complemented by electric shutters, velvet curtains, flat-screen televisions and Dolby surround sound technology.
Pop down to the all-white El Bistro restaurant, a hideously grotesque but hugely entertaining room – the white plastic unicorn heads would fit well in Garry Neville’s breakfast salon. Each guest is assigned an experience manager, which is a nice touch, but they are not wired into the Buenos Aires scene as much as we would like. Have a chat with one of the ready-to-play-at-Wimbledon waitresses instead.