Hotel Review: Intercontinental Buenos Aires

The IC Buenos Aires

I knew I was spending three nights in Buenos Aires, and started from the proposition I’d spend my last two nights at the uber-luxe Palacio Duhau – Park Hyatt Buenos Aires, using free nights I’d gotten for signing up for the Hyatt Visa.  With rates of over $400 a night, though, I knew I wasn’t going to pay for a third night given the number of sub-$200 properties throughout Buenos Aires.

I ended up grabbing a room at the Intercontinental Buenos Aires for free taking advantage of IHG’s generous best rate guarantee policy.  The room was going for well over $200 a night, but after finding a better rate on another site, I got it for free!  The hotel was in the Microcentro (downtown), in the Montserrat neighborhood, which I figured would provide a nice contrast to the more posh and calmer Recoleta/Palermo neighborhoods. The reviews of the property weren’t anything special, but the hotel was actually the pleasant surprise of my trip.  It certainly didn’t hurt that the hotel honored my Platinum Ambassador status and provided a range of benefits.

When I got to the hotel front desk and presented myself for check-in, the front desk attendant noted my Ambassador status and told me that a special agent was waiting to check me in in the lounge on the 27th Floor.  He then escorted me to the elevator and sent me upstairs.  (A nice touch, but I’m not sure how efficient it was and wouldn’t have minded just checking in in the lobby.)

As soon as the elevator opened at the lounge, I was greeted by the Ambassador concierge, by name.  The lounge was fairly small, but at mid-afternoon there was a range of pastries and coffee available, and a lovely view.  The concierge also explained to me a range of amenities I’d have as an Ambassador: an upgraded room, lounge access (with breakfast and a 2-hour evening happy hour), free gym access, and a 20% discount on internet and at the hotel restaurants.  Not bad.  (Though only a 20% discount on internet? Not impressive.)

Lounge

My room was on the 27th floor and quite nice.  Although not as brand spankin new as at either Park Hyatt, it was well maintained and large, with wooden floors, a comfy bed,  and a very large bathroom.  I had a welcome amenity of the standard fruit plate and water awaiting me, but also a giant jar of dulce de leche.

Welcome Amenity and View from the 27th Floor

Large Upgraded Room

The location turned out very convenient for exploring downtown, as I walked all over, minutes from the Casa Rosada, the Obelisk, and most of the other downtown sights.   After a nap, I hit up the gym, which was adequate but not great.  I made my way up to the lounge for happy hour and there was a huge self-serve liquor spread, and a wide variety of tapas-type appetizers and bowls of a good beef and rice dish.

Happy Hour

I had a light dinner in one of the hotel restaurants, which was a semi-enclosed outdoor space.  Tasty and reasonably priced.   My reservation included breakfast in the main hotel restaurant, which was a standard buffet, but very high quality.

My only problem came at checkout, when my Ambassador benefits weren’t originally reflected, with charges for the gym and no discount reflected on internet or restaurant charges.  I pointed it out and got the gym taken off and internet discount reflected, and didn’t bother to fight for the restaurant discount.  Overall, a great stay at a nicely located, underrated property.

 

 

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