After landing in Buenos Aires, I made my way to passport control and customs, through winding hallways and a terminal that looked like it was straight out of the 1970’s… not sure it had actually been cleaned since then. Don’t despair though, terminal A is actually quite nice on the way back to the US. After clearing customs, my taxi was called for me by some of the most rude people I’ve interacted with, and this really started a trend in Buenos Aires. More on my thoughts about the city later thought.
Arriving at the Park Tower is a little bit of an odd experience. When booking the hotel, I came across the discription from many people that the Sheraton and Park Tower were attached. Hearing this description I had expected a mutual lobby, or connecting hallway on the ground floor, but this wasn’t the case. Park Tower and the Sheraton Convention Center hotel are literally the same building. Separated by a door on every level, the only difference is the decor in each of the hotels.
Once I got out of the taxi, someone offered to help me immediately, there was a good level of service here for the most part. I declined and made my way to the front desk. Design for the hotel is meant to be upscale, this is an SPG Luxury Collection hotel after all. Finding the front desk is almost a confusing thing, I am used to a counter and a few employees checking in guests. Park Tower uses desks like you might find in a CEO/Executives office, these are lined along the left side of the lobby. While the aesthetic is well executed, there really isn’t any waiting area, I can see this causing a lot of confusion during a busy check in time...though the building is fairly small as are the number of rooms, so the influx a check in may be fairly tame.
Decorations all around the lobby do remind you of a lavish style, with marble tile floors, gold accents everywhere and employees in full business suits. The upscale feel is pulled off fairly well. Staff was pleasant, clearly described how to use the internet and how my status would allow me certain perks… so on and so forth, normal check in speech.
After a few moments, I was on my way up the elevators to my room. Stepping off the lavish elevator on the 16th floor, I stepped into my room which was the first one on the left. Stepping through the door it was a beautiful room to see. On the right was a gorgeous display of wine, glassed, and then a really awkward snack selection… why would I need an entire jar of dulce de leche?
The room was beautiful, the desk was set up in the far corner, and everything was fantastic to walk into. Really it hits you as a great room right off the bat. Turning around and walking into the bathroom, the beautiful marble with gold trimming around the room is carried into the bathroom as well. Here the setup is interesting, but something I liked. Dual sinks and a bathtub are present walking into the main part of the bathroom. Two doors with frosted glass are on the left, one for the toilet, and one for the shower. The separated rooms for each was nice. Had my girlfriend been traveling with me, having the separated spaces would have been nice. Getting ready would not mean someone else didn’t have privacy in the bathroom should they need to use it.
Overall the room was beautiful, but live in the room for a few days and the negatives start to show. This place was obviously old, and everything in the room showed that age. Lamps were plugged in with old wiring that I wasn’t entirely convinced wouldn’t flame up at any moment. Also, there was no convenient place to plug in electronics at night. Shorts of unplugging everything, the next closest outlet was at the foot of my bed. Outlets were, however, well set up by the desk.
Moving into the bathroom, things became obvious that they needed a better maintenance crew. The shower leaked into the main bathroom, a lot! At the bottom of the door was a bad seal and if no one was in the shower while it warmed it, there was no issue. As soon as someone gets under the water and some splashed toward the door, it held nothing back. Stepping out of the shower looked like Lake Erie had let loose on the floor, and I had to start keeping multiple towels on the floor to contain the flood.
Amenities in the bathroom was another point where things were well intentioned, but poorly executed. On the first night when I walked in, I thought the idea to base a soap line on wine was a great idea. Shampoos, conditioner, lotions and shower gels were all named after different wines. One was Pinot Grigio for example, and the grape smell was appealing. Give that one shower and the fake grape smell starts to remind you of all the bad, fake gum flavors and medicine like flavors you’ve ever tasted. The smell quickly went from pleasant to near cringe inducing. Even the hand soap was this way, shaped like a bunch of grapes, it had the same smell to it.
This hotel touts itself as having a butler on every floor. As described earlier, there aren’t many rooms here, I’d estimate 8 -10 per floor, which seems like having a butler on every floor would be impractical. Well I’d have to say that the hotel thinks the same thing, as there was no butler that I ever saw. Service was great when I ordered room service, and a chocolate + bottled water were brought by the room every night, so I can’t complain about the service I did receive.
Breakfast was included every morning, and this is probably the only place I can say the service was terrible in the hotel. No one came by to seat you except on random days, don’t know how those days were determined. Half the time, no one ever checked that I was supposed to have free breakfast or not. Getting a refill on juice or water was basically a fools errand, and the buffet was terrible for a vegan. There was some fruit available, but half was canned and super sweet. Really the food was unimpressive for a place that is supposed to be so upscale.
Really, the take away here was to just stay at the Sheraton Convention Center which was on the other side of the wall. While the Park Tower wasn’t overly expensive, the extra money it did cost was not worth it in my opinion. While I did not actually stay at the Sheraton, it did share the same building, and from what I did see of the Sheraton, seemed to be a fine hotel. At the end of the day, opulence isn’t really my thing, but it was fun to check out the hotel.