“Perhaps the most tangible sign of Argentina’s economic recovery, is its booming real estate market, which has transformed Buenos Aires, the capital, into a construction site.” - (WSJ)Tourism in Argentina is thriving right now, and has been for the last several years. I see it every time I go down there, and my favorite hotels are always almost booked to capacity. Argentina is literally the leading tourism destination in all of Latin America, and had over 4.5 million visitors in 2007. The Argentine Tourism Office says that visitors from the US alone grew more than 35% between 2005 and 2007. 2.2 million foreigners visited Buenos Aires last year, and Buenos Aires City Tourism Bureau did a study that found foreign tourists prefer four and five star hotels (who doesn’t?), and that 2007 occupancy rates exceeded 85%. Things are looking good for our hotel project.
The mansion we purchased was previously a private residence and is located at 1647 Montevideo Street in the heart of the embassy and luxury hotel district, Recoleta. The Mansion is a magnificent 20,000 sq/ft estate that was built in 1912. It’s a 5-story building, but we added a subbasement during the renovation, bringing it to 6-stories. The architectural team we decided to use for the renovation is headed by internationally acclaimed architect, Gerhard Heusch. He’s got a great portfolio, and I’ve had the pleasure of seeing some of his past projects in person, including The Grand Havana Rooms in both New York and LA. Our hotel will feature only luxury suites, a 5-story hanging garden, and rooftop pool, spa, and bar. Watching the completion of this project has been a real experience.
The hotel is also going to have a restaurant featuring South American & French-fusion cuisine, a private dining room with a wine cave and humidor, library bar, wine cellar, and an outside dining patio that features an A-framed glass ceiling. This project has become very personal to me, and we are quite proud of it.
- Scott Mathis