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The hotel is on the Avenida del Libertador in the Recoleta district of Buenos Aires and is situated within walking distance of most areas in Buenos Aires and is close to the main railway station. The entrance is modern looking with gold revolving doors and there is at least one doorman at all times to welcome you in. The lobby is quite spacious and very well appointed, there are flower arrangements on tables which are fresh and look welcoming. The reception desk is on the left as you walk in to the hotel and they will also change money at a reasonable rate here. On the right hand side is an open looking bar with comfortable seats and tables. At the back of the hotel, through the lobby is the restaurant which is actually quite small for the size of hotel. This is where we had our breakfasts but we did not eat in the hotel other than breakfast.
On the first night we arrived at about 10pm and decided we would have a drink in the bar before going to bed. I ordered a gin and tonic and my husband had a 33Occ of beer and this came to a total of £11. Needless to say despite the fact we got a bowl of peanuts with our drinks, we did not frequent this bar again. Another couple had two drinks and a round of sandwiches each and said it came to £30. We chose not to eat in the hotel apart from our breakfasts which were included in our nightly rate. We enjoyed the comfort and luxury without paying their inflated prices for food after being stung this time.
Our room was lovely, really large with a big double bed, a desk, smaller round table and chair, a mini bar cabinet on top of which was the TV. There was a wardrobe and a few small drawers. This was a major defect as we came to unpack, there was no where to put anything, 6 hangers and 4 tiny drawers is not enough storage space for people on holiday. It might be enough for business men staying only a couple of nights but not for people travelling for longer times. There was a coffee machine and then tea bags and sugar, we couldn't work out how you would use a coffee filter machine to make tea and there was no coffee provided!! There was internet access in the room but the price was 60 Argentinean pesos for 24hours - about £10 but I didn't want to be on for 24 hours so I didn't bother going on the internet at this hotel. There was also wireless access in the lobby at the same price.
They state on their site that there are views of the city from the rooms but we overlooked the garden which was very nice and also offered a great deal of privacy as the garden hadavery high wall around it and this meant that our room was not overlooked at all. Our friends did have a city view and overlooked the railway station and beyond which was interesting but not a stunning view as views go. We all had the deluxe rooms of 42 square meters not the corner suites which are much larger - two spaces of 52 square metres. Ours were perfectly adequate and I'm not sure what need there is for any bigger area really.
The bathroom in our room was huge with a bidet and toilet, bath and shower plus a huge area, almost enough to hold a party in. There were toiletries, conditioner, shampoo, tissues, shower cap and the first time ever I found bath crystals which smelled a bit like rose. The hair dryer was fixed to the wall and was quite efficient but obviously had to be used in the bathroom only.
Breakfast was not as good as some of the hotels we stayed at but was not bad. The juices were only a strange tasting orange or grapefruit, the water in the jug labelled mineral water was warm, and not just room temperature it was actually warm and tasted odd. There was champagne in a bucket which was empty on the first day and not open on the second so I wasn't able to enjoy a bucks fizz which would have been nice but hey.. The fruit was fresh and included a fruit salad, melon, watermelon, slices of oranges and peaches (not sure the peaches were fresh as I didn't have them. There were tubs and jugs of yogurt as well as variety of cereals. There was a good selection of cakes, breads and pastries as well as cheese and cold meats. My husband sampled the scrambled eggs, bacon, fried potatoes and mushrooms. There were no hotcakes or pancakes and the fruit juice selection was not good. There was a hostess who escorted you to your table and on the first day we had to go and collect or coffee from an urn in the middle, on the second day we were given an insulated jug on our table. The coffee was quite nice, very strong so you couldn't drink many cupfuls.
The staff were not especially helpful at the reception desk as they refused to accept a traveller's cheque accidently signed in the wrong place even though the person concerned said she would countersign it and it was all done in front of them. The concierge was very pleasant and pointed us in the right direction for places we wanted to visit. The waiting on staff were okay but not outstanding in any way. The hotel would not make an early breakfast for our group on the day of departure - coffee and cakes left over from the previous days afternoon tea was all they would offer and considering we had paid for bed and breakfast and there were 20 of us I felt they could have made a bit more effort.
This is a five star business and leisure hotel. It looked very smart and the public areas were 5 star but certain things like lack of storage space in your room and refusal to accommodate early breakfast for a large group ( I'm sure Kuoni must give them a lot of business and it would be nice to return the favour by offering a simple breakfast for their groups if departing early) make it less than 5 star for me .
If you look on the website they say that the restaurant comes highly recommended but I bet it isn't as good and certainly as cheap as the one we went to just down the road. The full tea service offered in oliver's bar ewas also very over-priced and obviously didn't have many takers as we had the left-over for our breakfast on the last day.
I cannot comment on the business facilities but they have 10 'elegant' function rooms and will cater for a variety of events, weddings and business type functions too. There is an exclusive 'Polo Club' for VIPs but as were didn't fall into this category I wasn't privy to what was on offer in there.
It was a very nice comfortable hotel that was in a convenient location for seeing the city.We were always welcomed in by the doorman smiling pleasantly and felt very at home here. I wouldn't recommend eating or drinking here unless on an expense account though.
This review may be posted on Dooyoo under my same name catsholiday
The website for the hotel is: http://www.hotel-emperador.com.ar/
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