Hi Fellow Insiders -
We are planning trip to Argentina in Feb-Mar, including a week in Buenos Aires and have a reservation at the only Marriott in the country. Any experience with that property? Comments on Lounge, rooms, .... Also, best things to do in Buenos Aires. Thank you. We also plan to go to the wine region around Mendoza (love Malbecs!!).
Hola artisttraeler: Thoroughly enjoyed my stays at the Marriott in BA; Also stayed at other hotels. The hotel is situated at the beginning of the 'peatonal' pedestrian mall at the beginning of Florida Street. The hotel is excellent and well staffed - friendly, courteous and very helpful. When you made your reservation, make sure that the Marriott sends a van or remise (taxi) - important distinction between remise and taxi; to pick you up at either the International Airport (EZE) or the domestic airport (AEP); many activites and excellent food and wines. near the hotel on San Martin and Paraguay Street is a local restaurant - El Establo (located at the corner of San Martin and Paraguay).. great food and service - this is where the locals go to mingle and eat. Tourist normally walk through the front door - follow the locals on Paraguay Street left hand side; first door .. if you love meat Argentina is the epicurean discovery for range fed beef .. otherwise try the Trucha - Trout.. you cannot go wrong with the Malbec for the beef and Etchardt Torrontes for the fish.. about 50 yards on the same street on the right hand side is a Japanese restaurant - Irifume .. whenever you see Japanese Embassy members go in; you know that its a good place to eat. Of course there are other tourist restaurants at Puerta Madera; or take a remise (have the concierge make reservations for you) to restaurants at Palermo Hollywood, etc. Of course, do not forget to see Tango shows .. beware, because, everyone smoke in the shows; take a bus trip from your hotel and take a city tour; there's also San Telmo - an antique world mecca. If you need to contact me .. email: email@example.com .. I have other ideas .. also Mendoza, Bariloche, Andes, golf, river rafting, bike and wine, excellent restaurants in Mendoza, hiking in the Patagonia region (both Argentina and Chile). Cordoba, and many more ..
Message was edited by: eliramos
If you love Malbec, one more recommendation: try this restaurant while in BA - it's walking distance from the Marriott: Las Nazarenas
It's a classic parilla, but they also boast the largest wine cellar in Buenos Aires - in the dining room, you will see THOUSANDS of bottles of wine displayed (everywhere), but ask to be taken downstairs after you order and while you are waiting for your beef to arrive... It's really cool!
Now, I concede, it is large and touristy, but, having done my share of arterial damage at various parillas - fancy and simple, expensive and modest - in BA and Montevideo, I don't think you'll be disappointed...
My father-in-law did business in Argentina with World Bank, and was always met at the Airport by a driver with a sign as there were lots of kidnappings, especially if you standout as a foreigner.
I have heard the same is true in Mexico City, and even in Puerto Vallarte, I had the hotel send the car to the airport, and into town for sightseeing.
Worse yet, get into the wrong taxi, and folks end up dead. Even LA Gang members have problems in Mexico.
When I am in Moscow, the cabs are not even marked. Most cabbies are gypsy cabs, folks driving their cars after hours as cabs. And pricing is very negotiable. They hear english and the price goes up. So my Russian friend stands on the corner to stop a gypsy cab (have a conversation with ever car that stops till one agrees to the destination and price), I wait further away. Once the negotiation finishes, he waves me over, I get in back and he gets in front. I once asked why he does that, and he said, its cause we aren't going anywhere he doesn't want to go. Cars are small, he is big, and so his shoulders extend almost from the driver to the passenger door.
Without my friend in Moscow, I would have the hotel send a car.
There is really no place that you should not be careful about taxi transportation. The hotel, or place you dine is a safer bet than public taxi's. I really think London and Paris are safe. If you want to use a cc, then you should check prior to getting in the taxi!
I will pay more to have the hotel send a car for me when traveling to most places outside the country as opposed to getting in a cab. I will take a cab from the hotel since they know the cabs that come there and have a record of me getting in and they tell the driver where to take me and usually negotiate the price.
Agree totally. Most places I visit, I pre-arrange hotel xport. Sometimes it is for safety like in Latin America, and sometimes so as not to waste precious sightseeing time standing in a long cab line after a long international flite. The only times I do not do this is in a very short list of countries I feel comfortable using mass transit like London, Paris, Barcelona, etc. I use the mass transit cause it is faster as these cities tend to have a lot of traffic.
So true that we get very little news from outside the US. Initially I use to rely on friends living in coutnries to update me. So when I first went to Turkey, one of the guys I worked with was married to a Turkish woment and they traveled there frequently so I ran all my travel plans by them for advice. There were so many tourist incidents that were never reported in english print publications. Same is true for Ukraine and Russia
Then, one of my friends went to work for a travel security website that sells their services to large corporations and international organizations, and suddenly we had a wealth of information. My friend no longer works there, but we still have access by swapping information from our travels and locals that are friends to read their latest updates.
And I have the travel friend that actually needs permission to travel ex-US.
I figure after all this, we have definately considered all possibilities and have the best possible security plan for the trip.
I haven't ever heard of those kinds of issues with the cabs in Puerto Vallarta. I will admit the cabs at the airport are the worst, and you are in more danger of wasting a LOT of time if you get sidetracked by one of the Timeshare Salesmen in and around the airport. The rest of the town has those too, but they are easier to walk away from when you're out and about. At the airport, they seem to smell fresh bait, especially from the people who are there for the first time and have that amazed look in their eyes.
I travel alot with a friend who does govt work and needs to get permission to travel places, and also needs to have the people in the traveling party approved.
I was recently told that Mexico is off the list of countries to travel to as the office will no longer approve leisure travel trips there
Living as close to Mexico as I do, I hear all kinds of horror stories. A couple were on a cruise and were walking around town, I think PV, and the man was hit by a car and taken to the hospital. They told the wife that they did not have the capability to tend to him as needed and that he would need to take an air taxi to a US hospital or he would die. She tried to make arrangements and some government official stopped her and told her that there was a $5000 fee for them to release him to the air taxi and it would have to be paid in cash. She begged but they did not give so she had to fly home to get the cash since she didn't carry that much. As it turned out, her husband died before she got back.
This is only one of many. Corruption is all over even in tourist areas. Crime is all over too. I will not go to Mexico.
Thanks to all for your comments. Just returned from Argentina - we were there when the new pope was elected!! Had a great time. I did a review on the Marriott Plaza, BA. Very nice hotel but not all rooms are same. We were fortunate enough to be on 9th floor with patio/balcony overlooking the Plaza. Lounge was one of the best we've experienced (although we had b'fast buffet in the dining room which was also very good) - lounge kept coffee, etc refreshed and little pastries all day. Evening hors d'oeuvres were quite good. One of the highlights was attending a concert at the Teatro Colon, a truly magnificent opera house built during Argentina's heyday. Others: tango dancers under the big rubber tree in Recoleta, seeing the Casa Rosada (Pink House) where Evita did her speeches and songs, wandering around the famous neighborhoods. Food was excellent. Trip to Mendoza to see the Vendemia (wine festival) was a real hoot! The show was unbelievable and the parades were fun. Prices listed in books and web sites will be out of date due to their inflation. We did use a private car (remise) hired at the airport - ofr 2 or more people it's as cheap as the bus service and no waiting. There are companies just as you leave immigration. We used Transfer Express; was told VIP is also good. Again - thanks to all.
It is a beautiful city and the Teatro Colon is truly incredible. Acoustically in the top 5 venues in the world. Didn't see a performance there but did take an amazing tour many levels below the theatre. Mikhail Baryshnikov was practicing a few feet from us in a room with numerous other dancers. We really didn't know what to expect going to BA but were quite pleasantly surprised. Glad you enjoyed it.