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Discover the Alvear Palace Hotel, which was first built in 1932 to accommodate European tourists who began flocking to Buenos Aires.

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Alvear Palace Hotel, a member of Historic Hotels Worldwide since 2014, dates back to 1932.


In the early 1930s, Buenos Aires was undergoing a rapid transformation into a desirable destination for international tourists. The most common type of traveler to arrive at the time were Europeans, who were allured by its magnificent architecture and cultural institutions. In fact, the more contemporary structures located inside Buenos Aires’ historic La Recoleta neighborhood displayed a heavy amount of French design aesthetics, leading some to compare the community to Paris itself. It was within this environment that one local resident named Rafael de Miero decided to open his own boutique hotel within La Recoleta. A doctor by trade, Miero nonetheless wished to construct a beautiful retreat like the resort hotels that were then popular across Europe. Furthermore, Dr. Miero specifically yearned to make his prospective building a gleaming example of the finest French architecture. He subsequently sought out every resource to turn his dream into a reality. In fact, Dr. Miero even traveled to France, where he consulted a number of prominent engineers about the concept for the hotel. Upon his return to Buenos Aires in 1932, Dr. Miero had brought a magnificent collection of blueprints with which to construct the building. Work on the new hotel began shortly thereafter and lasted for several months. Sparing no expense, Dr. Miero saw that his hotel radiated nothing short of extreme luxury. Inside, he instructed his architects to utilize aspects of French Baroque motifs, namely the “Louis XIV” and “Louis XVI” styles. But outside, Dr. Miero had his team mimic the architectural majesty of France’s Second Empire era.

When the construction finally concluded, Dr. Miero’s new “Alvear Palace Hotel” quickly built a wonderful reputation due to its stunning appearance and unrivaled service. Soon enough, influential guests from around the world were going to the building regularly. Among the most illustrious people to grace the hotel with their presence included Hollywood superstars, prominent heads of state, and even royalty. Indeed, the royal families of Spain, Japan, and the United Kingdom all visited at one point or another. On several occasions, the Alvear Palace Hotel functioned as a temporary residence for a few of its famous patrons, too. For instance, legendary animator Walt Disney spent many hours at the Alvear Palace Hotel during his trip across South America in 1942. Tony Curtis and his family also lived inside the hotel for some time while the actor filmed portions of Taras Bulba throughout Argentina in the early 1960s. The great Argentine poet Horacio Ferrer called the Alvear Palace Hotel his actual home starting in 1976. Unfortunately, the hotel experienced an extended period of decline toward the end of the century that only ended with the intervention of David Sutton Dabbah. Under his watchful eye, the Alvear Palace Hotel has since reestablished its grand prestige. Dabbah has since invested heavily to maintain this newfound prestige, spending millions on many thorough renovations. Thanks to his hard work, the city government designated the Alvear Palace Hotel as one of its official “Historical Monuments” in 2003. A member of Historic Hotels Worldwide since 2014, the Alvear Palace Hotel is still one of the best places to stay throughout all of Buenos Aires.

  • About the Location +

    Located on the corner of Alvear Avenue and Ayacucho Street, the magnificent Alvear Palace Hotel is situated right in the heart of the historic La Recoleta neighborhood. This fantastic district is one of the few historic regions that make up the prominent city of Buenos Aires. Buenos Aires itself is rich in history, having been originally founded by Spanish settlers during the 16th century. Interestingly, Buenos Aires was actually created twice, with the first iteration of the community emerging in the late 1530s. Explorer Pedro de Mendoza had specifically developed the initial settlement, which he had named “Nuestra Señora Santa María del Buen Aire.” Unfortunately for Mendoza and his fellow pioneers, the fate of their new settlement was not destined to last for very long. Indeed, Native Americans hostile to their presence quickly attacked the town, forcing its surviving residents to make the harrowing journey up the adjacent Río de la Plata to Asunción in modern-day Paraguay. The site remained abandoned for decades thereafter until Juan de Garay directed another expedition back south into the area. Arriving in 1580, Garay quickly set about reconstructing the community under the new name of “Ciudad de Trinidad.”

    Despite its relative isolation from the rest of Spain’s colonial settlements, the new city eventually produced a prosperous port known as the “Puerto de Santa María de los Buenos Aires.” Over time, the entire metropolis would assume the name of the port—specifically the title of “Buenos Aires”—with its residents referred to as the “Porteños.” The growth of the port was not linear, however, as it struggled to maintain any kind of consistent economic activity during its early years. Indeed, Buenos Aires was governed from afar in Lima as part of the greater Viceroyalty of Peru. As such, only the Peruvian coastal town of Callao had access to trade with European merchants back in Spain. Buenos Aires was subsequently reduced to something of a remote wilderness trading post, which frustrated the many Porteños that now called Buenos Aires home. To resolve their predicament, the Porteños soon turned to smuggling contraband goods into their harbor. Spanish authorities did nothing to stop the illegal activity either, as they were focused more exclusively on events happening elsewhere. As such, the illicit trade flourished for generations, making Buenos Aires one of the most active ports in South America. The activity was so lucrative that many local merchants even openly defied the Spanish Crown by trading with foreign colonies scattered across the “New World.”

    At the end of the 18th century, King Charles III of Spain decided to officially sanction the city’s free trade policies—a privilege that few other communities enjoyed in Spanish America at the time. But Charles’ progressive approach to Buenos Aires only helped solidified a growing sense of national identity that had already emerged among the Porteños. This newfound sense of independence would have significant consequences for Buenos Aires and the rest of the region in the centuries to come. The local desire to achieve true independence from Spain was further augmented after the British attempted a series of ill-fated invasions of Buenos Aires amid the Napoleonic Wars. (Each British army had arrived as part of a greater strategy to defeat Spain, which was then allied to Napoleon Bonaparte’s revolutionary France.) The Porteños successfully turned back the British on both occasions, who soon realized how little they relied on Spain for their self-preservation. In 1810, the citizens of Buenos Aires formally declared their separation from Spain, although the move would not become official until Argentina’s greater independence some six years later.

    Buenos Aires soon became the center of many political struggles over the next several decades, as forces both inside and outside of the city fought over its control. Buenos Aires was even declared the capital for a few fledgling governments, including the United Provinces of Río de la Plata and the State of Buenos Aires. Long-term stability finally returned following the Argentine Civil Wars of the mid-19th century, with Buenos Aires emerging as the new national capital of Argentina. The period of peace saw the city resume its prior economic success, as many new buildings and industries quickly debuted throughout the community. In fact, many Porteños began to construct dozens of countless structures in the style of France’s renowned Second Empire architecture. The newfound economic activity also attracted many immigrants from around the world as well, most notably Italians, Germans, and Spaniards. They subsequently gave Buenos Aires a cosmopolitan character that it has since preserved. Save for another period of political instability in the years after World War II, Buenos Aires has remained one of the most economically and culturally vibrant cities on the planet. It is filled with countless historical landmarks, upscale art galleries, and fascinating museums that any international cultural heritage traveler will certainly appreciate.

  • About the Architecture +

    The Alvear Palace Hotel was originally built in 1932 to accommodate the growing population of European tourists who were flocking to Buenos Aires at the time. The luxurious eleven-story building—with five basement levels—stands as an undisputed symbol of the city. The hotel was specifically constructed to feature breathtaking amenities and the highest level of service. Accommodations and public areas are reminiscent of the courtly aesthetics embraced by kings Louis XV and Louis XVI of France, which was evident in the furniture, crystal chandeliers, and gold-leaf wall decor. Nevertheless, the architecture that best defined the iconic exterior façade of Alvear Palace Hotel can best be described as “Belle Époque”—or at least a recreation of it. Originally popularized in Paris at the height of the Victorian Era, the architectural style drew its inspiration from a range of earlier forms that included Moorish Revival and Renaissance Revival-style architecture. More recent architectural styles also constituted aspects of Belle Époque architecture, such as the palatial designs of 17th and 18th century French châteaus. Perhaps the most famous style to emerge within the greater umbrella of Belle Époque architecture was that of Art Nouveau. Defined by its ornate interior designs, Art Nouveau was best represented by Hector Guimard’s wonderful Castel Béranger in 1898. The name “Belle Époque” specifically referred to time in European history marked by its technological advances, pristine artwork, and relative peace. While the Belle Époque is a historical period relevant to most Western countries, it specifically applies to France and the life of the French Third Republic (1870 – 1914). Belle Époque architecture was eventually phased out during the 1920s in favor of a new style known as “Art Deco.”

  • Famous Historic Guests +

    Tony Curtis, actor known for his roles in such films like Spartacus, The Defiant Ones, and Some Like It Hot. 

    Janet Leigh, actress known for her roles in such films like Psycho, The Touch of Evil, and The Manchurian Candidate.

    Sophia Loren, actress known for her roles in such films like Marriage Italian Style, Two Women, and Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.

    Joan Collins, actress known for her roles in such films like, The Stud, Land of the Pharaohs, and The Bravados.

    Catherine Deneuve, model and actress best known for her roles in Indochine and Belle de Jour.

    Sean Connery, actor known for his roles in Goldfinger, The Untouchables, and The Hunt for Red October.

    Marcello Mastroianni, actor known for his roles in Marriage Italian Style, 8 ½, and La Dolce Vita.

    Omar Sharif, actor known for his roles in such films like Lawrence of Arabia, Funny Girl, and Doctor Zhivago.

    Muhammad Ali, professional boxer and civil rights activist regarded as one of the best athletes of the 20th century.

    Walt Disney, legendary cartoonist and founder of the Walt Disney Company.

    Arthur Miller, playwright know for creating such plays like All My Sons, Death of a Salesman, and The Crucible.

    Alan Parker, filmmaker known for such movies like Midnight Express, Angel Heart, and Mississippi Burning.

    Francis Ford Coppola, filmmaker known for such movies like The Conversation, Apocalypse Now, and The Godfather.

    Orson Welles, film director known for such movies as Citizen Kane, Touch of Evil, and The Magnificent Ambersons.

    B.B. King, musician hailed throughout the world as “The King of the Blues.”

    Rafael Alberti, poet and member of the Generation of ’27 who is regarded as one of the best Spanish literary figures.

    Horacio Ferrer, poet and songwriter best remembered for writing the lyrics for songs performed by Astor Piazzallo.

    Henry Kissinger, 56th U.S. Secretary of State (1973 – 1977)  

    Helmut Kohl, Chancellor of Germany (1982 – 1998)

    Jacques Chirac, President of France (1995 – 2007)

    Nelson Mandela, anti-apartheid revolutionary and 1st President of South Africa (1994 – 1999)

    Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands (1980 – 2013)

    Queen Margrethe II of Denmark (1972 – present)

    Queen Sonja of Norway (1991 – present)

    King Harald V of Norway (1991 – present)

    Queen Sofia of Spain (1975 – 2014)

    King Juan Carlos I of Spain (1975 – 2014)

    Empress Michiko of Japan (1989 – 2019)

    Emperor Akihito of Japan (1989 – 2019)

    King Charles III of the United Kingdom (2022 – present)

  • Film, TV and Media Connections +

    Il Gaucho (1964)

    The Things of Love (1995)

    Walt & El Grupo (2008)