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For the nature and wildlife lover, Patagonia is the place to come in South America; whether you are a hard-core adventurer or a traveler more interested in light hiking, fishing or horseback riding. Ice Age valleys and moraines, jagged mountain ridges, fjords and glaciers, native forests and an abundance of waterfalls make the human visitor aware, at every moment, of the nature around them. In the town of Puerto Natales, Remota Hotel was built on the concept of blending nature with human civilization.
The property was created with the idea of mixing the architectural design with the natural surroundings, designed by legendary architect German del Sol who won the National Prize for his work on Remota. The buildings are integrated in harmony with the Patagonian landscape, at times blurring the lines between where nature ends and Remota begins. Using construction techniques such as earth-and-grass covered rooftops, sustainable local materials and energy-saving implementations was key for Del Sol. And these are no mere “nod to green concerns” gestures. The entire hotel utilizes a system that recycles the indoor air two to three times a day, using no energy whatsoever.
It’s a place where visitors can feel at one with Patagonia, and be in the present moment. Del Sol believed that beauty was in the imperfections, and embraced those aspects of his natural materials to create a place that offers an experience to guests, not just a hotel stay. “The loneliness of the vast landscape is perhaps what seduces the wanderer’s soul,” says del Sol. “Everyone can make a discovery if one sees the same old things with new eyes. Maybe, because we only get to know that which puts up some resistance, the place where it is hard to get to is that which we believe, somehow, that we deserve. Thus, perhaps, the myth of Patagonia is the myth of a remote place, where we feel that the journey has been accomplished, and we are delicately returned to what is ours.” Patagonia Sights and Excursions Hotel Remota tour guides are among the best in Chile, specially trained in the hotel’s own guide school. Remota is the only operation that offers certified fly fishing experience, as well as navigations, hiking, horseback riding, bicycle tours and bird watching, with world well-known specialists.
Every evening the guides gather in the bar of the hotel, where they can plan with guests their excursions for the next day out of more than 30 possibilities in Torres del Paine National Park, as well as beyond mountains, glaciers, lakes, rivers and forests, cattle farms and caves of ancestral native cultures. Tours can be done by vehicle (4x4), horseback, bicycle, or walking, sailing the fjords; it all depends on the guests preference and the area they would like to visit. Details about Hotel Remota The guest rooms are an invitation to rest body and soul, the relaxing aroma of the lenga wood together with the light radiating from the heat reflecting windows and the magnificent views to the fjord of Last Hope are the perfect setting for perfect comfort. Remota offers 72 wonderfully appointed, spacious rooms. The common areas are divided into multi levels, with several comfortable and stylish living rooms built around large fireplaces, leading eventually up to the restaurant and bar. The amazing food is part of the Remota experience, with skilled chefs creating a variety of inventive dishes from the fresh seafood of Patagonia and local ingredients.
A separate building houses a relaxing indoor heated pool, open-air Jacuzzi and men’s and women’s locker rooms with saunas. Every stay at Hotel Remota is a program that includes: • Accommodations • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, with soft and alcoholic drinks or house wine. • 8 Daily Excursions offered according to the day’s program, with a bilingual guide. (English-Spanish) • Excursion hours are pre-established. Consult reception. • Use of the sauna, open-air Jacuzzi, and heated indoor pool. • Complementary transfers. Premium wines, massage services, outdoor equipment, personal goods, gift shop items, fly-fishing gear and tips are not included.
About Chile and Patagonia: http://chile.travel/en/where-to-go/patagonia-2/
Hotel Remota website: http://www.remotahotel.com
All-inclusive programs at Hotel Remota start at $1,950 per person for 3 nights.
Buenos Aires is a vibrant and lively city, full of passionate people, classical architecutre, gastronimical delights, stylish shopping, group dogwalkers, and plenty of history. If you haven’t yet booked accommodation, head to the Palermo Soho or Palermo Hollywood district. With similar character to New York's Soho, or London's Cambden, all you need to experience this stylish city is within close walking distance.
Palermo Soho & Palermo Hollywood are exceptionally reliable for gastronomie dining and night drinks, and of course shopping. Wandering the streets you might walk an entire block without seeing a single restaurant, only to discover the perfect eatery for your evening, hidden out of the way. This is the Palermo area charm. Great walking streets are Thames, Costa Rica, El Salvador or anything leading to or stemming off Plaza Serrano. A good idea is to get a taxi to drop you there - then just wander around, as it will be the best introduction to the area. Locals hang in Palermo Soho & Palermo Hollywood, as opposed to tourists, meaning a charming BA atmosphere exists. Definitely visit by day as well - for cute shops are scattered throughout the area and mostly only open in daylight.
Palermo Soho is hands down one of the best places to shop in Buenos Aires. Plenty of local designers in boutique stores are situated along almost every street, definitely wear your comfy walking shoes! On the weekends all around Plaza Serrano is a design fair for up-and-coming designers who can’t afford to display wares in real shops - and so you find amazing hand-made designs for a great price.
Nearby on Sunday go to Feria de San Telmo, a touristy antiques market that fills the Plaza Dorrego with stalls of costume jewellery, vintage movie posters and all sorts. Browse mini-stalls and watch street performers as you shop. This is pretty close to La Boca, the touristy place with the colourful houses and tango dancers, so worth having a look at both places in one hit.
The artisan markets in San Telmo are absolutely wonderful but only on weekends. Stick around to watch the tango dancers.
An interesting day activity which involves absorbing and understanding the city's politival background, is a trip to the Evita Museum. The amazing wardrobe of Eva peron has been preserved at the Evita Museum, aka Museo Evita, along with detailed documentation of her rise to fame, and Argentina’s love/hate affair with Evita.
Recoleta is a wonderful suburb, very safe and very wealthy. Make sure to visit the famous Recoleta cemetery. Here you'll visit Evita Peron’s tomb and have a guide tell you the history of her life with her presidential husband Juan Peron. There are also fun markets in the park on the weekends in Recoleta.
A great evening is spent Salsa dancing into the early hours of the morning at La Catedral, a charming oversized salsa-only dance floor converted from an 1880’s cathedral hall with live band and art pieces covering wall to ceiling. Best kept secret, no website just an address. La Catedral, Sarmiento 4006, Almagro, Buenos Aires.
Jardin Escondido in Buenos Aire's trendy Palermo Soho district is a divine seven bedroom villa where a young Sofia Coppola and father Francis Ford Coppola’s spent time with family and which is now open as a hotel style villa, kept almost exactly as they had.
Home hotel Located in Palermo Hollywood, Home hotel is a modern and peaceful escape from the city's hustle a bustle, with agreat outdoor pool garden bar downstairs open on weekends.
Everything happens at night in the boho-cool cosmopolitan city that is Buenos Aires. You'll find most people sleep in the day, then go for dinner at 11pm and party into the night with tango and drinking til wee-hours. Take note, if you turn up to a restaurant at 8.30-9pm it will probably still be empty. This can be a good or bad thing, depending on your state of mind!
Try these eateries..
Bar 6 – Armenia 1676, Palermo Soho
Café-cum-bar-cum-restaurant that fearlessly mixes styles. Very cool for lunch or dinner.
Mott – El Salvador 4685, Palermo Soho
Breaks the cosy mould of Palermo’s eating establishments and introduces an industrial aesthetic to the area. Great for lunch or dinner – doesn’t start dinner menu until after 8:30pm, but you can grab a gormet burger or salad before that.
Las Cabras - Locals line the streets waiting for the mouth watering Argentinean BBQ’s served al fresco. Think thick juicy steak, melting BBQ camembert, Parilla of Chorizo with a fine glass of Malbec.
Freddo icecream - Or any gelati venue really. Try the Dulce de Leche flavour, or banana split. There's no going back!
The metro is a great way to get around quickly by day, and taxis are super cheap by night.
What do you get when you take an aged 1930s printing factory on Manhattan's far west side, renovate it with style, convert the rooftop into a swish bar with panoramic city views and add a bold lobby full of colour and spruce?
A concoction that screams New York without actually being smack bang in the centre of the tourist-bumping streets.
Located in the once-rough neighbourhood of Hell's Kitchen, right next to the popular Theatre District, Ink48 comes as a pleasant surprise. Although the interior screams overhaul, vibrance and decadence, the exterior nods to authenticity and remains not the only sign of the building's rich history.
In creating Ink48, a Kimpton Hotel, three quintessentially 'New York' architectural features were drawn upon as inspiration - lofts, pocket parks, and the much-loved rooftop terrace. The soaring ceilings in each guest room, ranging from 11 to 15 feet, represent the loft whilst pocket parks were creatively interpreted to fashion a number of inviting seating areas tucked around the corners of the lobby. The rooftop terrace was emphasised for its prime 16th-story location with the opening of PRESS Lounge.
Featuring a classy dining option in the downstairs restaurant PRINT, as well as an onsite fitness centre and full-service luxury spa, Ink48 is well-equipped for every kind of New York City stay. A healthy walking distance to the hustle and bustle of Times Square, Ink48 brings the best of both worlds - you can choose to escape the chaos or completely immerse yourself in the city's famous neon strip and further afield.
Stylish and minimalist with splashes of eye-catching colour and luring large-scale artworks, Ink48 is a welcoming home away from home. With stone-tiled bathrooms, marble countertops, textured stone accent walls and modern linear desks, every aspect is well constructed. Across the 222 guest rooms all include LCD flat screen TVs, full-length mirrors, in-room safes, wireless Internet access, Nintendos, irons and ironing boards, speaker phones with voicemail and complimentary coffee makers (available upon request).
With a wide range of room types on offer, the main differences can be found in room size, bathroom facilities and the view through your window. Rooms dedicated to providing the best views possible include the CityView Premier King Suite with panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline, and the Hudson River Suite boasting fantastic river views. If you're looking to indulge and want both river and city views (plus so much more) the penthouse - Heaven Over Hell's Kitchen Suite - wins hands down.
The sprawling PRESS Lounge offers impeccable views on three sides to accompany the drinks, cocktails and nibbles listed on the menu. Designed by renowned architect Carlos Zapata, the rooftop lounge is open to both hotel guests and the general public - proving quite a hit amongst both.
With the emphasis on prime location, views remain unobstructed by a see-through glass exterior around the 'indoor' seating and glass railings around the spacious outdoor lounge area. PRESS Lounge is a must-see by day and night.
Situated on the ground level and next to the lobby bar, PRINT is Ink48's modern a la carte restaurant. With a menu inspired by regions of Southern France and Italy, this 80-seat restaurant dishes up a decently priced meal, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner. They even use homemade butter from the famous Sullivan Street Bakery.
Wine-lovers out there rejoice! Each afternoon Ink48 hosts a complimentary wine reception for all guests from 5.00pm to 6.00pm in one of the styled 'pockets' of the lobby.
Whilst the name might seem a turnoff, Hell's Kitchen is an area internationally renowned for the range of cuisines on offer. All just a stone's throw away from Ink48, it's easy to find a cheap eat or a fancier restaurant to suit your taste. Fortunately the Hudson River is also nearby - in case you should need to walk off dessert.
11th Avenue 653, Manhattan, USA
Services spa, hotel restaurant, hotel bar, pets accepted, room service, internet access, wheelchair accessible, air-conditioning
Perched amongst red brick apartment blocks, sturdy warehouses and cobbled streets in the heart of New York City’s trendy Tribeca, The Greenwich Hotel can proudly claim Robert de Niro as the mastermind behind its superior conception.
Opening its doors in 2008, de Niro’s first hotel venture created a buzz at the time, and today has matured into its reputation as a sophisticated, attentive and exclusive New York City hotel experience.
Somehow de Niro has pinpointed the perfect combination of old-world charm, modern convenience, and the kind of friendly service that extends to ‘you-name-it’ requests fulfilled with a smile. With its luxurious blend of multicultural influences – from Moroccan tiles to Tibetan silk rugs and English leather settees – the atmosphere is indulgent and serene, and discreetly exudes this ‘members club’ vibe that makes one feel special just lulling about the hallways and in the elevator.
With 88 exquisite rooms and 13 suites across eight levels, it’s amazing to think that each is unique and unlike any other. Complemented by oak floors, sumptuous furniture and antique pieces, and all the classy finishing touches one would expect from an A-grade celebrity, The Greenwich Hotel's roomsare stylish and grand yet fitted with modern technology such as ipod docks, wireless internet and flat screen TVs. The complementary basket of goodies and jar of sweets, as well as an included fridge mini bar (except for alcohol), is just a bonus – especially for foreigners keen to try some Hershey’s and other local treats. Refreshingly, the high ceilings featuring beautiful hand-carved mouldings create a wonderful open and airy feeling of space within each room, and the heavy, motorised curtains are heavenly for an afternoon nap that feels more like night – perfect for jetlag recovery.
Choose from four room types, six different one and two-bedroom suites, and two styles of penthouses. The Fireplace Corner Suites are scrumptious.
The courtyard & drawing room
The Grenwich Hotel lobby is a guest-only retreat offering a drawing room decked out in classic upholstered and leather furniture pieces and garnished with stylish frames, decorative candle-holders, flowers, bookshelves and all kinds of other eye-catching ornamental items. Adjacent is a Tuscan-style outdoor courtyard, enclosed by tall city brick walls covered in crawling vines that reach up towards the blue sky above. Here, you can order a tasty dish for breakfast, lunch or dinner, or simply enjoy a coffee or wine and absorb the peace from the outside world.
The Shibui Spa & pool
Also exclusive to hotel guests, the Shibui Spa is infused with a calming Japanese influence, with the notion of ‘balance’ at its core. The indoor lantern-lit pool and lounge sit nestled under the roof of a 250-year old wood and bamboo Japanese farmhouse, whilst the adjoining bathrooms feature saunas. For professional spa treatments, there are four separate treatment rooms situated in their own peaceful sanctuary on the same level. Shibui Spa has a shiatsu room, a traditional Japanese bathing room with a large tub for bathing rituals and a tatami mat floor for massage, a wet room that includes a shower for wraps and scrubs, and a treatment room for massages and facials. The Shibui Spa menu is simply divine.
The Greenwich Hotel's other features: Concierge, Locanda Verde Italian tavern, in-house fitness centre located on Shibui Spa level.
The Greenwich Hotel is nestled in Tribeca, close to Soho, offering easy access to all of the New York City downtown sights and neighbourhoods. In the late 80s the area was popular with artists trying to escape the hefty prices of Soho, but today the neighbourhood has a high profile of its own with great restaurants, classy boutiques and trendy bars to tout. Wander Tribeca’s cobblestone streets and you’ll notice it still hasn’t lost its calm, chilled-out vibe, and certainly hasn’t been overrun with tourists and the ultra-hype of other New York City neighbourhoods.
Greenwich Street 377, New York City, USA
Contact tel: 212.941.8900, fax: 212.941.8600
Services spa, swimming pool, fitness equipment, hotel restaurant, hotel bar, room service, internet access, concierge, air-conditioning
Locanda Verde Restaurant
The Greenwich Hotel neighbourhood guide
The Greenwich Hotel website
Reviewed by Tijana Jaksic