Alvear Palace and Recoleta Cemetery – Buenos Aires, Argentina

Chic in Life and Death

Buenos Aires’s Barrio Norte is the chic address for Argentina’s fashionable elite. Located in the heart of the elegant Recoleta district, it features the old-world landmark Alvear Palace, one of the most charming and stylish of South America’s grand luxe hotels. Far more European than Argentine in ambience and design, its original Louis XVI materials and furnishings were brought directly from France for its inauguration in 1932. The prop­erty has a decidedly French flair, most deliciously exemplified by its restaurant, La Bourgogne.

Admire the alluring urban panorama from the hotel’s roof garden, or make a rendezvous in the Lobby Bar, the city’s meeting place of choice; then head out to any of the Recoleta’s museums, boutiques, or eating spots. Or visit the nearby historic 10-acre cemetery where generations of Argentina’s elite are buried: patriarchs, presidents, poets, and, yes, Evita repose here. You can roam around by yourself under century-old magnolias amid the ornate splendor of more than 7,000 tombs and mausoleums of the powerful and influential porteño (resident) families, but a guided tour can better fill in the backgrounds of Argentina’s famous and infamous.

Of the seventy sites that have been declared national monuments, search out Evita’s nondescript black marble grave, inscribed with the world-famous epitaph: “Don’t cry for me, Argentina, I remain quite near to you.”

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