A Platinum Trip to BA
I was all set to meet friends in Rio when the Brazilian consulate advised me that my visa wouldn’t be guaranteed for at least four to seven business days. OK, plan B.
I needed a Plan B because I was logging a few trips before the end of 2009 to maintain my executive platinum status on American Airlines (you’ll read more about those!). I wanted warm, Latin culture, so Buenos Aires it was.
Maita Barrenechea has run Mai 10 for 18 years and she’s the foremost expert on travel in Argentina. Having stayed in Palermo and Recoleta neighborhoods before, I wanted something a bit Bohemian and different. She booked me at the new Mansion Vitraux, a boutique hotel in the San Telmo district.
My goal on this trip? Fly the miles I needed, shop and dine. At about four pesos to one USD, it was attainable. After landing, I headed straight to the atelier of leading Argentinian designer Pablo Ramirez to see his new collection. Think Prada meets Holly Golightly. The silk taffeta he uses is so divine you want to crawl up into it and live. I try on one skirt and Nicolas, the salesperson, said, “Suzy Menkes loves this skirt!” Good enough for Suzy, even better for me. While waiting for a few nips and tucks on the skirt, I fall in love with a black, sleeveless dress with full skirt. The lines are perfect. The tailoring, impeccable. I channel my inner Audrey Hepburn.
Now starving after flying 12 hours and hitting the ground running, lunch was in order. There is a huge Italian influence in Argentina, and it shows…gorgeous people and perfect pizza. Sr. Telmo is my fave and boasts perfectly thin, crispy, straight out of the brick oven pizza with simple toppings.
Fueled for more shopping, I head to Palmero Soho to Juana de Arco, where Mariana Cortes highlights her line of whimsical, comfy lingerie and loungewear (kids too!). Brightly colored harem pants in hand, I head to Recoleta to scoop up the latest creation from Martín Churba at Tramando.
After a much needed siesta, and back in San Telmo, my friend Cecilia recommended a darling French spot for dinner called Brasserie Petanque… now we are talking: in the land of meat, I have the most divine steak tartare on the planet. Miles? Check. Shopping? Check. Food? Total bliss.