Best Vacation Deals 2009

by Bob Payne

Buenos Aires

Europhiles think they are doing Buenos Aires an honor by calling it the Paris of South America. And it is true that B.A. has a lively arts scene, pleasingly historic architecture, and afternoon-long coffee breaks. But imagine how much improved Paris would be if it, too, possessed a passion for tango bars. And imagine if it offered bargain rates. Admittedly, prices in Buenos Aires are not nearly as low as they were in early 2000, when Argentina's economy jumped out a window. But when a room at the Four Seasons Hotel Buenos Aires costs less than half what it does at the Four Seasons George V in Paris, let's tango. Rooms at the luxury chain's B.A. outpost start at a not inconsequential $395, but if you stay three nights you get the fourth free. Find something more reasonable among the city's many good designer hotels, such as the Mine Hotel, in the hip, lively Palermo Soho neighborhood, where doubles start at $145. Just about every meal in Argentina is a bargain these days, but to see how Argentine food was served up when trendy Palermo Soho was just a plain old neighborhood, don't miss the big plates and low prices at El Preferido (Calle Borges; 54-11-4774-6585) and the delicious empanadas at Cupertina (5300 Cabrera; 54-11-4777-3711). As for the tango bars, to experience a classic, head to the Bar de Roberto in Almagro.

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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