1352-1370 Los Gauchos
Tel: 54 11 4348 5189
A single night at Casa Los Sauces costs three times the average monthly wage of an Argentine workerironic, considering the hotel is owned by the country's left-leaning president, Cristina Kirchner, whose private retreat sits mere yards from the hotel's eight-acre lawn, itself bravely coaxed from the Patagonian steppe. Providing high levels of comfort in such hostile terrain is expensive, of course: The three iron-roofed houses, modeled on traditional Patagonian sheep farms, are updated with underfloor heating, power showers, and impeccable insulation. Guests are met at the airport by a personal assistant and a driver and whisked straight to their room, where yet more assistants await, clutching champagne. The 18 ample accommodations are decorated with flowery throws and antique furniture, and open onto a private sitting room with a vast fireplace. Rise at dawn for a clamber on the Perito Moreno glacier, 50 miles to the west, or summit one of the nearby peaks accompanied by in-house guides toting a gourmet picnic. Blissful, light-filled evenings are spent gazing at scudding clouds while relaxing in the well-equipped spa or wavering between the king crab and the lobster in the exemplary restaurant.