Stay the night: Legado Mitico, Buenos Aires
Plush and private on the stylish side of town
While most new hotels in the modish barrio of Palermo Viejo are riding the design wave, arranging minimalist white chairs with frightening precision, Legado Mitico is striking a different pose.
The brainchild of two architects and antiques collectors, this intimate hotel works a thoroughly classy, and classic, brand of Argentine chic: rich, thick fabrics, plumped-up antique chairs and carefully edited artwork are set against a grown-up colour palette (slate greys and browns with burnt orange and burgundy accents).
With its plum position on a cobbled street in the heart of Palermo Soho, ground zero in BA for boutique-hopping and trend-setting, Legado Mitico could easily have coasted on location alone – which makes it all the more pleasing that no expense has been spared, no detail left to chance, in this smart rework of an early 20th-century townhouse. With just 11 guestrooms sharing the lavish lounge, generously scattered with restored antiques and sink-in sofas, and little more than a posh plaque at the door to advertise it, it feels less like a hotel and more like a plush private residence.
Bedrooms across all categories (Clasica, Superior or Lujo) are remarkably spacious and sumptuous for the price; all have queen-sized beds, desks, 32in flat-screen TVs and slick bathrooms (with full-sized cinnamon-and-malbec-scented toiletries, plus whirlpool spas and robes, in the top bracket). Care has clearly been lavished on key hotel differentials, so you can count on a supremely comfy bed (and a pillow menu), ample natural light (but not much in the way of views), personalised service and high-end linens.
Legado Mitico translates literally as "mythical legacy", but don't let this put you off. Each guestroom is subtly themed after a famed Argentine cultural or historical icon – naturally, Che, Evita and Borges are all here. In my Tanguero room, framed vintage Carlos Gardel posters and record sleeves hung above the bed and bath, and a guitar was propped up against the fireplace. Thankfully, never tipping over from enlightening to tacky, these cultural accents make Legado Mitico an intelligent alternative to a chain hotel. Once you've genned up on your room's namesake, pick a book from the well-stocked library – historical tomes and easy-flicking coffee-table reads both abound – and curl up in the lounge to the sounds of electro tango with a glass of inky-red malbec.
The food and drink
Being surrounded by some of the best exponents of BA's wining and dining scene, Legado Mitico made the wise decision not to try to compete, providing simply a few well-chosen wines by the glass (one is included in your room rate), hot and cold drinks, and some well-executed snacks.
Food delivery is a curiously local obsession – you can get anything from a chocolate bar to a full-blown meat feast with wine delivered to your door. So for nights in, get the staff to help you to order in – they will even set you a table in the restaurant. Food (other than minibar snacks) is not allowed in the guestrooms.
There is a peaceful deck out back (rarer than it sounds in BA, one of the noisiest cities in the world), where breakfast can be taken, plus a whirlpool spa and terrace with loungers on the top floor. Free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, plus free use of a PC in the lounge.
All of the public areas are wheelchair-accessible (including the roof terrace) and there is one adapted bedroom (the Idealista).
Double rooms start at $190 (£129), including breakfast.
Gurruchaga 1848, Palermo Soho, Buenos Aires (00 54 11 4833 1300; www.legadomitico.com ).