We arrived in Buenos Aires at about 7:30am, and after grabbing a quick espresso at the airport, we took the Tienda León airport bus for 270 Argentine pesos per person (~$14).
Sheraton Buenos Aires – Location & Arrival
Much to our delight, the Tienda León bus terminal in Buenos Aires was located in the Retiro district, only a few minutes’ walk away from the Sheraton Buenos Aires, our home for the next five days.
The hotel has an impressive exterior and is housed in a tall white building overlooking the park of Plaza San Martín. An awning bearing the Sheraton logo extends out over the driveway, sheltering the entrance to the hotel.
Incidentally, the hotel immediately next door is the Park Tower, a Luxury Collection Hotel, also under the SPG umbrella. Both the Sheraton and the Park Tower were SPG Category 4 properties costing 10,000 Starpoints a night, and while the Park Tower looked marginally nicer, I had chosen the Sheraton as I would be eligible to receive lounge access as a perk of the US-issued Amex Business SPG Card.
Sheraton Buenos Aires – Check-in
I sought to confirm that I could enjoy this benefit as I completed the check-in procedures…
…but I was told that I had to show the physical credit card in order to receive lounge access. This was a surprise to me, since I had been under the impression that my SPG account would’ve be automatically noted as an eligible cardholder, and therefore hadn’t brought the actual card with me.
After I signed in to my Amex app and offered to show them my card statements, the staff finally relented and programmed my key card with access to the Sheraton Club Lounge on the hotel’s 22nd floor. It’s probably best to keep the Amex US Business SPG Card on your person if you’re hoping to take advantage of this benefit.
Opposite the check-in desks, there is an area with self-serve beverages that hotel guests can take advantage of throughout the day.
We had been assigned Room 1634, a deluxe king room with a view of the Rio de la Plata. While the hotel’s exterior and public areas look newly refurbished, its hallways and guest rooms are in a more disappointing state, with some quite visible signs of wear and tear.
Sheraton Buenos Aires – King Room
On the bright side, the living quarters were very spacious, with the king bed placed centrally and accompanied by a large desk and a lounge chair on the far side of the room.
A widescreen television dominates the other wall, facing the bed. There’s also a tiny fold-out bench for your luggage, which was mildly disappointing, as I thought the space could’ve been better filled with a proper piece of furniture.
The daytime views of the immense Rio de la Plata were quite captivating, and there was a partial view of the city streets as well.
The bathroom has a bidet installed in addition to the sink, toilet, and bathtub. It makes the space a little cramped – you can’t sit down on the toilet without closing the bathroom door, for example.
Opposite the bathroom was the minibar, where a few snacks and beverages had been placed. The hotel gives you two free bottles of water every day, while the remaining bottles count as part of your minibar consumption. However, there’s free grab-and-go water bottles in the lobby below, as well as in the Sheraton Club (if you have access), so it’s quite easy to consume the water in the minibar and replace the bottles later.
Overall, the room is simple and spacious, yet starting to show signs of needing refurbishment. There were quite a few tapered edges and corners in the furniture, and the air conditioning in our room was also malfunctioning at the time of our arrival and needed to be fixed by a mechanic.
Sheraton Buenos Aires – Sheraton Club
Having fought tooth and nail for lounge access, we naturally took breakfast in the Sheraton Club every morning. The Sheraton Club is on par with other lounges I’ve visited at Sheraton hotels before – that is to say, it does a decent job at meeting expectations, but not much more.
The lounge occupies the space that would’ve ordinarily been taken by about four or five guest rooms, up on the 22nd floor. There area few different types of seating options, from dining tables to more relaxation-friendly lounge chairs.
Perhaps my favourite seats were the ones facing the window, since they enjoyed a commanding view of Plaza San Martín and the Torre Monumental clock tower. This would also be the view you’d get if you had been assigned a City View room rather than a River View room.
The breakfast options weren’t too impressive, if I’m being honest. Each morning’s breakfast buffet consisted of the usual suspects of bacon, sausages, scrambled eggs, potatoes, pastries, cold cuts, cereal, and fruit.
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You could also order custom-made eggs from the lounge staff as well, including those of the poached, fried, or omelette variety. The lounge staff also walk around the lounge offering coffee or tea to accompany your breakfast.
There’s a single computer and printer located at the end of the countertop facing the window, which you can use for a quick print job. I logged in on the third morning of our stay to print off our ferry tickets to Uruguay, as well as our electronically issued Brazil visas.
The Sheraton Club also offers evening hors d’oeuvres and happy hour drinks up until 9pm. Each guest is entitled to one free drink, and you can choose from red wine, white wine, beer, or non-alcoholic drinks. We were pretty busy exploring the city throughout our stay and so only ended up visiting the lounge once in the evening. On that note, it was a little surprising to me how early the lounge closes – its doors are shut at 9pm every night, whereas most hotel lounges I’ve visited are open until at least midnight, if not 24/7.
Sheraton Buenos Aires – Other Facilities
In terms of the hotel’s other public areas, the lobby snakes out much further from the check-in area, encompassing a small business centre, a sitting area, and the lobby cafe.
Further down, you’ll find the hotel’s restaurant, the Buono Italian Kitchen, which also has a small grab-and-go section if you need a quick bite before heading out.
The full name of the hotel is the Sheraton Buenos Aires Hotel & Convention Centre, and indeed, the lobby eventually brings you to the large-scale event space next door.
Meanwhile, the hotel’s fitness facilities are located in a separate building, accessible via footbridge on the second floor of the lobby.
The gym has a plentiful collection of fitness equipment, and overlooks the beautiful outdoor pool, which was mostly empty on account of the brisk fall weather of about 15°C in Buenos Aires throughout the duration of our stay.
There’s also a smaller indoor pool in which you can go for a dip.
One last thing I wanted to mention is that it feels like pretty much everyone who comes to Buenos Aires stays here. Jessica and I had made a five-night reservation here, of which we actually stayed at the hotel for four nights (we went on a side-jaunt to Uruguay on our third night).
Throughout that time, we saw three football teams arriving at the hotel by team bus, as well as maybe a half-dozen airline crews checking in for their time on the ground. And that’s in addition to the multitude of other guests we saw in the hotel – indeed, I don’t think we managed to ride the elevator a single time without fellow guests coming and going.
My guess is that despite showing some signs of age, the hotel retains the benefit of its amazing location at the heart of Buenos Aires – located pretty much equidistant from the many attractions in this large, sprawling city – and therefore remains one of the most popular mid-to-upper range lodging options in the capital.
It’s been a long time since I stayed at a Sheraton property that truly dazzled me. More and more these days, I’m finding the brand to be synonymous with unmemorable stays with an occasional tinge of mediocrity. The Sheraton Buenos Aires delivered where it mattered the most, providing us with a comfortable, well-positioned base from which to explore the city; however, I can’t help but feel that its interiors are looking a little drab and it’s due for a round of renovations soon. Until then, I’ll probably try out a different hotel the next time I’m in town.