Marriott Plaza Buenos Aires Acquired Amid Luxury Slowdown

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Luxury hotels in Buenos Aires

The Buenos Aires landmark originally opened its doors in 1909. (Photo: Julio Fernandez)

It’s one of the most historic landmarks in Argentina and has played the role of Buenos Aires host to Teddy Roosevelt, Walt Disney, Indira Gandhi, Luciano Pavarotti and Louis Armstrong among others. And now new ownership is planning to pump millions into a complete renovation of the turn-of-the-century gem between Calle Florida and the Plaza San Martin.

The Plaza Hotel first opened its doors in 1909 and has operated in recent years as the Marriott Plaza Hotel Buenos Aires. According to La Nacion’s Alfredo Sainz, the new owners, Grupo Sutton, purchased the hotel for $280 million pesos (US$54 million) after 28 months of complex negotiations with the 60 descendants of the hotel’s original founder, Ernesto Tornquist.

The Suttons are no strangers to Argentina’s luxury hotel market. They purchased the legendary Alvear Palace over thirty years ago, own 50% of the Llao Llao in Bariloche and plan to launch the US$30 million Alvear Art Hotel on Santa Fe and Suipacha next month and the Alvear Hotel & Residences in Puerto Madero in 2014.

Sutton’s New Business Director Andres Kalwill is extremely candid about the lujo status quo in Buenos Aires: “The luxury hotel segment is not having a good moment. The problems started in 2011 and 2012 was worse. Today we are suffering, because fewer foreign tourists are coming and our costs in pesos are rising faster than the revenue we are taking in at the official rate. But the tough times are the best opportunities to invest in new projects.” (Full Story in Spanish)

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