Faena Forever

The Faeana Hotel & Universe.


Warning: it’s going to be hard not to sound fawning, but it’s such a phenomenal universe that we’ve had a hard time tearing ourselves away from the mirrored pool bar, the gentleman’s club-style “library bar” and the Versailles-meets-modernity red and white resto.

For all the arrogance supposed to be exuded by “portenos” (residents of Buenos Aires), the staff could not be nicer. The pool-side service has tended be a bit laid-back-Latino-whenever-wherever but the waitrons are so divine, it’s hard to get hit up about it. They’ve got things so right that as the temperature starts dropping from afternoon to evening, the pool temperature begins to rise slowly, slowly… Mmmmm.

And my personal fave: Dear Guests: Naturally Cocktails May Be Consumed In The Pool. Naturally. (They’re served in plastic cups that look exactly like the real glass deal, for when the co-ords are a teensy bit shaky). On the downside, guests may be accompanied by their offspring. Having said that, this does not seem to be the general trend so being roused from your margarita-induced slumber by a chorus of “Marco Polos” is fairly rare. Not counting kiddies, the average age is exactly what you’d want it to be if you were between 20 and 45 and single. This dawned on me on my first evening in the pool when I overhead a conversation between two Californian playboys:

“Yeah, if ya stay at the Four Seasons, everyone there is like, OLD, man.”

Looking around, I realised he was so right. Maybe for this was one of the reasons why we bumped into an SA acquaintance and his two, single, thirty-something mates at the pool on our first night. The guy was so tanned I didn’t recognise him at first. “Argentinian women are so incredibly beautiful,” he was saying. (Can’t argue with you on that one, Bru.) “But I think the Argentine men are greasy”.

Er, ja. Keep telling yourself that, mate.

Pinky & the Brain

Our South American adventure started out even before our 5am alarm this morning. That was when I realised that I had not married my husband for his prowess in the kitchen, but rather for his mathematical genius (to give our unborn children a chance in life, and all). For some reason (ask me not what), I was utterly convinced that we were leaving Cape Town at 10am this morning, travelling for 9 hours to Buenos Aires (which is 5 hours BEHIND SA) and then landing in Buenos Aires at 2pm THE NEXT DAY – i.e. 24 December.

Thank God someone in our team has a functioning brain. At 4:30am this morning, hubby woke up with a start, declaring that the little travel itinerary I’d verbally relayed to him did not make logical sense. I mulled it over, frowned, drew a time-line, got our my calculator. No indeed it did not.


With no job, reports, no deadlines, basically NO responsibilities, except to book a frigging holiday – I still manage to c*ck it up.

Muy bien, Natalie.

The upshot of all this is that we had nowhere to stay on our first night – peak season in Buenos Aires. Fortunately, Father Christmas must have decided that I’ve been a good girl this year because when I got through to Santiago on the night shift, he said: “No problem, no problem. We see you later.” (Gotta love the laidback Latinos). Crisis (and divorce), averted. Who needs higher grade Maths, anyway?