Esplendor de Buenos Aires
Located in a Neoclassical building near the Borges Cultural Center, Esplendor has the vibe of a modern- art museum—note the floating staircase, crisp white walls, and massive portraits of Argentine icons (Che Guevara, Eva Perón) made of such unorthodox materials as cookies, bullets, and thread. The 51 rooms are done in seven different pastel colors and have Bertoia steel-mesh chairs; French doors open out onto Evita-worthy balconies. If street noise bothers you, request a room facing the unadorned but quiet inner patio. Natural light pours into the Esplendor Restaurant & Bar, where moldings and vintage mirrors have been perfectly restored.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.