The South American Revolution
By Julia Boorstin

(FORTUNE Magazine) – FOR THE TYPICAL EXPENSE-ACCOUNT traveler in Buenos Aires, exploring the city all too often means grabbing a bite to eat in the drab financial district. But with Argentina getting back on its feet after the currency shock of 2001, a wide range of hip new hotels, bars, and restaurants are springing up that are worth exploring. Start at Philippe Starck's new 108-room FAENA HOTEL AND UNIVERSE, an industrial brick building in the old port district, vamped up to look like a movie set with velvet, unicorns, and candelabra (from $350 per night). For a more intimate option, try ART HOTEL in the Recoleta district. It's a converted 100-year old townhouse that displays the work of Argentine artists in its 35 rooms (from $65). The design-driven BO BO HOTEL AND RESTAURANT (yes, for bourgeois bohemians) in the trendy Palermo district has only seven rooms, each with a unique theme (from $97). We love the Warhol-inspired Pop Room. For cutting-edge client dinners, bypass slabs of beef in favor of nuevo Argentine fare. A high-ceilinged industrial space, SUCRE, in Belgrano, puts an innovative spin on Argentine specialities such as Patagonian lamb. The same restaurateurs run BAR URIARTE, in Palermo, which offers about four dozen wines and a full Italian-influenced menu. Not far away, DOMINGA pairs sushi with local favorites like steak and pork, spiced up with a fusion of flavors. The city's hottest spot, however, is CASA CRUZ in Palermo. Hidden behind heavy iron doors and decorated with mahogany and dark leather, it has the look of a private men's club, but its huge oval bar buzzes late into the night. Better reschedule that breakfast meeting.