Sparse text throughout the guidebook is one complaint of mine, but I guess the "design-conscious traveller" doesn't need it. Of the 104 pages, 23 are dedicated to hotels. That's 22%, folks. A huge chunk of the book is dead weight after you've selected where to spend the night. One of the most horrific things I noticed was that in all the photos (which is the majority of this book's content) there are no people. Barely anyone. Buenos Aires is empty. Regardless if it's a hotel, a restaurant, a landmark building, a soccer stadium, whatever... no people. How the heck did they manage that? It seems surreal.
I laughed out loud when they suggested that you could see the best of BA in just one day. That must further separate me from the "design-conscious traveller." I don't mind. The only historical part of the visit was a trip to Recoleta Cemetery. I can't reproduce their entire text here cuz I'm sure they'd send copyright infringement lawyers after me, but they claim that the entrance is marked by two tall neoclassical columns. Really? Looks like a big gate with 4 columns to me.
The majority of their sightseeing-shopping-dining suggestions are in Palermo. Ew. But I can overlook that. What I can't overlook are the architectural choices: a museum that isn't open yet, 2 buildings by one architect (a crime when there are only 7 buildings recommended total), & the Calatrava bridge in Puerto Madero. Those selections aren't what people find enchanting BsAs architecture. I know what I'm talking about.
In the sports section, they mention the Huracán soccer stadium. I love it & was surprised that they listed it since sending a "design-conscious traveller" to that part of town would probably put them into shock. In the same section, the metrosexual-catering Markus Day Spa (is that a sport?) received a 3 page spread. In a book of 104 pages. I've heard from multiple sources that it isn't all that, but I don't have any personal experience with them. Still, I'm shocked at the amount of coverage.
Let's move to the maps in the back. Typos & misplaced neighborhoods abound. Parque Patricios does not border the Riachuelo, & Barracas has nothing to do with Avenida Entre Ríos. Congreso is not next to San Telmo. Microcentro is not San Nicolás, & Tribunales is not a neighborhood by anyone's measure. Avenida Sánez should be Saénz. What is a "Porte de Buenos Aires?" I think they meant "Puerto." They list something as "Parque del Cementerio" when it's actually Parque Centenario... two very different things.
The enlarged map of Recoleta is just as incorrect. Parque Carlos Thais should be Thays. Pasadas should be Posadas. Ríobamba is missing from the map. There is no such street as Jose Andres. The Palacio Estrouga should be the EstrougaMOU. There are other errors, but you get the point.
Why would anyone buy this?? If I submitted work this sloppy, I'd be fired (I'm a guidebook writer/researcher). This guidebook presents an oddly skewed vision of Buenos Aires that isn't the city I've lived in for almost 7 years. But someone has to be the worst... I just never expected it to be Phaidon.