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April 13, 2009

Casa Coppola

The director’s Argentine townhouse awaits.

You don’t have to be a member of the Coppola dynasty to watch the entire Godfather trilogy in the director’s bed. Unless the man himself is in town and holed up at his Buenos Aires casa, a three-story colonial townhouse known as Jardin Escondido that’s served as his personal refuge for the past two years.

Located in Palermo Soho, the same artsy neighborhood where literary giant Jorge Luis Borges once lived and MTV Latin America just set up shop, the house is rentable by the floor or in its entirety. Friends like Willem Dafoe and his wife have already enjoyed its many comforts: a solar-heated pool, lush gardens and a wood-burning parilla. The small staff also includes an on-call sommelier schooled in high-end Argentine wines, as well as those from Coppola’s own Rubicon Estate in Napa.

At night, visitors can pick a classic film from the Academy Award–winning cineaste’s personal movie library before adjourning to their rooms, which are decorated with South American textiles, portraits of gauchos and French and Italian antiques interspersed with local finds.

Just make sure all doors are locked first. Street crime has risen in the Argentine capital and, unlike the part-time hotelier’s Blancaneaux Resorts in Belize and Guatemala, Jardin Escondido is not hard to find. In 2007, burglars broke into the not-so “Hidden Garden” and stole family photos and a laptop with the script for Coppola’s upcoming Italo-Argentine immigration tale Tetro, which was filmed in Buenos Aires and is released in the U.S. on June 11.

But don’t cry for him: The filmmaker, who had copies of the script, was recently back in town for the movie’s premiere at the Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente. And although he hasn’t picked up much Spanish during his many stays, he has, he says, taken to such local customs as sipping the herbal infusion yerba mate, which at least makes him look like a born-and-bred Porteño.

read more: 02. Sleep | boutique | 10. Culture | film


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