Buenos Aires’ best accommodation

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Never mind New York, New Orleans and the likes of London and Las Vegas. Buenos Aires is the real city that never sleeps. Portenos typically venture out for dinner around 10pm, before moving onto a bar at midnight and winding up on the dance floor circa 3am (call it a night before 5am and you’re an amateur). All of which means that if you want to make like a Porteno (as BA residents are affectionately known) you probably won’t be getting much shut eye during your spell in the Paris of the South… Nonetheless you’ll need somewhere to crash – if only for a few hours – in between boliche (club) hopping and breakfast (desayuno). Our man in BA has some suggestions for all budgets and barrio (neighbourhood) preferences…

Glamour meets grit in the Microcentre – the heart of Buenos Aires and home to blockbuster sights such as Plaza de Mayo and La Casa Rosada. Downtown Buenos Aires is also where you’ll find Corrientes Avenue, aka the theatre district that’s dotted with Mom and Pop pizza and pasta places (a legacy of the city’s Italian diaspora).

Best for flash packers:133 Libertad
Most people will tell you to stay in a hotel in Palermo but personalIy I’d advise avoiding the pre packaged path and checking into Airbnb abode, where you’ll get character and local charm rather than inflated prices. There are lasting memories to be gained from staying at 133 Libertad – a gorgeous courtyard apartment that will have you checking house prices before you leave. Many of the rooms boast patios and all are tastefully furnished – proof sophistication is possible on a shoestring budget. The atmosphere is instantly relaxing and the hosts, Matias and Cande – a friendly and unfeasibly good looking young Porteno couple – will go out of their way to make sure you fall under the spell of their city. The  central location can’t be bettered either, enabling you to hastily tick of the sights and then lose yourself in the street life.

To the north of Downtown lies Palermo – a little corner of perfectly manicured paradise where men carry tiny dogs and immaculately turned out women sweep from chi chi boutiques to buzzy bars and restaurants. It’s a little bit of a bubble – Palermo houses BA’s expat and middle class contingents – but it’s a pleasant one and, where much of the city’s legendary nightlife takes  place.

Best for digital nomads: The Clubhouse
Looking for somewhere to work? You’re in luck: co-working in Argentina is on the rise but, as remote offices go, The Clubhouse stands head and shoulders above the competition. By day this Palermo Soho destination for all things cool serves as a much needed work sanctuary for the creative industries, in a metropolis plagued by poor WiFi. By night it’s a lively scene straight out of a magazine: model-esque staff serve top notch cocktails around the prettiest of pools, while other ‘after work’ events include art exhibits, tastings, talks by opinion leaders, theme parties, fashion shows and private dinners. The Clubhouse also features four distinctive rooms (like the guests, no two rooms are the same) for those who are keen to make their ‘commute’ to the ‘office’ as short and sweet as possible.

Best for trendsetters: Hotel Classico
Hotel Classico – the second project from Argentine born, Los Angeles based restaurateur and television personality, Adolfo Suaya – is without a doubt the hottest address in town, something its occupancy rates bear testimony to. The property has been fully booked since opening its doors in the buzzing barrio of Palermo Hollywood (BA’s hippest neighbourhood) last July. Each floor – accessed by a leather adorned lift – has been decked out in a different colour (I’ve got a soft spot for the scarlet hue, pictured below) and boasts a mix of King and Queen sized rooms. Regardless, guests can look forward to luxurious leather headboards, marble bed frames, walk-in rainfall showers, organic toiletries, chandeliers and classic images of the Paris of the South. The rooms positively ooze Argentine charm – so much so it would be easy to stay put. However when hunger pangs kick in, venture to MOOI – a chic ground floor restaurant whose menu focuses  on seasonal ingredients. Further draws include a seventh floor sun-deck and mezzanine level bar, with a basement cabaret club due to open next year. Someone has done their homework here and it shows: gold star.


Rougher around the edges, is the barrio of San Telmo whose ramshackle streets have long been a favourite with Buenos Aires’ artists owing to their (historically) low rents. The Sunday market on Calle Defensa is legendary and rightly so: there’s enough arts and antiques on sale, to decimate your baggage allowance.

Best for a boutique experience: Mariposita
Situated on Calvos Calvo – only a couple of blocks from the famous Calle Defensa – Mariposita is a gem of a find. On arrival, expect to be warmly welcomed by the lovely Lotte who will lead you up the Carrara marble stairs to your accommodation. There are five rooms to choose from, all of which represent a different region of Argentina. Beyond the bedrooms, there’s a gorgeous garden patio and pool in which to unwind and relax and guests also have the opportunity to immerse themselves in tango at the hotel’s onsite school. Excellent value beginners classes are currently offered at 7pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays and 1pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Even if you’ve got two left feet, do give tango a try: BA is the capital of this sexy yet melancholy strut and, as the old adage goes, when in Rome…

Best for Bosteros: Hotel Boca

Working class La Boca is home to the country’s favourite football team: take a bow Boca Juniors, whose supporters are known as Bosteros. If you aren’t able to see Maradona’s former side in action (tickets are like gold dust), you could always sleep in a yellow and blue Maradona suite at Hotel Boca – aka the world’s first football themed hotel that’s located in the neighbouring barrio of San Telmo. The hotel boasts two restaurants and a spa fit for a football star. Hotel Boca offers several packages which include tickets to a Boca football – an experience that’s not to be missed. But don’t drop the ball (sorry!) too much when in La Boca. For while this scruffy neighbourhood is loaded with charm and colourful corrugated metal buildings (the ones that you see on the cover of every guidebook), it also has a reputation for crime. Don’t believe me? Google ‘daylight robbery in La Boca.’

The antithesis of San Telmo and La Boca is Recoleta – an upmarket neighbourhood that’s often compared to New York’s Upper East Side. Recoleta is also home to Buenos Aires’ number one tourist attraction: take a bow Recoleta Cemetery. This city of the dead is where Argentina’s most famous daughter – one Eva Duarte de Peron – was buried…

Best for luxury lovers: Four Season Hotel
Recoleta is also home to the fabulous Four Seasons Buenos Aires whose recent refurb has only upped the decadence quota. Stars ranging from Sex and the City’s Kim Cattrall to U2 and Madonna have used it as a BA bolt hole. Even if you can’t afford to stay here (you’d need to boast the budget of a polo player), do drop in for lunch at Nuestro Secreto (a gorgeous rooftop restaurant serving Buenos Aires most stylish asado (bbq), dinner at Elena, a stylish place to throw your throw yourself into a feast of local cuisine, or a drink at the always lively The Pony Lounge. And don’t miss chance to try the Porteno tango massage at Cielo Spa. Your therapist will knead your body from head to toe using a variety of techniques – including hot stones – to the beat of tango music!

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