“Lovely tranquil Belle Epoque townhouse with a lobby art gallery on a leafy residential street in Buenos Aires' most exclusive neighbourhood”
If you have your heart set on staying in Recoleta but can’t afford the fancy hotels, A Hotel is a good alternative. Its 34 rooms offer a comfortable place to lay your head after a day of sightseeing and shopping. But - and it's a big but - while you may revel in architectural elegance, be prepared to give up some space and natural light. Many of the Small and Cosy Rooms are downright tiny (120 sq.ft. / 11 sq.m.). Eight have twin beds, some separated by barely 2 feet. Even in the mid-sized Queen Rooms, storage space is cramped - stowing 2 intercontinental-sized suitcases and daily purchases can be a challenge. Street-facing rooms get the most natural light; many rooms have faux windows or dreary views.
Because room features vary widely, the bottom line is to decide what's important to you (space? natural light? bathtub? balcony?) and specifically request it. Our advice for the optimal experience is to 'splurge' on one of the King Rooms, with kingsize four-poster canopied beds and larger bathrooms; some also have balconies overlooking the quiet street.
That said, romantic touches - draped fabric, swirled wrought-iron headboards, dimmers - and modern conveniences - make even a small room a welcome retreat at the end of a busy day: a little cable TV, something from the minibar, then off to sleep in a comfortable bed. All rooms have individually-controlled heating and air-conditioning, plus safe boxes and internet access.
Each room showcases original drawings, paintings and sculptures against a canvas of muted tan, warm cinnamon and ivory. Bathrooms are stocked with bath products and vanity kits containing Q-tips, powder puffs, nail files, shower caps, combs and tissues. If you don't see a hairdryer, call the front desk. Some bathrooms have showers only. Ours had a tub and a shower, but was barely big enough to turn around in.
Some of the Queen Rooms connect with adjoining Small and Cosy Rooms to make 'apartments' for families and small groups.
Each morning a generous breakfast buffet is set out. It's a typical Argentine spread, it includes a choice of juices, cold cereals, yoghurts, fresh fruit, sliced ham and cheese, and boiled quail eggs. You also get breads and pastries, including croissants (medialunas), served with spreadable cheeses, jams and thick caramel dulce de leche.
If the breakfast room's brick ceiling and track lighting starts to feel too cave-like, take your coffee or tea into the art gallery. Its vaulted glass ceiling makes it seem like an indoor patio. Linger over the current exhibit (arranged by a local private gallery), relax with a copy of the Buenos Aires Herald, check your email or browse through art books.
While there's no room service, your minibar is well stocked - choose from soft drinks, bottled water, fruit juice, sweets, snacks, beers and spirits, including aged whisky.
Staff are ready to recommend restaurants within walking distance or a short cab ride away, ranging from typical Argentine parillas to sushi bars.
Children are welcome, although this isn't the ideal place for them - small spaces, concrete floors, marble stairs and ledges overlooking the lobby make this hotel inappropriate for small children. Cots are available on request in the King Rooms only. Apartments can be created for families by combining a Queen Room and Small and a Cosy Twin on each floor if required.
Baby cots are available on request.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking