“Fresh-faced boutique bolthole in Palermo Soho, a few blocks from Buenos Aires’ hippest shopping streets, with a pretty terrace hideout”
No two rooms are the same, but all have a light, crisp feel, with soft white sheets and towels, freshly cut flowers and colourful accents (a retro orange lamp here, a bold modern painting there). In line with its 1920s home, Vain has well-judged retro touches throughout - an antique armchair updated with a turquoise print, say, or a mirrored coffee table with a hint of Art Deco. And, although none of the rooms are large due to the historic nature of the building, the space has been cleverly utilised.
There are 4 room categories: V, A, I and N (natch), with V being the plushest and N the cheapest. V rooms (Senior Rooms) and A rooms (Junior Rooms) have kingsize beds that can be set up as twins, and many have private outdoor space (a patio, balcony or mini terrace). Bear in mind that most N (Standard) and I (Standard Superior) rooms have windows that give onto an internal patio. For those wanting lazy starts and nights in, it could be worth paying the extra for more privacy and lounging space.
Bathrooms are white and modern (if sometimes a touch small), with neat circular sinks and cool, test-tube-shaped house toiletries, each with a pop art-inspired Vain motif. Bath addicts should request one of the Senior Rooms, which have the extraordinary bonus of a glass-enclosed whirlpool bath, meaning you can gaze up through the trees into the blue BA sky while taking a soak (fear not, they aren't overlooked).
All rooms have polished concrete floors, cable TVs, cordless phones, heating, A/C, free WiFi access, hairdryers, bathrobes, electric safes and well-stocked minibars.
There's a small but good-looking bar-restaurant area by reception with a handful of white tables, decorated with bright yellow flowers. While it’s no destination restaurant (in any case you’ll be wanting to check out the infinite dining options in the neighbourhood), prices are accessible and it's the perfect place to relax in-house with a glass of Malbec and a fancy sandwich or some tapas (think roasted vegetables with goat’s cheese, deep-fried mozzarella croquettes with a basil dip, or pitta bread and olive hummous).
Breakfast is a highlight; portions are big, service is quick and the quality is high. Start the day with a huge glass of freshly squeezed orange juice and a platter of fruit and you might just have room for the house banoffee pie by afternoon tea. (Naturally, it's slathered with dulce de leche, the ambrosial caramel-like sauce that's nothing short of a national obsession in Argentina.)
You're also perfectly placed for exploring the innumerable restaurants in Palermo, which has the city’s most fashionable and adventurous dining scene. Most of the top restaurants can be found over the railway tracks in Palermo Hollywood (hotspots include Standard, Miranda, Olsen and, for Japanese-Peruvian fusion food, Osaka). Though it's only a short walk away, it's advisable to take a cab to cross the tracks at night. For superb steaks and homely Argentine surrounds within striking distance of the hotel, make a reservation at Don Julio (Gurruchaga 2100, on the corner of Guatemala; tel: 4831 9564).
Children of all ages are welcome, and there is a lift to all floors. Baby cots and/or extra beds can be added to most rooms with advance notice, and babysitters can be booked via reception.
Cots Available, Extra Beds Available
Baby cots are available on request.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking