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Home Hotel – Buenos Aires, Argentina

The security guard outside this discreet, bunker-like façade is the only clue that you’ve arrived somewhere a little bit special. Located just on the wrong side of the train tracks in Palermo Hollywood, the address is perfectly situated within the city’s edgy, creative, media hub yet only a ten-minute walk from posh Palermo Soho and its fantastic boutiques.

As the name suggests, the welcome is warm, friendly and the décor reminiscent of a 1950’s living room – but with a definite 21st century edge and a South American twist. The brainchild of English record producer Tom Rixon and his wife, Argentine-Irish PR Director, Patricia O’Shea, Home is, right now, the only boutique, design hotel with a garden and swimming pool in BA.

Rooms are spacious and the polished concrete flooring downstairs in the common areas runs through into bedrooms and bathrooms. This practical, utilitarian look contrasts with the greenery from the garden and terraces, as well as the Orla Kiely style floral wallpaper and brightly coloured cushioned and throws.  The all-important blackout blinds work perfectly and beds are super-comfy, especially after a long 14-hour flight from London. There are 12 standard, standard plus and superior rooms on the first and second floors, with four suites on the third (all have jacuzzis).  There is a very quiet and slightly removed garden suite at the bottom of the garden with its own private pool and roof terrace.  Two further loft apartments are accessed through a side entrance and are well suited to families or groups as each has its own patio, kitchen, roof terrace and BBQ.

Check-in is a relaxed affair – a chance for the friendly & efficient reception team to get to know their guests.  One of the first things they hand out are maps of the area and a small Home-designed and created notebook containing all their recommended dinning, drinking, dancing, shopping and sight-seeing spots in Buenos Aires.

Check-in at 2pm / check-out at 12noon.

SCENE:

  • A real mix of ages and nationalities, yet all sharing a common goal: design-conscious, independent travellers using Home Hotel as their launch pad into the very best and most fashionable scenes Buenos Aires has to offer.

FUEL:

  • Restaurant – The restaurant is constantly busy serving great bar snacks such as homemade guacamole and nachos, as well as pasta dishes, burgers and of course, there’s the ubiquitous BBQ for grilling steaks the size of plates.
  • The ‘Home Breakfast’ is included in the room rate and served every morning either in the restaurant, on the terrace or by the pool.  It’s the best hotel breakfast you’ll ever eat.  Actually, it’s probably the best breakfast ever invented, full stop.  Juices are interesting and exotic – apple and basil, mandarin and mint – and come in shot glasses.  Divine scrambled eggs are also served in a large glass with warm bread, mini croissants and pain au chocolates.  Condiments change daily with chocolate butter and orange salted butter being house favourites, along with cream cheese with chives and apple jam.  Yoghurt comes with blueberry coulis, and fruit such as sliced strawberries or bananas, is presented with a twist of lime juice topped with an exotic herb or flower and of course, there’s plenty of freshly brewed tea and coffee to finish.
  • Bar – The bar is always busy and frequented by guests and locals alike, opening onto a patio and the garden; it’s particularly pretty at night.

PLAY:

  • Swimming pool & garden – The lovely lush, tropical garden and fantastic wooden-decked swimming pool is a little slice of heaven after a hard day shopping or sight-seeing in steamy BA.
  • Spa – A range of body and facial treatments is available every day in the tranquil, relaxing spa in the basement of the hotel, that looks out onto a peaceful terrace.
  • Clubs, bars, restaurants – The Palermo Hollywood, Soho, Viejo area is teeming with every kind of bar, restaurant or club a local or visitor could need.

CONTACT DETAILS:

  • Home Hotel – Honduras 5860, Buenos Aires (t: +54 11 4778 1008 / info@homebuenosaires.com / www.homebuenosaires.com).

VISIT DATE:

  • 30 December 2009 – 5 January 2010

WEATHER:

  • Hot, sunny, clear blue skies, medium humidity, 28/30°C.  BA’s worst storm in several years took place in mid-January.

ACCESS:

  • Home Hotel can arrange a private car to meet you at the city’s international airport which is only a 25-minute drive away.  The domestic airport is closer still, while trains and catamarans for the rest of the country, continent and Uruguay all leave from central BA, just a short drive from the hotel.

TOP TIPS:

  • The #1 tip has to be to book as far in advance as possible!  Standard and standard plus rooms are perfectly fine for two people (#4 has no views but is quiet with an internal window); garden-facing rooms have pretty views and are also slightly quieter (#11) than those on the street (#1); for stays over Christmas and New Year sign up to join other hotel guests and Patricia & Tom for a delicious dinner and celebrations in the garden; get to know one of the drivers that Home uses and book for cheap, private trips around town or for airport/bus/ferry transfers.

THE FAT MOUSE VERDICT:

  • The Good – Can’t fault the design, location, price or service.  There are several boutique hotels in BA and many copycat attempts but this is the original and the best.  Did I mention the breakfast?
  • The Bad – Quite simply, there is no bad! 

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