Trip Coach: November 7, 2006
Writer Ian Mount answered your questions about Buenos Aires
Ian Mount: Hi there, thanks for joining me. This is Ian Mount, and I'm ready to answer your questions about Buenos Aires and day trips outside the city. Hope I can be of some help!
Reno, NV: Would you be kind enough to recommend several moderately priced hotels in Buenos Aires? The last time I was there (May 2005) I had a wonderful time, but my hotel was less than comfortable. I had a similar problem on my previous trip to Argentina. There must be clean, well located hotels available. Where are they?
Ian Mount: It's depends what you mean by "moderately priced", but one option I'd point you toward is a 'boutique hotel'. In the last three years, there's been a boom in really lovely small hotels in Buenos Aires, usually renovated old homes, where rooms go for between $80 and $120. They're somewhere between a B&B and a regular hotel (some have restaurants and spas, some just serve breakfast). The trendiest (and most high design) of them is the 18-room Home Hotel in Palermo Hollywood, where rooms start at $115. In San Telmo, there's The Cocker, where rooms start at $85 (always, check on my prices) and in Palermo Soho there's 1555 Malabia House with rooms from $105 and Bobo where rooms start at $100. There's a ton more: I did a post on my own blog about the boom in these places (http://www.goodairs.com/2006/06/its-raining-boutique-hotels.html) and Budget Travel also had a story about them. A note on prices: often (usually) the prices don't include taxes, which run 21%.
Pheonix, AZ: Can you recommend three clean small hotels or B&Bs in Buenos Aires offering a convenient location, close to subway (subte) station, and rates less than 50 US dollars (or 150 Argentine pesos) per night, including any taxes? It's helpful if the selected lodgings have email addresses to facilitate direct communications for reservations. Thanks!
Ian Mount: I'm going to dodge your question a little, as a) I really don't know the budget hotel scene in B.A. too well and b) there's a better way to find accommodations in that price range. There are thousands (literally) of apartments you can rent short-term, for anywhere from one day to six months, and with prices at some $200/week (or less), if you're staying more than 3 days it's actually cheaper to rent an apartment and gives the added bonuses of offering you a kitchen and making you feel a bit like a resident. I've used ByT Argentina to book a place for my mom and that worked out well, and I know the head/owner of Whats Up Buenos Aires who's a trustworthy guy. There are tons of these services, many of which are probably honest and pleasant, but those are the two I know best.
Cedarhurst, NY: This Feb, we will be in BA for 4 full days. We have already arranged a 1 day excursion to the Pampas and a 1/2 day city bus tour. Any suggestions for the other 2 days? And can you also provide some recommendations for restaurants? Thank you
Ian Mount: Like I mentioned in the article, I find estancia life and the gaucho culture totally fascinating, so I'd think about a trip to San Antonio de Areco and one night at Estancia El Ombu or La Bamba. If you feel that's been covered by your Las Pampas tour, you could take the Tren de la Costa up to Tigre, a delta city where the rivers are the roads and the front stoops are docks, and take a boat tour, eat lunch, etc. Lovely little town.
Also, restaurants. There are so many that it's hard to pick what to recommend. For steak, I especially like La Dorita and La Cabrera (both in Palermo). Carlitos, across from the Boca Juniors soccer stadium, is one of those classic places where the owners comes out, says "Pasta or meat?" and then brings you tasty food until you're done. And Sottovoce, on Avenida Libertador in Recoleta, has the city's best Italian food (at least for me).