Price From $139
'Hood San Telmo, a densely packed historic neighborhood. Antique shops, church spires, and tango shows compete for your attention. Sotheby's "For Sale" signs in front of many buildings signal the area's gentrification.
First Impression Architecturally at odds with the well-preserved neighborhood, Axel Hotel is modern and angular. It's a self-proclaimed "heterofriendly" luxury hotel chain for gay travelers. The top-floor swimming pool has a glass bottom that gives an eyeful to people five stories below in the lobby. If you're not a fitness buff, you'll wish you were.
Rooms Most of the 48 rooms fall into two categories: "City" rooms provide views of the skyline (or of a parking lot, if you're unlucky) and "superior" rooms offer a view of Axel's second pool, which is surrounded by terraced sundecks in the style of an amphitheatre. All rooms are nearly soundproof. Clever wood sliding doors alternately conceal and reveal features in the compact rooms, blocking out, by turns, the sun or the closet, the bathtub or the minibar. A hydro-massage bathtub or shower is in each superior room, and a standard shower is in each city room. Interior glass walls leave a bather on display.
Plus The top-floor pool is indoors and well heated for winter, with a sleek, expansive gym and spa nearby.
Minus Axel's affordability vanishes during the summer high season.
Free Wi-Fi? Yes, in all rooms and public areas.
Credit Cards Accepted AmEx, MC, Visa.
Details Doubles from $139, spiking in the summer.