Where to Stay in Buenos Aires? Bunny Explores Three Options: Funky, Delicious and Calm
Visiting Buenos Aires
Bunny recently visited Buenos Aires for the first time. She did not know the city at all and spent a lot of time researching different hotel options for her stay.
In fact, she had three separate short stays in Buenos Aires during her 6-week Argentinian tour. Bunny being Bunny, she decided to try three different hotels, in three different neighbourhoods, to get a proper taste of the Latin metropolis.
Buenos Aires has 18 distinctive barrios (neighborhoods) that can offer very different experiences for travellers. Your hotel choice can have a big impact on your holiday experience, Bunny says. It is best to consider in advance which neighbourhood you would most enjoy as they all have separate identities, characteristics and transport connections.
Bunny’s selection of neighbourhoods included the funky Palermo Soho, the lively Palermo Hollywood and the distinguished Retiro.
On a return visit, she would be willing to consider the elegant and historical Recoleta. Bunny also loved San Telmo with its cobbled streets and low-rise colonial buildings.
The Funky Option - The Clubhouse
The Bunnies arrived in Buenos Aires around lunch time after a long overnight flight. It was raining heavily and the whole city looked like a grey mess. It was quite a long taxi ride from the Ezeiza international airport (use the taxi booths located just outside the exit to avoid scams) to the Clubhouse in Palermo Soho. So, Bunny’s first impressions of Buenos Aires were not the most favourable.
The Clubhouse is a converted four-story residence building which looks unassuming from the outside, but boasts a very funky dark interior. It is an urban Members Club that offers a lounge, a terrace, an infinity pool, a lovely garden and two bars for use by its members. There are regular events and parties. In addition, the Clubhouse serves as a funky boutique hotel with four rooms.
Bunny had reserved the Master Room on the second floor (there is no lift) which was massive - bigger than her apartment at home. It included a very roomy bedroom with a separate seating area, a private terrace with sun beds (shame about the rain), a big dressing room and a gorgeous bathroom, with a lovely freestanding bath tub and a double rainfall shower. There were lovely wooden floors, and everything was impeccably clean. Even the minibar was reasonably priced. Bunny was sold immediately.
Shortly after arrival, the Bunnies grabbed a quick lunch in the downstairs open-air lounge area. They had papas bravas and avocado sandwiches, which were excellent. The service was friendly and the view to the beautiful pool area was also excellent.
Had the weather cooperated during her visit, Bunny would have loved to laze by the pool with a cocktail in hand. Alas, it was pouring down with rain during most of her stay…
After lunch, the Bunnies had a long indulgent nap to combat jet lag. The bed was very comfortable, and the Bunnies felt much better after some sleep.
The Clubhouse enjoys an excellent location, just steps away from lovely bars and restaurants. It was now dinner time and Bunny was eager to sample the neighborhood’s offerings.
Palermo Soho is a charming area that has retained its small-neighborhood feel, with cobblestone streets, shaded sidewalks, boutique shops and buzzing nightlife.
There is definitely a young vibe in Palermo Soho, but middle-aged Bunny didn’t feel too much out of place. She enjoyed an al fresco dinner in one of the outdoor restaurants, adjacent to a lively square, and took in the atmosphere of her first night in Buenos Aires.
Back at the Clubhouse, a full party was getting under way - it was Friday night after all. The party was really, really loud. Bear this is mind if you are considering The Clubhouse but are sensitive to noise, Bunny says. Despite the clamorous merrymaking mob downstairs, Bunny enjoyed a nice bath before bed and then slept, despite the noise, quite soundly through the night. It was a different story for Mr. Bunny, but never mind him.
The Bunnies had an early flight the next morning, so they missed the regularly scheduled breakfast at The Clubhouse. Instead, the friendly staff prepared some tea and toast for the travellers. After that, it was a short taxi ride to the domestic airport, Aeroparque Jorge Newbery. With that, the Bunnies were done with their first stay in Buenos Aires and on their way to Patagonia.
What Bunny Loved about The Clubhouse:
The Delicious Option - Fierro
For Bunny’s second sojourn in Buenos Aires, she chose Fierro in Palermo Hollywood. At the time of her booking, Fierro was TripAdvisor’s best ranking hotel in Buenos Aires. Bunny had high expectations.
Bunny’s taxi ride from the domestic airport to Fierro was quite short and the check-in at the hotel was a breeze. The staff was friendly and provided some excellent advice on what to do and see in Buenos Aires. Mr. Bunny suspected that the advice was specifically tailored to each traveller as the Bunnies (who showed up in their hiking gear straight from Patagonia) received a lot of recommendations for walking routes around Buenos Aires.
Bunny’s first impressions of Fierro were duly positive. The hotel was stylish, the staff very friendly and the clientele seemed to include everyone from businessmen to drag queens.
Bunny had reserved a Superior Suite, which is the cheapest of the three room types Fierro offers. The room was spacious, functional and simple but chic with a black and red colour scheme that Bunny appreciated. It was a street-facing room with a small balcony but, perhaps surprisingly, it was not noisy at all.
The king-size bed was lovely and there was still plenty of space to spare with a sitting room area and lots of wardrobe space. Nice extras in the room included a wine cooler, Nespresso machine and complimentary daily water. Mr. Bunny noted the absence of slippers, although bathrobes were provided. As usual, Mr. Bunny also had some trouble with the safe but that was quickly fixed by the friendly staff.
The only thing that bugged Bunny was that the lack of shower gel. Bunny hates that. She does not use soap in the shower - she was not born in the fifties after all. All hotels should update themselves to the 21st century and stock up with proper shower gel, Bunny says.
Fierro has a roof terrace, with a small pool, sauna and some sun beds. There is also an honour bar which was a nice touch. The rooftop was a lovely space to laze on a sunny afternoon, even in the relatively cool temperatures in April when Bunny visited. It helps that the plunge pool is heated.
The Bunnies thoroughly enjoyed their little break on the rooftop. They even indulged in some room service and ordered mojitos. The only downside was when a family with two noisy kids joined and started splashing around in the pool. Luckily, the parents were responsible (for once) and left the rooftop rather quickly, leaving the Bunnies as the only patrons of the place. Bunny loved going between the sauna and the pool, sipping her mojito and enjoying the views over Buenos Aires.
Dinner at UCO
For dinner on their first night at Fierro, the Bunnies ventured outside and ended up at nearby Aldo’s where they enjoyed a superb al fresco tapas dinner in candle light.
On the second night, the Bunnies decided to try Uco, Fierro’s highly acclaimed restaurant. It was another al fresco dinner in candle light, this time on the quiet patio. There were not many vegetarian options on the menu, but the chef kindly obliged the Bunnies and tailor-made two delicious veggie risottos. Mr. Bunny grumbled about the cost but doesn’t he always? At least the Patagonian Merlot was free, thanks to the wine-tasting coupon the Bunnies had received from the reception staff at check-in.
Do try to dress up a bit because as the night goes on the restaurant does fill, Bunnies aside, with beautiful people in equally beautiful attire. Luckily, the Bunnies had packed a little more than just hiking clothes.
Fierro’s location in Palermo Hollywood seemed fine on paper but in practice, it was a long walk to the sights Bunny wanted to visit. And she was keen on walking, so she didn’t even check the public transportation options.
During their stay at Fierro, the Bunnies walked to the Recoleta Cemetery (to say hi to Evita) and El Ateneo bookstore in the gorgeous old Grand Splendid Theater. While the distances were doable for an avid walker, the neighbourhoods themselves were not the most interesting. Perhaps Bunny should have just ubered it like any sane bunny would have.
One of the highlights at Fierro for Bunny was the breakfast served at Uco. It was one of the best she had in Argentina! There was fresh orange juice, a vegetable juice shot, organic homemade yogurt, delicious bread, an assortment of sweets, and a choice of a hot dish with tasty omelettes, pancakes and full Irish breakfast on offer. In addition, the specialty coffees were excellent and readily available for no extra fee. It was one of the best, if not the best, breakfast she had during her six-week stay in Argentina.
What Bunny Loved about Fierro:
The Calm Option - Casa Calma
Bunny arrived at Casa Calma early in the morning, way ahead of the 3pm check-in time. Understandably, her room was not yet available. The Bunnies decided to have breakfast at the hotel (for extra cost) and then ventured outside for a walk whilst waiting for their room to be ready.
True to its name, Casa Calma reflects peace and tranquility, with clean, crisp and light interiors. The lobby area has an inviting white and green colour scheme, with some bicycles available for use by guests. The hotel takes its environmental credentials seriously and uses, for example, double-glazed windows and greens plants as filters for thermal balance.
Casa Calma has an excellent location in Retiro, in the heart of Buenos Aires. The hotel sits on a quiet street which is just steps from Florida street - the most important pedestrian street in Buenos Aires. The famous Obelisk is also just a short walk away.
A longer walk takes you to Puerto Madero, a refurbished old port area that has become quite trendy recently. Buquebús terminal, with frequent ferries to Uruguay, is also located in that area. If you are considering a day trip to Uruguay during your stay in Buenos Aires, Casa Calma is ideally located for that.
During her three-night stay at Casa Calma, Bunny also walked all the way to San Telmo and back to browse the famous Sunday antiques market and check out Casa Rosada on the way. Another prime spot very close to the hotel was the fancy shopping centre Galerias Pacifico, where Bunny had ventured to grab a quick vegetarian lunch and exchange money when her pesos ran out.
Casa Calma has only 18 rooms in total, two per floor, so it is a true boutique hotel. It offers two types of rooms: Superior rooms and Deluxe rooms. Deluxe rooms are a bit bigger and have a jacuzzi.
Bunny’s Deluxe room was ready at 3pm. The quality of the room was a very nice surprise as Bunny had expected the accommodation to be more modest.
The room was light and spacious, with a big jacuzzi, and even a small sauna (even though the Bunnies never figured out how to use it). The shower was luxurious and large, and Bunny loved the open-air bathroom concept, although she realises it is not to everyone’s liking.
The bed was very comfortable and there was lots of wardrobe space, a minibar (unfortunately the prices were quite expensive), a good-sized TV and even a small balcony. Slippers and bathrobes were offered on request, and promptly delivered once requested.
The Wi-Fi in the room worked very well - it was one of the best connections Bunny encountered in Argentina.
Casa Calma had very friendly and knowledgeable staff. Bunny was grateful for all the great tips and advice they provided, including information sheets about recommended restaurants and tango shows in Buenos Aires. The staff also helped Bunny organise her day trip to Uruguay and printed a number of documents (free of charge) she needed for her onward journey.
Bunny was also pleased to be reunited with her beloved scarf, which she had left in Hosteria Senderos in Patagonia earlier on the trip. With excellent service from both hotels, it was mailed to her from Patagonia to Buenos Aires. Two thumbs up from Bunny!
Another thing Bunny appreciated at Casa Calma was the reasonably-priced and fast laundry service which she ended up using a lot.
Breakfast was included in Bunny’s room rate at Casa Calma. It was served in a small area downstairs (too cramped if you ask Mr. Bunny), with cold and hot dishes on offer. All in all, it was adequate, but not really to Bunny’s liking. She was not impressed by the quality of breakfasts in Argentina in general so Casa Calma was no exception.
Peace and Tranquility
All in all, Casa Calma provided a calm, relaxing and quiet environment for Bunny’s last three days in Argentina. She was happy with her surroundings and slept like a baby in the quiet room.
Bunny experienced only one hiccup during her stay at Casa Calma: housekeeping. Although the room was impeccably clean, the housekeeping service was a bit hit and miss. On her first day, no cleaning was provided as the staff thought Bunny had left a do-not-disturb sign on her door. In fact, it was the opposite, please-clean-my-room sign! On her second day, no new towels were brought to replace her discarded ones. But these were minor squabbles and all in all Bunny was very happy with her stay at Casa Calma.
What Bunny Loved about Casa Calma:
Buenos Aires is one of those cities you just have to visit one day. Bunny was lucky to stay in three separate hotels during her stays there.
All of her stays were different in nature, but great. You’ll be pleased with your stay at any of these three hotels, The Clubhouse, Fierro or Casa Calma, Bunny says with some authority. But let your particular choice be guided by Bunny’s observations above.