4 Cool Boutique Hotels in San Telmo

2 Jul

Yesterday I went on some site visits in San Telmo to see four boutique hotels. For those who don’t know what a boutique hotel is, it’s basically a small establishment that generally has more luxurious facilities and services, catering to minimal clients. This allows service to be much more personal and effective. The four hotels that we visited were Hotel Babel, Mansion Vitraux, Telmho Hotel Boutique, and Sagardi Loft Ostería.

The company that I work for deals with many boutique hotels, but I don’t get to see them all firsthand, so it’s really exciting and worthwhile when I do actually get to visit these places. It makes my job much easier, to say the least. Here’s what I thought about the hotels.

Hotel Babel

To start, I’m just going to say that it seems like almost every street in San Telmo is cobblestoned, so I’m only going to use that adjective once here, but apply it for all of the following hotels.

Peering in off the cobblestone street (one and done) you would get the impression that you’re looking into an art gallery or hipster café where you need to know Italian to order a cup of joe. But that’s more of a bad call which is overturned once you walk in. A well lit lounge/bar boasts chairs, couches and reading material on both the left and right, with a stairwell and glass wall splitting the uprights leading to rooms upstairs. The bar in the left corner offers a welcome drink as music is played, and you are able to connect to the Wi-Fi to catch up on emails. Once a month this hotel actually hosts wine tastings and art exhibitions as well, with art being continuously rotated.

Its cozy atmosphere almost makes it seem like a hostel, but the luxurious rooms say anything but starving backpackers. Not exactly in the “heart” of San Telmo (though it’s such a small neighborhood that it really means nothing), you might just get some rest and quiet here. With an inner courtyard to sun in, you can find many reasons to be happy.

Potential Age Group: Younger, trendier

Mansion Vitraux

Not to be outdone, around the corner Mansion Vitraux has an ultra-modern lounge with tear drop lighting leading to each of its 12 distinct rooms and basement wine bar where breakfast is held and wine tastings take place whenever the guests want. The hotel also features a Dutch Spa with color changing lights which dim the hue of water, a small gym with a flat screen TV, and a rooftop deck with a Jacuzzi and small pool. From above you get a nice view of San Telmo’s rooftops, which may or may not inspire you depending on the weather. Another one of those classic San Telmo mansions that has had a twisted history, this building is now up there as one of the nicest in this part of town.

Potential Age Group: Younger to middle aged

Telmho Hotel Boutique

For some reason, I got the feeling that I was in a Stanley Kubrick futuristic movie at this spot. A traditional “chorizo” (sausage) house of San Telmo, Telmho Hotel Boutique is very narrow but long, with high ceilings to make up for the limited width. The best part of this hotel is the one room which sits directly over Plaza Dorrego, where the famous San Telmo Sunday market is held. The balcony juts into the street and boasts some prime real estate come the weekend, though I have to imagine that it gets loud too.

Tighter spaces would make it tough for older or handicapped guests to get up and down the steps to the loft bedroom, but a younger couple might find it pretty cool. With an excellent location and a nice rooftop deck that gives a total panoramic view of the neighborhood, it has pros and cons worth figuring out through your own experimentation.

Potential Age Group: Younger, trendier

Sagardi Loft Ostería

Just around the corner from Plaza Dorrego is Sagardi Loft Ostería, which is actually joined with a Basque cuisine restaurant downstairs, considered the best one in Buenos Aires. First I’ll start on the restaurant. The second I walked in I was taken back to my days in Sevilla and the tapas bars, and my heart longed for a small beer and some traditional Spanish food. Even though Basque cuisine is quite distinct, pintxos (pronounced peen-chohs) are similar to tapas but served over bread. The open space in the bar allows you to lean back and see the pintxos offered and pick what looks good. Currently, the rate is $8 ARG per pintxo, but keep your eye out because inflation is in full effect and prices change often.

Up the steps to the side of the restaurant and you enter the hotel, with its large suite with balcony to the street and interior rooms spreading off of the nicely adorned open courtyard. Again, this hotel features loft rooms, with couches on the bottom floor and the beds above. These rooms have small kitchens for making coffee and maintain portions of the old brick wall, keeping in touch with the roots. The rooftop pool and grass nook is the real gem, giving the sense of backyard splendor in the middle of the city. Literally across from the Belén Church, it seems like you could reach out and touch it. In the spring and summer, this has got to be an amazing spot to lounge.

Potential Age Group: Younger to middle aged

So there you have it, four great options for lodging at boutique hotels in San Telmo. There are many more as well, but I just haven’t seen them yet. I still find myself impressed with how far hotels have come and how so many little details are taken care of by these small establishments. These are the kinds of things that can really make the difference between an OK stay and the place you will tell your friends, “You have to stay here.” If you ever do stay in these hotels, let me know what you think.


2 Responses to “4 Cool Boutique Hotels in San Telmo”

  1. hotelswelove April 12, 2011 at 11:31 am #

    Hey, I like the looks of some of those B.A hotels! (One of our all-time favourite cities.) Nice blog theme, btw. 😉

    • Jon April 13, 2011 at 8:11 am #

      Thanks for commenting! As for the blog theme, I’ve had it for almost a year and am starting to consider a change. Shopping around is tough, though.

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