Friday, 3 August 2012 9:31 AM
Kate Walker discovers a home away from home in Buenos Aires, Argentina
This was now the third Bloody Mary being made in front of me. I’m sitting at the bar counter in the morning sunlight, scooping a mouthful of Sunday morning tortilla and poached egg into my mouth, thinking perhaps I should see what the fuss is all about.
Confessing to the barman that I have never had a Bloody Mary before, he paused in his administrations, looked at me a little horrified and said “this will need to be corrected. You are in Buenos Aires at the best boutique hotel in the city, you will have one now”.
Sliding a Bloody Mary my way, I accepted and tasted. Never having been a fan of tomato juice, I figured a couple of mouthfuls would cover it; but this was something else. Man did it taste good and Daniel (Argentina´s Best Barman 2010) grinned in victory.
Home Buenos Aires is where I am. A home away from home, located in Palermo Hollywood – the largest, greenest and most diverse borough of Buenos Aires. Home is the city’s first boutique hotel and has since been distinguished further with multiple awards – Argentina’s Best Boutique (2009), to name one. It’s not hard to see why; the property is unique in its aesthetics, design, clientele, use of outdoor/indoor spaces and cuisine (not to forget a number of signature beverages).
Home has eight standards of rooms, allowing for guests with wide ranging incomes to experience the boutique concept. All rooms are unique too, in their colour scheme and space. The deluxe category I wallowed in came with a native watambu wood custom-made bed, made up with white linen and a dusky pink llama wool throw. Hand painted vintage French wall paper gives warmth to the airy room along with multiple low lighting points. An MP3/CD player, flat screen TV, central heating and a large window looking down into Home’s garden make for an intimate but uncluttered slumbering space.
I was unaware of the quantity of vintage and one off design pieces Patricia and Tom (owners) have kitted the hotel out with. For the lifestyle hot heads out there, the vintage ‘piontea’ wood wall that runs all the way from reception through to the bar will have your creative eye open to attention. Furniture in the common areas consist of 50s Scandinavian chairs purchased from flea markets, mid 20th century Saarinen tulip chairs and tables as well as retro Eero Aarnio pastille chairs scattered throughout the winter layered garden.
One brilliant bit of service Patricia and Tom provide is a mini Home Guide. The guide is, in my opinion, mandatory for those with little time in the city and who have arrived without plans. This compact booklet offers a totally subjective list of recommendations based solely on what they and their staff like. It is not by any means conclusive; it’s an evolving list of terrific tips to help make the most of your stay. In short, Home reduces the mass of information you would otherwise probably be left to sift through at the tourist information centres or from a chunky city guide book
A handful of tango/milonga suggestions, a few Parillas (traditional Argentine grills) endorsements, hidden leather boutique recommendations and a word on hand-crafted shoe workshops can have you set for at least 48 hours.
I, however, often got diverted with the ridiculously addictive dulce de leche. Here, at Home, it comes swirled in a small pot of cold salty butter for one to spread over toast. A note to all readers – if you fall into the same toastie bad habit like me, take up running – you’ll need it.
By Kate Walker
A standard double room costs from £90. For more inforamtion visit the Hotel Home website.
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