Discussion in 'The South of the USA FAQ' started by trilingual, Apr 30, 2003.
Please post info about Buenos Aires hotels, apartments, albergues (hotels-by-the-hour) here.
The gay-friendliest hotel in the Paris of South America is undoubtedly the new Howard Johnson's, which advertises heavily in all of the local gay publications. There are several HoJo's in Argentina, including one in Mar del Plata, the biggest summer beach resort in the country, which has arrangements with the private gay beach club! The Plaza Florida property in Buenos Aires was originally to be a Marriott. It's very nicely done, has an unbeatable location on Calle Florida near Plaza San Martín, and provides all services, including a "book" of escorts available discreetly at the front desk!
You can make hotel reservations at the HoJos directly by e-mailing email@example.com. with a copy to Roberto at firstname.lastname@example.org In the subject line, put "ATENCION: Daniel Porce" and in the message provide the details of your arrival, the kind of room you want for how many nights, etc. Specify that you want a room at the Plaza Florida hotel, because there are several other HoJos in Buenos Aires which are less conveniently located. The Plaza Florida property is the one you want. IMPORTANT: To get the best rate, in your message say that Roberto from M4M told you to e-mail directly and that he informs you that the rate should be AR$170 pesos (approximately US$60/night). Of course, when Roberto is back in town, you can just work with him.
BTW, if you're going to stay at the HoJo Plaza Florida, it's located only two blocks from the airport bus terminus on Plaza San Martín. Upon arrival at Ezeiza Int'l Airport, just buy a bus ticket from the Manuel Tienda Leon booth in the lobby right after you exit customs and immigration. They take credit cards. If you're traveling light and/or your luggage has wheels, you can easily walk to the hotel when your arrive at the downtown terminus. Just ask for directions, and remember that access to the hotel lobby is via the elevator/escalators inside the entrance to the Galeria del Este (a couple of doors to your right as you enter Calle Florida, which is a pedestrian street).
HoJo's also greets gay guests with a handy welcome pack including maps, guides and discount entry coupons to all the leading gay venues. You will NOT be bored in the Paris of the Pampas!
Travelers looking for a more upscale experience (although the HoJo is very nice, IMHO) should check out the Sofitel, in a recycled 1920s high rise on Calle Arroyo. The street itself is charming, with lots of art galleries and smart cafes, and the Sofitel is in the Ritz Carlton/Four Seasons class. Prices are more reasonable (at least for now, while it's in its inaugural period). Go to Sofitel's website or search other services for Internet deals. Rooms have been available for about US$140 in the kind of hotel that would be three times that much in New York or London. Even if you don't stay there, have a look and maybe a drink or coffee in the library/lounge in the entrance, and get a taste of civilized living in the Southern Hemisphere! (Of course, you can always treat yourself to afternoon tea at the Alvear Palace, too, for a grand experience involving mirrors and gilt and chandeliers, plus good-looking waiters!)
I stayed at the Etoile recently. This is a 14 storey building on President Ortiz literally overlooking the park, cemetery and church at Recoleta. It is a beautiful spot, with green parkland immediately outside the front door of the hotel (the road is closed apart from a small access road for taxis) and with restaurants in all directions within about 2 minutes walk of the hotel. La Biela outdoor cafe is 3 doors down to the right as you leave the hotel.
The Etoile is, I guess, a cross between a conventional hotel and a suites hotel. The rooms are all much bigger than your average hotel room. I stayed in what was called a "Diplomatic Suite", which at 92 sq metres is probably the size of a very comfortable Manhattan apartment. It has separate living, dining and bedrooms, and a bathroom big enough to hold a party in, complete with jacuzzi that could comfortably accommodate 6 people (I didn't try it out...). It also has a gym and rooftop swimming pool.
The rack rate on the internet is a bit pricey, but most local agents can get you much cheaper rates. I paid about USD100 a night for a Diplomatic Suite, including huge full buffet breakfast for two. The prices go down proportionately for less lavish accommodation.
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