Home Hotel is that rare combination: the design couldn’t be cooler but the staff couldn’t be warmer, putting it in a different league from all Palermo’s other boutique hotels. Home Hotel Buenos Aires may be small and intimate but it offers some big time treats such as a Spa offering ayurvedic treatments with organic products, a Restaurant and Bar offering breakfast, lunch and evening tapas with a carefully chosen wine list, signature cocktails, and a large range of frozen vodkas. The bar overlooks the 300 sqm garden with a heated pool and deck area for sunbathing. Home is a hotel where you can escape from the city without ever having to leave it.
Home Hotel Buenos Aires is the brainchild of UK record producer Tom Rixton and Argentine PR director Patricia O’Shea. The idea came about when they got married in December 2002, as they were scouting hotels for all their friends and relatives coming from Europe for their wedding. They soon realised that there was a lack of accommodation options that would meet the aesthetic sensibilities and expectations of their guests not only in Palermo, their favourite area, but in Buenos Aires as a whole.
Having lived in Ireland for nearly 16 years, Patricia was itching to come home to Buenos Aires, so they both decided to create “Home‟. The right location was found in Palermo Hollywood, with construction starting in March 2003. Home Hotel Buenos Aires opened in December 2005. Argentine architects Rodrigo Cunill and Juana Grichener, worked closely with owners Tom and Patricia to realise their vision. The brief was to build an intimate and stylish building that must work as a hotel, in short “to think outside the box‟. Key words were airy, light, with a play on interior and exterior spaces. The result is a 20-bedroom hotel deceivingly small from the outside with interconnecting spaces leading into its lush garden. Every space uses plenty of glass to make the most of the beautiful natural light of the Buenos Aires sun. The owners had a very clear vision of the interior design using materials such as cement, wood and glass combined with clever flourishes of colour in the form of original vintage wallpaper that span over a century from original 1989 William Morris to papers from the 1970’s.
Design features include a 20 mt long recovered vintage pinotea wood wall all the way from reception to the bar and an Inca inspired 5 mt water feature piece by Argentine artist Alejandro O’Shea. The furniture consists of an effortless mix of old and new. Some pieces, such as the beds, were designed and custom-made using native watambu wood, others, such as the 50s Scandinavian chairs and sofas in the lobby were purchased in flea markets and antique stores and lovingly restored. Mid 20th century classics such as Saarinen’s tulip chairs and tables, Robin Day Polyprop chairs in the bar, and Eero Aarnio’s pastille chairs in the garden add a hint of retro.
Home Hotel has 3 standard rooms, 3 standard plus, 8 superior rooms, 4 suites and 2 lofts. They all are light and airy with huge windows overlooking either the garden, the tree-lined street or the interior zen patio. The bathrooms have large oblong polished cement sinks with custom-made amenities using bespoke natural products plus you can choose from bath or wet-room showers upon booking. Offering all the hotel treats they’ve come to expect such as fully stocked mini bar, LCD TVs, stereos in all rooms, wi-fi internet access, 24hr room service, individually controlled AC and central heating. Add the creature home-from-home comforts such as cotton sheets, top of the line mattresses, llama wool blankets, Chilean wool rugs, fluffy bathrobes and much more simple luxuries.
There are 4 suites, the Front suite, the Back suite, the Garden Suite and The Poolside Suite. They all have showers and Jacuzzi baths. Decks in all suites are ripe for a pre-dinner cocktail under the stars. In 2008 Home Hotel introduced The Pool Side Suite, a 72 sqm room that features original 1926 hand-painted French wallpaper, and original George Nelson´s desk, a Florence Knoll sofa, 2 LCD TVs and a sound system. The floors to ceiling 3x6mt windows have remote controlled curtains and black out that can be operated from the comfort of the king size bed. Its private terrace overlooks the hotel pool & lush garden, and has as its centre piece an outdoor wood burning fire place to enjoy the outdoor space even in colder evenings.
Last but not least the 2 lofts, best described as “best of both worlds, the independence of an apartment with all the services of a hotel”, “The Loft” and its latest sibling “The Other Loft” are 2 loft apartments adjacent to Home Hotel equipped with kitchen and parrillas (Argentine BBQs) with access to all the services and amenities of the hotel. Both lofts are ideal options for longer stays, and the longer the stay the less one pays.
With floor to ceiling glass walls, the Home resto-bar overlooks the lush garden. The 8 metre-long polished cement bar cuts through the glass continuing into the outside deck bar area. This is the social heart of Home, to enjoy a bright and airy breakfast, lingering over lunch or evening tapas or work your way through Home’s signature cocktail. An extensive wine list lets you sample a range of Argentina’s finest grapes. The bar also boasts the best collection of premium vodkas in the pampas, served straight out of its wall-mounted vodka freezer where they are kept at optimum -10ºC. In it was chosen as Top Ten Hotel Bars by the International Bartenders association. An accolade that put this humble bar alongside world famous giants like London´s Savoy Bar amongst others.
The Home Spa offers a range of treatments for pampering, wellbeing and a little much-deserved self-indulgence. Re-charge depleted batteries, get over the jet-lag or unwind after a long day’s work or play, the treatment menu offers a selection of massage, facial and body treatments and long soaks in the purest Patagonian seaweed. To look after travel-weary skin, Home Spa provides gorgeous facials with Osea skin care line, exclusively available at Home Hotel.
Designed by landscape artist Chunchuna Villafaňe (also an actress best known for her role in Oscar winning film La Historia Oficial), the 300 sqm garden takes the visitor by surprise. A secret space away from the city’s bustle, the hotel garden feels like an urban oasis. Its two towering native “palo borrachos‟ trees, fruit trees, native plants, and flowers make it a private green hideaway in the heart of the big city.
To one side the pool invites to refresh and cool off after a hectic day of sightseeing or before embarking in the renowned Buenos Aires night life. Poolside, where the sun shines from morning to dawn, deck chairs and sun-loungers are provided for you to work on your tan or to sip your tipple of choice and relax. Finally this boutique hotel is designed to make you feel like you are at home or at least the guest of someone with exquisite taste.
Home Hotel is in Palermo Hollywood (Buenos Aires), nicknamed after the many film, television and advertising companies which set up base here due to its cheap rents. It’s to the west of the train tracks parallel with Avenida Juan B Justo. It’s a short walk to what’s known as Palermo Viejo and Palermo Soho, where there’s a higher concentration of hip boutiques, stylish restaurants, bars and clubs, but remains slightly more authentic. Palermo Hollywood retains its neighbourhood charm combining the avant-garde, tradition with new design, commerce with culture, all blending to make it the area of choice for the capital’s cool set. The area has become the gastronomic hub in the city boasting 4 of the 9 Argentine restaurants included in S. Pellegrino´s Latin America´s Best 50 Restaurants 2015.
Hotel & Area
– Home publishes a personalized guide which each guest receives upon check in. The cute pocket book contains recommendations from restaurants to stores to hidden gems to the newest cocktail bars, all tried and tested by Home Hotel owners. A kind of insider guide to the city.
– The music at Home is hand picked by the owner from his 5000 vinyl record collection.
– A deep tissue massage at the Spa. Ask for Luis or Maria. Trust us.
– The Mercado de Las Pulgas (Flea Market). The biggest antique indoor market in the city is close to Home and you can loose yourself checking out stuff from the ridiculous, the tacky to the sublime. No, you won´t have enough room in your luggage for that unique 1950´s lamp. Just browse.
– Tegui – Argentina´s best restaurant is just 2 blocks from Home. Voted in the top ten Best Latinoamerica Restaurants (Saint Pellegrino) for 5 years running (and climbing in the rank each year), this is the one gastronomic experience you can´t miss when visiting the city.
Value for Money
Our Special Readings
Five stops well worth making in Buenos Aires
Jorge Mario Bergoglio was plucked from his post as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, transported to Vatican City and installed as Pope Francisco I, the first Pope to hail from Latin America, one of the most devout regions in the world. The appointment drew international attention to Argentina and its capital city, with people from the faithful to the non-denominational-but-curious wanting to know more about this great Pope’s hometown. The city where Bergoglio was born and raised, and where he served, is home to spectacular religious sites that are worth touring no matter your religious affiliation. Whether for an afternoon of stunning architecture or for a self-guided and spiritual tour of the Pope’s hometown, here are five stops well worth making.
The final resting place for Argentina’s elite and eminent like Eva Perón and past presidents, this urban cemetery is one of Buenos Aires’ top tourist sites, and with good reason. Mausoleums chiseled from granite and marble, each seemingly more ornate than the last, line the walkways. Within the cemetery walls are more than 6,400 tombs and mausoleums, and 70 are designated historic monuments. Though it is one of Buenos Aires’ and Argentina’s most iconic religious sights, the Catholic Church technically revoked its blessing from the cemetery when one former president ordered a suicide be interred on the grounds in 1863.
On one side of Buenos Aires’ most politically significant plaza, Plaza de Mayo, is the 19th-century Metropolitan Cathedral, recognizable for its off-white neoclassical façade. It was here in Argentina’s central Catholic house of worship that Bergoglio held Mass as Archbishop. The church has been rebuilt several times since it was first erected in the 16th century, and the present-day building represents a mix of architectural styles. Within a marble mausoleum in the cathedral, cast in the glow of an eternal flame, are the remains of Argentina’s liberator General José de San Martín.
Special City Guide: Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is the capital of Argentina, on the east coast of South America where the Río de la Plata meets the Atlantic Ocean. Its neoclassical architecture, cafe culture, and international vibe give the city a strikingly European feel, earning it the nickname of “the Paris of South America.” But Buenos Aires is also decidedly Argentine, with its tango salons, creative clothing boutiques, and culinary focus on local staples such as Pampas grass-fed beef. Whether you’re looking for designer fashion, exquisite cuisine or nightlife that doesn’t stop, this vibrant metropolis leaves little room for disappointment.
Wander the purple-blossomed Palermo parks; take in Latin American and European art in the museums lining Avenida del Libertador; and marvel at the grand marble and bronze buildings lining Avenida 9 de Julio, the world’s widest boulevard, and Avenida de Mayo, Buenos Aires’s answer to Paris’s Champs Elysées. Porteños, as the residents of Buenos Aires call themselves, love to be on display, and the city boasts countless outdoor activities, in parks, at outdoor markets, and on cafe-lined boulevards.
The beauty of Buenos Aires is evident the moment you set foot on its streets. The city’s most impressive historical sites surround Plaza de Mayo, although you will certainly experience Argentine history in other neighborhoods, such as La Boca and San Telmo. Be sure not to miss a waterside walk in Puerto Madero and the adjacent Ecological Reserve or an afternoon among the plazas and cafes of Recoleta or Palermo. Sidewalk cafes offer respite for weary feet, and there’s good public transportation to carry you from neighborhood to neighborhood.