We stayed here for 6 nights in September. Booked and paid ahead online for a discounted rate. We ordered the car service from the airport- so there was someone waiting at the airport with a our name on a sign and they took us to a car waiting outside for the ride to the hotel. This was $45 and was added to our hotel bill. The regular fare in a taxi would have been about US$35, so this wasn’t a financial savings, but it was convenient.
The location of the hotel is advertised as San Telmo, but it is in Monserrat, bordering San Telmo. It was very close to the Plaza de Mayo and Casa Rosada, just a couple of blocks away. Walking distance to San Telmo neighborhood, and to the Puerto Madero neighborhood. On Sunday, the San Telmo Street Fair vendors extend all the way past Moreno Street on Defensa, and this was a great fair to visit. Worth planning your trip around a Sunday stay. Also in the neighborhood was the shop for Juancho Futbol, the tour outfit that we used to see a Boca Juniors football match.
The hotel is in a lovely art deco style building that is about 7 stories tall. There is a small sign on the exterior, and a tiled hallway entrance- then you up upstairs to the first floor (2nd floor for Americans) to the lobby/reception area. It was a very nice reception area, a long check in desk, computer with Internet for guest usage, some fancy seating and a nice bathroom. As we arrived in the late morning, our room wasn’t ready, but they stored our bags and sent us off with a map.
Our room was #53. This was the regular size room. It was very spacious, and had a fridge & sink, plus couch, coffee table, desk, king size bed, and a sink separate from the shower/toilet room. There were hardwood floors and a fabulous teal leather cowhide rug. There were large windows that opened, and our view was just to other buildings and it was challenging to close the windows so we didn’t open them much.
Other than on Thursday night when we heard exceptionally loud and annoying music from a disco nearby for about 90 minutes, we were not bothered by exterior noise.
The bed was a bit hard for my taste, fine for the first couple of nights, but too much for 6 nights. The wood floor outside our bathroom was dark and discolored. At first I thought this was a design detail. But once I took my first shower I discovered that it was a problem from the shower- the shower floor was level with the tiled bathroom floor, with about a 2-3 inch raised wood (teak? whatever kind of wood you would put in a shower I guess) floor. The water from the shower ran through the wood slats to the drain. The problem was that the drain could not keep up with the flow of the water, and perhaps with American showering habits. We were already settled in and did not want to change rooms, so we dealt with the challenge by having shorter showers (seriously- lather up, wash hair, rinse off- GET OUT!) and by letting the shower drain for at least 30 minutes before the other person went in there. We could still tell there was some sort of water issue, as we could hear the floorboards squish a little in the sink area outside the bathroom after we showered, even if the water did not appear to go outside the room. I have no idea if this was a problem common to all of the bathrooms or to ours in particular. It was a slight nuisance, but again, not enough to want to pack up and switch rooms.
There was free wi-fi in all the rooms, and it worked great. They had several routers around the hotel, so you just had to log on to whichever one had a stronger signal for where you happened to be in the hotel.
Breakfast was included. It was served on the ground floor in the Aldo Restaurant. You just went downstairs and in the back door of the restaurant and sat down, and a server would bring you breakfast. It was the same every day- self serve coffee, tea & water, and the server brought glasses of warm orange juice, and a basket of toast & medialunas (the small sticky croissant thingys). There were spreads on the bar- butter, jam, dulce de leche and the white stuff- crema, I think? While I think this is a typical breakfast for the city, an American looking for some fruit or yogurt or something more substantial to start the day would be disappointed.
We stopped in to the Aldo Restaurant one evening for drinks and to see if we would like to have dinner there, and while they had an extensive wine list and the food looked good and interesting, we never felt entirely comfortable there, so did not have dinner there.
In the basement level of the hotel is the Tango show Evita Vive. It was in the US$90 range. We chose a more moderately priced show over at Cafe Tortoni so can’t comment on the show other than the obvious convenience of the location. But there were at least 3 other Tango Shows within just a few blocks, plus great opportunities to see some street tango on Sunday over at the Plaza in San Telmo. Remember that the Tango Shows are entirely tourist oriented, so keep that in mind while choosing- you can see shows in a variety of price ranges, with or without dinner & drinks and in locations all over the city. If you want to get into the dancing scene and dance yourselves, there are other options including lessons & Milongas (dance halls).
The top level had a lounge area and an outside patio with lounge chairs and a hot tub- no cushions yet and not yet hot tub season for the warm-blooded South Americans. It was about 70 degrees every day in September, great spring weather which we loved, but they were still mostly freezing there wearing wool & down coats and boots every day.
One challenge for the location of this hotel is that since it is so close to the Plaza de Mayo and commercial buildings, this neighborhood really closes down at night and there isn’t much going on. Some blocks and streets are very desolate looking. We never felt unsafe, but it was truly a daytime environment. Shops would roll down their gates and blocks that had looked lively during the day were grim during the evening. The proximity to the Microcentro was great, but you do need to have a specific plan during the evening- taxis, pick your restaurants out in the daytime and in general, don’t wander around too much. Some blocks were a bit more active, like over on Chile Street and in that area. We did walk around every night without incident and never felt unsafe, perhaps uncomfortable would be a more appropriate description. We walked to Palacio Espanol for dinner one night- loved the seafood menu, and the service was excellent. Also ate at the Cafe Notable Bar Sedon at the corner of Chile & Defensa, where we also liked the food, and the chain pizza store right across the street from there for empanadas one night. Would recommend all of them. Oh- and DeSnivel for Sunday lunch- go early (like noon) or prepare for a looong wait.
For our last 3 nights we switched to another neighborhood (click my profile to see the review for the Glu Hotel).
We chose to stay here for 6 nights in this neighborhood because this hotel was a great deal. It was clean, comfortable and the staff was pleasant. It was easy to find and get around to, and close to Subte stops for public transportation, and easy walking distance to many sites that we were planning to visit. It was a vibrant area in the daytime, with the exception of Saturday, which was the quietest day. The San Telmo street fair is worth a visit, and we liked the Zanjon underground tour which was nearby.
If you want the vibrant nightlife and tons of restaurants and boutiques, you are better off in the Palermo area. If you want something brand new and more business-like, go for Puerto Madero. But...if you are prepared for the abrupt switch in personality of the neighborhood from day to night and are willing to make use of the abundant and inexpensive taxis, and don’t get a room with a weird shower overflow problem, this is a fabulous deal in a very central area.
Oh and one last thing- the elevators! We joked that it was like taking a ride at DisneyWorld at the Hollywood Tower of Terror every time we got on the darn things. They were antique open cage elevators with double metal doors. They worked fine & were reasonably fast, but provided days of entertainment for us.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Moreno Hotel Buenos Aires is located in the bohemian neighborhood of San Telmo, surrounded by art galleries, antique fairs, museums, historical buildings and tango lounges. Besides, it is a few blocks away from the famous Flea Market of Dorrego Square.The Hotel stands in an Art Deco building, which was declared part of Buenos Aires City Heritage. Public areas and Hotel suites are decorated with authentic art pieces of Art Deco style. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Moreno Buenos Aires
- Buenos Aires Moreno Hotel