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“Surprisingly good!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Ilum Experience Home

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Ilum Experience Home
Ranked #7 of 452 Hotels in Buenos Aires
Certificate of Excellence
Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil
Level Contributor
18 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Surprisingly good!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 13, 2013

Ilum is a new Hotel in Palermo, a fashion neighborhood in Buenos Aires. All the staff are excellent and always ready to help in everything you need, including call for taxi, booking shows and more, without charge you extra money. Apartaments are excellent, new and very confortable. There is a bathtub and little panoramic lift. The breakfast is amazing and you can order eggs as option. Subway is just 15 min by walk and there is a lot of squares and parks to enjoy the city. If you like, and I suggest, rent a bike and go away all the day.

Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank ElielFaber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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268 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    203
    56
    5
    4
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (23)
Date | Rating
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English first
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
40 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 6, 2013

First of all is important to understand that so called boutique hotels in Argentina are not of the standard of boutique hotels in other locations. Most are basically bigger versions of overpriced bed and breakfasts, usually you can get a 5 star big chain hotel in BA for less.

The good (this is why it gets all the nice reviews): Location in Palermo Hollywood - plenty of bars and restaurants within walking distance. They have jacuzzi at the rooftop which overlooks other roofs. The cleaning staff were very friendly and helpful. Rooms are of decent size, plenty of Argentinian tv channels (not many international). Compared to the other "boutique" hotels the breakfast here is quite good, with plenty of options and made to order items (we ordered them in advance over the phone as they do take a long while to toast a sandwich).

The bad: Even though we had traveled for 37 hours to get to BA the receptionist did not let us check in early (10:30 am) unless we paid something crazy like US $70 extra so we went to a cafe meanwhile. The internet was slow and was out of order for over a full day. The worst thing was that when we reported it time after time they kept arguing it worked for them and our devices (4 different ones) were the problem. Only a few hours later after they insisted we borrow a laptop from them did they accept there was actually a problem in "our room" so they changed us to another room (inferior) only to find out afterwards that it the internet did not work in that floor either. Over half a day lost in this and when you are traveling for business that is serious... Finally talked to the manager who called a technician. Afterwards the reception manager said the technician will be coming now, which was a lie. Being fluent in spanish I did understand form the manager's conversation that the technician was not available that day. Decided to to work elsewhere for the rest of the day and by late night the internet was still not working. They did give us a 10% discount but when you're on business that does not really matter. We paid in cash in Pesos (not their preferred choice logically) and the reception manager was giving us the wrong change (exchange rate) and insisting he wasn't until we asked him for a calculator pen and paper and wrote it for him. The in room "jacuzzi" bathtubs were dodgy to operate as was the lift, the AC didn't cool as much as we needed. Knowing how bad service can be in BA we only booked this hotel for the first 3 nights even though we were staying for 2 weeks. We did not extend our stay at Ilum naturally and moved to a much better option, the Hotel Glu (review to follow).

The really ugly: This hotel asked us in advance to send all the details of the credit card by email, not in a secure form. We were uneasy about it but considering it had better reviews than most we wanted to stay there so we did. When we arrived the receptionist asked us again to fill in our credit card details in a piece of paper. We left the 3 digit security code blank and immediately he asked for it. We said we had already sent it by email and in any case to take a credit card authorisation with the machine. He insisted he needed it so reluctantly we wrote it down. A few days after checking out of this hotel we realised fraud had been done on the same credit card for almost US $1000 of online purchases. Maybe a coincidence... but it's the only place where we had to give the 3 digit security number considering this card works with a pin and nobody else had access to all the details on it (including billing address). All this has been reported to credit card company and police.

The other ugly incident was that the first day we arrived we asked that same receptionist if he knew companies that took tourists to see Boca Juniors. He said he did and fixed us up with one who. We talked to the other tourists who were collected at different hotels and we found out we were the only ones paying US $20 extra. When we came back to the hotel the tour guide said he had to drop something for that receptionist at the hotel and we saw it was an envelope. It was obvious he had made US $20 off us. We asked this same receptionist to get us a taxi on the first day. He called one who quoted a price of 90 pesos. Having been in BA many times before and fluent in spanish we knew the maximum price was 60 but we accepted anyway. When the driver came to the hotel the price was now 120 the receptionist informed us! At that point we did protest and did not take the taxi or asked the hotel for any other extra services.

Needless to say this hotel left us with a really bad impression of the people in BA. We were hesitant to write this review and did not want to do it until the credit card company sorted the fraud, but we feel it is necessary for people to beware about hotels and staff that ask for all your details in non secure forms and for the hotel owners to realise what their employees are up to. The emails are all seen by the staff so no point in trying to get through to the owners through email.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank MyworldMimundo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hermosa Beach, California
Level Contributor
24 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 28, 2013

A small, intimate hotel in a walkable area of Palermo Hollywood. Shops and restaurants all within walking distance, including Palermo Soho attractions. The hotel, and the surrounding area, is currently undergoing some renovation, especially in the garden side, but I didn't find any of this bothersome. The hotel staff were very friendly and bilingual. Free wifi too.

Room Tip: Garden view is quieter.
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank AshAnderson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
24 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 7, 2013

This is a small 16 room hotel in the Hollywood Palermo district of Buenos Aires. I had the best sleep of the year in this hotel. The beds and sheets are A+. The breakfast is fabulous. A mixture of local pastries, fresh fruits, yogurt and cereal, coffee, juice, and eggs and lattes made to order! Thank you Carolina! We held a wine reception for our daughter's friends in the back Zen garden and the Hotel was so obliging. They are many nearby restaurants to choose from. You can dine well for $10-15 dollars here.

We stayed four nights in the room with the balcony and loved being able to go outside in our private space. We were there in April. We used the spa on the top floor under the stars. We stayed one night after coming back from Iguazu Falls in a room without a balcony and it was the same size and comfort, just without the balcony.

There is some construction next door that starts around 8:30 am. We were up anyway, or slept through it so it did not bother us. Taxi and bus service is plentiful. Just walk to the corner for a cab, or two blocks for the bus 111 that takes you down town for fifty cents.

Thanks to Robson for his welcoming smile and english language skills. We felt right at home, yet somewhere exotic too.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Huskym
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 13, 2013

We spent four fantastic days in this very pleasant boutique hotel. The location in Palermo is excellent and the hotel has a very relaxing atmosphere.

The service was impeccable and very friendly. Thanks to Gustavo and Carolina that made our week in Argentina a true pleasure.

We will come back.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank SweCro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level Contributor
20 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 27, 2013

We stayed at Ilum during Christmas Holidays and were very nicely surprised with everything: location (many great cafés and restaurants around), beautiful modern design of the hotel and great staff. We did not notice anything that we did not like. The hotel was very clean, breakfast was amazing and the staff was so helpful in everything - explaining what to see in Buenos Aires as well as helping to arrange the taxi to the airport. We even got some holiday treats and they advised us on where to have dinner on the Christmas Eve as most of the restaurants were closed. In addition to everything, the hotel has a small rooftop with hot-tub, where you can take a break in the evening. You only need to call the reception and reserve it few hours in advance.
We loved it and would definitely be back!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank OK_NY2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
145 reviews
90 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 153 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 3, 2013

We spent two nights at Ilum at the end of a trip to Patagonia. It's a very chic, comfortable small hotel with gorgeous interiors (with an Asian touch). The rooms are huge with comfortable beds, great showers with plenty of hot water, robes, etc. The breakfasts (included in the price) are impressive - pretty much anything you could want: cereals, fresh fruit, yogurt, about 15 different kinds of croissants, breads, cookies and pastries; eggs made to order.
Ilum is located in Palermo Hollywood, the slightly less commercial part of Palmero. We personally preferred this to the louder and more crowded Palermo Soho (which is an easy ~5-10 min walk away). And there are plenty of great little cafes and restaurants in Palermo Hollywood - in fact, one of the best new restaurants in the city, Tegui, is located just a few blocks from llum (expensive but worth it).

Finally, the staff were absolutely fantastic and spoke terrific English. I would recommend Ilum and would stay here again.

A few minor downsides:
- We opted for garden rooms which were supposedly quieter but the ongoing construction (starting at 7am each weekday morning with jackhammers, power saws) was disturbing even with earplugs.
- The cute rooftop deck with the hot tubs is kept locked; you need to reserve it in advance with the front desk.
- They advertise a "wine bar" on their website but this doesn't exist. The "bar" is the breakfast area and it's not really open the rest of the day like Hotel Home's is. They are happy to make you a cocktail or serve you a beer but it's not really a lounge at all (and they don't have wine). That said, it's not a big deal since there are plenty of other great little cafes nearby (for wine, try the little French bistro on Nicaragua around the 5944 address - it used to be called Lobby Wine Bar and they have about 30 selections by the glass). We also really liked a bakery called Darma at Arevalo and Nicaragua for excellent empanadas, sweets and other lunch items to go.
- Another reviewer noted the high price of the taxi to the airport if arranged through Ilum. We had the same problem but weren't able to hail one on the street so we had to go with their service which was $258 ARS (including tolls; especially high b/c we had paid $220ARS (including tolls) from EZE to Ilum). The other reviewer paid $150 ARS by hailing one on the street. There are also other services with better rates (under $200) but you need to book a day in advance.

Room Tip: With ongoing construction behind the hotel, request a terrace room if you're looking for a quiet...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank aml888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ilum Experience Home

Property: Ilum Experience Home
Address: Bonpland 1762, Buenos Aires C1414CMV, Argentina
Phone Number:
Location: Argentina > Capital Federal District > Buenos Aires > Palermo
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 452 Hotels in Buenos Aires
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Ilum Experience Home 4*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The importance of a first step is that it would mark the way we are heading. That's why choosing Ilum is understanding that our reality doesn't nourish itself from our yesterday or our tomorrow, today is forever today, it is here and now where I choose to be. Ilum is a place with no pressures, a place where we found that the most important thing is to allow ourselves to enjoy of the best, what we receive in life is a consequence of what we give, that is why in Ilum experience home what we give is our priority. ... more   less 
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