Why you should stay in San Telmo, Buenos Aires
San Telmo is and probably always will be the heart of Buenos Aires. The oldest neighbourhood of the city dates back to the 17th century and saw its heydays during the 19th century with its booming construction of lavish mansions. Later, abandoned by the rich, the barrio became a welcoming hotspot of the European immigrants. Today, filled with rich history, cobblestoned streets, crumbling houses with beautiful detailed facades, San Telmo has developed a bohemian vibe. Filled with artists, street art, hip cafés and boutique hotels, San Telmo is must-do in the city. This vibrant and eclectic barrio will be your perfect place to stay for your visit in Buenos Aires.
Things to do in San Telmo
The most popular activity in San Telmo is the Sunday Feria. Every sunday calle Defensa and Plaza Dorrego become pedestrian and are transformed into a huge open air market filled with antique stalls, impromptu tango hotspots, street performers, artisans and souvenir shops.
Due to its historical importance, the barrio is home of numerous museums. Whether you are a modern art lover, Museum of Modern Art (MAMBA), a fashionista, Clothing Museum (Museo Nacional del Traje) or more into odd museums like the Puppet Museum (Museo Argentino del Titere) or the peniterary. El Zanjon de Granados are mysterious ruins hallways and tunnels that date back to the 1500’s. San Telmo has something for every type of culture and history lovers.
Mercado de San Telmo
We all love a good farmer’s market with its fresh products and foodie stalls. Not only the Mercado de San Telmo has these elements, but it is located under a beautiful building with glass dome and arches. The market has been declared a National Monument due to its historic significance.
Comic Strip Walk
This is the circuit to do for the comic strip aficionados and for the Mafalda lovers. The walk takes you through Monserrat, San Telmo and Puerto Madero neighbourhoods along with the most famous Argentine graphic humour transformed into sculptures and graffiti The most popular stop is the sculpture of Mafalda which is located in the heart of San Telmo, at the corner of Defensa and Chile.
Bars and restaurants
San Telmo is filled with bars and restaurants that will be perfect to either kickstart your day or to end your night. Argentina has been surfing the craft beer wave for a while now and has an extraordinary selection of artisanal beers. We stopped at the 1989 bar for a good craft beer and at Lo del Frances for one of the best beef empanadas we had in all our trip!
San Telmo’s vicinity
San Telmo is closely located to other interesting barrios. To the south, you will find La Boca with its ever famous colourful buildings in Caminito. To the east, there is Puerto Madero which is arguably the most modern part of the town with Puente de la Mujer and the ecological reserve on the water. The posh Recoleta is not very far away either.
Buenos Aires in general has a good public transportation network with many buses and the subte (the metro system) so it will be easy to go in and out from San Telmo.
Stay at the L’Adresse Hotel
After browsing around many hotels, I set eyes on the L’adresse Hotel . This charming boutique hotel is tastefully decorated and offers the perfect mix between France and Argentina, modern and vintage. Here is why I loved it.
Architecture and history
The historical charm of San Telmo and Buenos Aires combined into a hotel. The building of the hotel was built in 1889 by a wealthy family but like many others of that time, fled Buenos Aires due to the yellow fever epidemic. Since then, the hotel has been transformed into apartments, hotel and even a conventillo. These changes are visible through the detailed architecture of the exterior of this bygone-era.
You will often hear that Buenos Aires is the Paris of South America, well this charming hotel is owned by a French couple and the European flair is very present giving a unique ambiance to the hotel. L’adresse is relatively new as it opened its doors in 2016, and will for sure capture you.
The architectural style of the building is a Casa Chorizo, which is characterized by an outdoor patio bordering the rectangular layout of the building on one of its long sides. The whole layout of the rooms borders the patio.
Having a private patio gives a great summer feeling to the hotel. I loved the decoration and that you could enjoy the summer time drinking a glass of wine or have your breakfast on the patio. Heads up, since its a Casa Chorizo, some rooms are on the back end of the hotel, meaning when raining, you will have to go through the rain.
The hotel has 13 rooms in total with 3 types of rooms, the city rooms, the superior rooms and 1 room perfectly adapted for the mobility reduced guest.
The city rooms are the smallest rooms and are located in the upper floors, 2nd and 3rd floor (be mindful that the hotel does not have an elevator so you will have to carry your suitcase or backpack through the stairs). The rooms are decorated with hip colour accents, photography and art. The hotel describes these rooms as vibrant as the porteños (inhabitants of Buenos Aires) nights.
The superior rooms are bigger and more elegant, giving homage to the wealthier times of the mansion with its wooden floors and high ceilings. Finally, the last room is like the superior rooms but completely adapted for the reduced mobility guest with mobility bars, and wider doors for example.
We stayed 4 nights in a city room, and it was simply perfect. We loved the slick design with the blue accents and the very comfortable bed. Our room had a hint of a soccer theme with a piece of art of Maradona and other hints of l’Albiceleste, the Argentinian national soccer team.
All the rooms have their private bathroom with complimentary toiletries such as shampoo, hair conditioner and soap. The room has safety boxes, TV, AC, phone and Wifi. I was also pleasantly surprised that the room had power transformers which was a relief since we had forgotten ours!
The hotel offers a delicious complimentary breakfast. Since the owners of the hotel are French, the breakfast has homemade French pastries such a madeleine and clafoutis. The orange juice is freshly squeezed every morning to ensure its freshness. The menu also features eggs, cheese, homemade yogurt, homemade jam and artisanal dulce de leche that will go perfectly with your media luna (Argentinian take on croissants). There is also a big selection of fresh fruits. The items of the breakfast change often so you will always have something new to delight.
While the hotel does not have big common parts, these are very cozy and will make you feel right at home with the warm tones of the wood and blue colour splashes. In the stylish sofas, you can play board games or read the many books and magazines at your disposition (in English, French and Spanish). Don’t forget to look up and marvel at the lamps.
You can also enjoy a nice glass of Argentinian wine or a mate tasting. Mate is a highly popular drink in Argentina, but it is hard to find in café or tea houses since everyone has their own mate all the time. I find that it is a great idea that the hotel has mate tasting, that way, you can try it and understand how to make your own. You cannot leave Argentina without trying some mate!
The staff is extremely friendly. Most of the staff is trilingual (French, Spanish and English) and will make sure to help you and make your stay in the city unforgettable. They recommended us to visit places that were not in our itinerary but that we really enjoyed such as the Usina del Arte. They will also tell you where to exchange money and will be happy to book you a tour or a tango show.
Perfectly located in one of the most vibrant neighbourhoods of Buenos Aires, l'Adresse Hotel is a stylish and cozy hotel for your stay in the city. I loved the design of the hotel and the fact that they restored an old mansion, kept the original architecture and added modern touches. I also loved the breakfast, you know that finding fresh products for breakfast can be hard sometimes.
How to book? You can book directly on the hotel site or you can use my booking widget (see below)
Price? Around $80 USD per night for the city room. The price fluctuates a little depending on the season.
What’s Included? The price of the room includes breakfast.
Practical information for Buenos Aires
IS IT DANGEROUS?
Buenos Aires is one of the safest cities in South America. However, there are some petty crimes in some areas, specially during the San Telmo feria so do take some precaution with your wallet, camera and cellphone. Also, there is a police station only a block away from the l’Adresse hotel, so don’t worry about safety there.
You can drink tap water so ditch your plastic bottle and fill your reusable bottle at the hotel.
WHEN TO GO
Argentina has 4 seasons, so it all depends of which season you prefer to travel. Do keep in mind that the summers are very hot, and the winters are chilly but not too cold.
The currency of the country is the Argentinian Peso. The sign is $ (so don’t get mixed up with USD or CAD). Due to the monetary crises that have constantly beat Argentina in the past decades, it is very hard to find pesos outside of the country since they need to stabilize their monetary reserves. I would suggest exchanging money upon arrival. You can also pay with credit card in most of the places.
In Argentina the power plugs and sockets are of type C (characterized by 2 pins) and I (characterized by 3 pins, it kind of looks like a crying smiley face). The standard voltage is 220 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.
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Disclaimer: We enjoyed our stay at the l’Adresse Hotel with a discount in exchange for visibility. A big thank you! All opinions are my own.
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