Everything about the Hotel Gran Hispano is geared to comfort and convenience. It's right on the Avenida de Mayo and just a few doors away from the delightful Cafe Tortoni, which in spite (or because) of its landmark status is a great place just to hang out, with reasonable food prices and an extensive menu. The hotel is central to just about everything and is right at the Piedras subte stop as well.
Unique Quality: Besides being attractive, comfortable, and functional, the Gran Hispano has a nice "family" feel, and the prices are remarkable -- $25 a night for a single room with private bathroom, television, air-conditioning, free continental breakfast, (and mini-bar if you want it). If you pay in cash, they offer at 10% discount, which makes the cost $22.50, including all taxes! I don't know how a hotel can be so good and so inexpensive. The family-run place also offers lots of resources for travelers and visitors.
Directions: Avenida de Mayo, halfway between the Casa Rosada and the 9 de Julio, at Piedras subte.
May 2007: The accomodation was very clean and nice, especially for the price; however the air conditioning did not work.
Hotel owner, Sebastian, the youngest partner, spoke English and was happy to help (although he gave me walking directions, 2 miles one way, to a theatre that did not exist.)
Upon departure, I arrived at the door with luggage in hand. Sebastian said it was much safer to leave my luggage in the lobby under his watch while securing a taxi. I figured he knew BA better than I and left them under his care. I was outside for 4 minutes, flagged a taxi and returned to the lobby to discover MY BACKPACK MISSING!
The notes I'd gathered while volunteering in other countries, camera, binoculars, gifts purchased for my sons and fiance, clothing and receipts I had saved were gone...over $800. Of course, by then, I had missed my bus going south, another $60 down the drain, as Andesmar, a large, well-known luxury bus fleet, would not refund my money.
Sebastian encouraged me to file a police report, which I did. The police said the hotel was responsible and that they would get a report from the hotel on Monday. They never followed through.
Sebastian gave me 2 nights stay ($45 per night) and a $12 bottle of red wine in compensation, told me he would refund the nights I had paid for and would allow me to stay when I returned from touring Argentina.
The next morning, after speaking with the senior owners, he told me the hotel was not responsible for the theft and that he did not intend to follow through with promises made. Quoting a senior partner, "If I told you to jump from a bridge, would you do it?" I believe this was intended to refer to my apparent "stupidity" in trusting his advice and leaving my baggage in the hotel under his watch.
I, of course, have lost all documentation for the college I work for. Pictures, reports and gifts were the hardest to let go of.
How unfortunate the hotel will not own up to their responsibility in this matter. Others should be made aware of this.
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Address: Ave de Mayo 861, Buenos Aires, Capital Federal District, 1084, Argentina