We got great enjoyment out of our balconies, especially the one beside the beds. During the afternoons, after returning from a day's walking, we would open the room up and just enjoy watching the hustle and bustle of the city below. It was also nice to have our own little Jacaranda tree waving in the breezes. This view from the wrought-iron balcony shows the adjoining room's access as well as the view down the one-way Av. Callao toward Plaza del Congreso, which is located only 3 blocks away.
Unique Quality: In the evenings, the temperature was so mild that we could lay in bed with the doors open as we sipped fine Argentinian wine, talking and staring up at the old skyline across the street and into the sky above. Sometimes there were showers or flashes of lightning in the summer clouds. All the time, the busy street sounds of cars, busses and trucks let us know that we were in the middle of a large and vibrant city.
Fortunately, the outer wooden shutters, followed by the glass doors and then the heavy double-drapes, combined with the ceiling fan drowned out the street noise when we actually wanted to sleep!
During the recent renovations to the hotel, they must have severely re-arranged our room. In addition to the usual square bedroom area with it's balcony exit, there was a long narrow hallway running past a second window and ending at a floor-to-ceiling closet. To the left off the hallway was a modern and clean bathroom with shower/tub, sink, flush and bidet. To the right off the hall, was another set of tall doors that opened onto a second concrete balcony (the tall rounded door in the previous Tip).
Unique Quality: The strange thing was, the two balconies were not connected to each other. I could stand on the concrete one talking across the gap to Sue on the wrought-iron railing balcony. Even stranger was the fact that the wrought-iron balcony continued onward to someone else's room, so you could walk into it if their door happened to be open!
There is no air conditioning, but the large ceiling fan in the very high room did a great job, and you need something moving the air around in the 30+ Celcius (90 F) summer temperatures!
It had been a busy Christmas season, with guests at our home, and I had not yet managed to finalize any arrangements for our 4-night stay in Buenos Aires. Finally, on Jan. 8th, little more than two weeks before our departure, I took the advice of the Lonely Planet guide and called the Nuevo Callao Hotel as a possible mid-range choice in the downtown area. No luck with their receptionist (his English was about as good as my Spanish) so I instead sent them an email requesting availability and price. They were fast, responding the same day saying that a double room was available for US$32 including breakfast and taxes! Bingo, the deal was sealed with my credit card details - I was not expecting to be in downtown Buenos Aires for that price!
Unique Quality: Located in an older building, but recently renovated, this 45-room hotel was what we were looking for. Something with a bit of local flair to it, instead of some world-wide chain with the latest in furniture! The staff were very friendly and helpful and the room suited our needs perfectly. It turned out to be a room overlooking Av. Callao, one floor up from street level. In the photo, it has the tall single door with the rounded top, in the shaded area to the left, beside a small Jacaranda tree.
A bright breakfast nook was located half a floor up from their lobby, with two small windows looking out onto the busy Av. Callao below. They usually had a single person running the breakfast show, preparing and delivering your order of toast and coffee/pastries to go with fresh orange juice. On our final morning, I was astounded to find out, while talking to three of the other guests, that they were from my home province of New Brunswick, Canada. A closer focus soon revealed that the man of the family and I had met with each other on business-related matters only a few months before! What a small world.
We spent our first 3 nights in Argentina here, as well as our final night before flying out for home. When we left for the airport on our final day in Argentina, the manager arranged for a private taxi to deliver us to the International Airport outside the city.
Directions: Only 3 blocks from the Plaza Congreso and 1 block from busy Av. Corrientes, the Callao is nicely situated for exploring downtown Buenos Aires by foot or taxi.
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Address: Av Callao 292, Buenos Aires, 1022, Argentina