Home Hotel, Indeed
Article and Photos by Sharon Salt.
Nestled in the middle of its block in Palermo Hollywood, Home Hotel is a small oasis amidst the hustle and bustle of Buenos Aires. When its owners Patricia O’Shea and Tom Rixton began drawing up plans, they wanted to create an intimate space, a place where guests would feel at home even away from home.
That they did, and with great success! Since its opening in late 2005, it has received the Reader’s Choice Award from Conde Nast Traveler Magazine and was named the Best Boutique Hotel in Argentina.
Natural light streams through just about every open space and carefully placed glass windows and doors. Coupled with a lush garden and ivy-covered terraces, you forget you’re in a city altogether. Inside the hotel, white-walled and wooden-floored simplicity blends itself perfectly with occasional splashes of ornate, vintage floral wallpaper brought in from France.
Home Hotel offers a selection of room, suites, and lofts at various prices.
I stayed in The Pool-Side Suite, a large, open room with floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall glass doors that opened out to a personal ivy-covered terrace complete with wood-burning stove, two lounge chairs, and a wooden patio set. Behind the king-sized bed was the Home Hotel’s signature French wallpaper, hand-painted in 1926.
The windows were so well-placed that I hardly had to turn on the lights during my entire stay, but when I did, they were just as beautifully done. Small garden lights illuminated the ivy on the terrace, and the large hanging lamp gave the whole room a soft glow. My favorite time of day was in the morning, though, when the light saturated the entire room and streamed over the bathroom mirror from a hidden skylight.
As I took pictures, the hotel cat, Mulata, slipped in to keep me company. Home Hotel, indeed.
The Small Things
Though the hotel is well designed and decorated, the true pleasure of your stay will be that you do, in fact, truly feel at home. Between the matchbook-style personal amenity kits and the kind of herbal gels and shampoos I’d gladly pay for, I’ve never felt more comfortable staying in a bed that was not my own.
With your stay, you’ll also receive The Home Guide, a pocket-sized booklet of valuable information. It’s updated twice a year with the sort of thoughtful and offbeat recommendations you’d expect from your closest friends. It also includes an artfully rendered map of the area and an appendix for referencing different cuts of beef, something I wish I had learned long ago!
The Home Hotel spa is an oasis within an oasis. It’s tucked at the foot of a white staircase in the middle of the hotel – which is somehow, of course, magically bathed in natural light – but it feels as far removed as the private suites.
Once inside the doors, the soft lighting and clean neutrals immediately put me at ease, and even the receptionist had a sweetly relaxing voice. There were clusters of rooms – some with massage tables, another with a rose petal bath and small white candles, and also a sauna.
I only had time for an hour-long Thai Shiatsu massage, but I wish I could have passed the whole day there in my terry-cloth robe and slippers, taking advantage of the special scrubs and facials, too! Luckily, it seems there are products for purchase at reception, so you can take some spa home with you.
In the back, next to the garden and pool, is the heart of the Home Hotel: the resto-bar. Everyone comes and goes through this space – on their way to their suites or to the pool, some taking their time to sit and read, others ordering a few tapas.
During my stay, I ordered two tapas – both of which were delicious – but the real treat lies in the signature cocktails. Two recommendations: the Satori GG, which is sake, ginger ale, crushed grapes with blond sugar and ginger, and the Red Chapel, which is malbec, balsamic reduction, red berries, and sugar. They were both so delicious, I could barely stop myself from ordering a third.
The complimentary breakfast was equally enjoyable. It included coffee, a medialuna, scrambled eggs, various fruit juices, and a basketful of bread with a tray of spreads: dulce de leche butter, an orange marmalade, and a bit of spreadable dark chocolate which I used, naturally, to make my own little pain au chocolat. Oh, and did I forget to mention there was also chocolate mousse?
No matter how long you’ve been living in Buenos Aires, I don’t think anyone ever gets entirely accustomed to the pace and stress of the city. I certainly haven’t, at least.
In the past, I’ve tried to get away from it all by going to the reserve or taking a short trip to Uruguay, but my stay at the Home Hotel was a reminder that staycations can actually be more rejuvenating – not to mention easier. I left feeling more refreshed than I have all year, and all it took was throwing a few things in my tote bag and taking a short trip across town!
Stay for a while, too, and you’ll see that the Home Hotel is exactly what its name implies and more. The perfect retreat – and/or your second home – is only a few blocks away.