Posts tagged palermo

Gay Friendly BA Sohotel, Palermo, Buenos Aires

BA Sohotel Entrance

By Roy Heale
Palermo with its cobbled streets, historic architecture, parks, the Zoo and the Botanical gardens, the largest exhibition center in the country, its racetrack, the polo field, and the Galileo planetarium, is one of the city’s most historic neighborhoods and well represents the Buenos Aires of yesterday and today.
Considered to be a funky, bohemian neighbourhood, Palermo is popular with residents and tourists alike due its festive atmosphere. It is the largest barrio, or neighborhood, of the city. The name of the district is derived from the still-existing Franciscan abbey of Saint Benedict of Palermo. The massive Palermo Woods also features beautiful lakes, a rose garden (Rosedal), a Japanese garden, and even a Hippodrome. Today Palermo is renowned for this massive parkland where outdoor fun activities and joggers abound.

Rooftop Sun Deck and Pools

Although appearing as one big area on the official map, Palermo can be subdivided into six distinctly different sectors. Today, this is one of the most popular residential communities of Buenos Aires and the new BA Sohotel is located in this barrio.
Built in 2012, gay-friendly BA Sohotel is a distinct addition to the city’s roster of boutique hotels. This is a smoke free premise and offers a first floor sun deck, spa tub, and a seasonal outdoor pool. This designer hotel features business amenities including a business center, a meeting/conference room, and a technology helpdesk. Dining options at this business-friendly hotel include the Rietti restaurant, a coffee shop/café, and a bar/lounge. The Rietti restaurant serves a wide range of excellent meals, daily specials, and a delicious hot and cold buffet breakfast in the morning. For lamb connoisseurs their Medallion de Pierna de Cordero (lamb roast) with a Malbec wine sauce and potato millefeuille is a must.
The multi-lingual LGBT welcoming staff can provide tour/ticket assistance, event catering, and business services.

Rietti Restaurant Buffet Breakfast

Guests can choose from thirty-three rooms, all of which exude an atmosphere of total peace and harmony. Rooms have city or pool views. The air-conditioned guestrooms at BA Sohotel include private en-suite spa tubs and laptop-compatible safes. Beds have signature bedding and down blankets. Guests can use the in-room complimentary wireless high-speed Internet access. Cable channels are available on the 32-inch LCD televisions. All accommodations provide desks, safes, and direct-dial phones. Bathrooms offer shower/tub combinations with jetted bathtubs and rainfall showerheads. Bathrooms also include bathrobes,slippers, bidets, and hair dryers. Additional amenities include windows that open. In addition, amenities available on request include in-room massages, irons/ironing boards, and extra towels/bedding. Turn down service is offered nightly and housekeeping is available daily.
Facilities:

Designer Bathrooms

24 hour room service
Air conditioning
Child/family friendly
Jacuzzi
Lift/elevator
Meeting/conference facilities
Outdoor pool
Wheelchair access
Wireless internet
Large Safety Deposit Box for Laptop and valuables
Restaurant

Corner Suite

Room Options:
A Deluxe Room offers one king bed or two queen beds with, balcony/terrace, bathrobe (bata), bathroom amenities, cable/satellite TV, disabled facilities, en-suite private bathroom, hairdryer, heating, free internet access, jacuzzi/whirlpool/spa bath, laundry service, non-smoking rooms, room service, safe in room and telephone. All the rooms are very spacious and have a balcony with a beautiful city view. They have a work desk, TV LCD 32in, fully equipped minibar, safety box for laptop, full amenities, robes and slippers.
The Premium King offers one king bed with balcony/terrace, bathrobe (bata), bathroom amenities, cable/ satellite TV, disabled facilities, en-suite private bathroom, hairdryer, heating, free internet access, jacuzzi/whirlpool/spa bath, laundry service, non-smoking rooms, room service, safe in room and telephone. All Premium King rooms are very spacious and have a balcony with a beautiful city view, with table and deck chairs. They have a work desk, TV LCD 32in, fully equipped minibar, heated/cold air conditioned, safety box for laptop, full amenities, robes and slippers.

Premium King

A Corner Suite offers two queen beds with balcony/terrace, bathrobe (bata), bathroom amenities, cable/ satellite TV, disabled facilities, en-suite private bathroom, hairdryer, heating, free internet access, jacuzzi/whirlpool/spa bath, laundry service, non-smoking rooms, room service, safe in room and telephone. Corner Suite rooms are very spacious and have balcony with a beautiful city view. They have a work desk, TV LCD 32in, fully equipped minibar, heated/cold air conditioned, safety box for laptop, full amenities, robes and slippers.
BA Sohotel is conveniently located in the eclectic neighborhood of Palermo Soho, just 300 mts away from the Subway and Exhibition center La Rural and 500 mts from Plaza Serrano. With a modern, elegant and warm design, you can enjoy a pleasant stay in a great loaction. All the rooms and lobby have original paintings by recognized Argentine artists.
Enjoy unparalleled services and a truly prestigious address at the BA Sohotel, Palermo, Buenos Aires.

Lobby

For More Information:

Evita Treasures in Palermo Museum

Museo Evita

 

By Roy Heale

Nobody knows for sure at what point Maria Eva Duarte de Perón became known as Evita and similarly when she became a gay icon. But everybody knows that Evita became a legend in Argentina’s social politics and world renowned during her short thirty-three year life span (1919-1952). Immortalized by the 1978 Andrew Lloyd Weber musical Evita and later by the Hollywood movie of the same name starring Madonna, Eva Perón’s life story is mythical. In the city of Buenos Aires there are many monuments and highlights reflecting her life’s achievements and the Evita Museum shares her momentos with visitors.

If it were possible, Evita probably was watching over her beloved Casa Rosada the night in July 2010 when the Same-Sex Marriage Act was signed into law by a female president of Argentina—Cristina Fernández de Kirchner—reflecting upon her earlier contributions to this momentous occasion.

Museum Entrance

This is a true rags-to-riches story of how a young fifteen year old girl from a small rural village in Argentina heads to the big city of Buenos Aires in 1934 where she creates for herself a life of political power and influence which changes her country forever. The young Eva Duarte was a stage, radio, and film actress before meeting her future husband Colonel Juan Peron in 1944. The couple fell madly in love, married in 1945 and Juan Peron became president of Argentina in 1946. As the First Lady of Argentina she ran the Ministries of Labour and Health, championed woman’s liberation, created her own Foundation, fought for the poor, defended equal rights for all, and founded the Female Peronist Party. The Argentine Congress gave her the official title of “Spiritual Leader of the Nation” and she received a “Head of State” funeral despite the fact that she never held such a position. Without a doubt she earned her legendary status and left a remarkable legacy for all to admire and respect.

With such a colourful history to explore the Evita Museum offers a fascinating look at her life. From her involvement with the CGT (Argentina’s main labour union), to her outstanding speeches at the May’s Square Balcony of the Casa Rosada, her Mausoleum at the Recoleta Cemetery, and the National Library which was her one-time residence, this city is full of fascinating tidbits and representations of her life.

The Evita Museum in Palermo is housed in an early 1900s Italian Renaissance style mansion. This edifice was once a shelter for women and children with no resources, opened in 1948 by the Eva Peron Foundation. Today this magnificent building is home to the largest and most important collection of Evita memorabilia, one of her cars, historic black and white news film clips, her personal furniture, a bottle of her perfume, personal effects, clothes, and more. The Evita Museum opened on July 26th 2002 on the fiftieth anniversary of Evita’s death.

Evita's Dresses

The historic edifice is located on a quiet tree-lined residential avenue at 2988 Lafinur Street in Palermo close to the Botanical Gardens. It forms part of the cultural tourist trail of the City of Buenos Aires (together with the Decorative Art Museum, the National Fine Arts Museum, the Palais de Glace and the Latin American Art Museum). It is open Tuesdays to Sundays (and holidays) from 11 AM. to 7 PM and last admission is about half an hour before closing.

The walls of this building once echoed with the strong voice of Evita and the joyful voices of the women and children who found refuge in it. Now it houses the Museo Evita, a living museum where people can come to know, understand and appreciate the life of the most important woman of Argentine history.

The Original Kitchen

You can also enjoy gourmet meals in the museum restaurant which also has a beautiful garden courtyard for outdoor dining in the warmer months.

For More Information Visit: www.evitaperon.org

Your Very OWN Gay-friendly Hotel

Own Hotel Entrance

Palermo Hollywood, Buenos Aires
By Roy Heale
Some may call it the restaurant capital of Buenos Aires, but Palermo Hollywood is a barrio with its own distinctive flavour. In the mid-nineties a number of TV and Radio producers set up shop in the area of Palermo Viejo between Córdoba, Santa Fe, Dorrego, and Juan B. Justo Avenues. Subsequently, this part of the neighbourhood began to be called “Palermo Hollywood”. Presently, it’s best known for the concentration of restaurants, cafes, night clubs, and vibrant atmosphere.

Palermo Hollywood Architecture

Although Palermo Hollywood is a name that was recently invented, this area has been a popular residential community in Buenos Aires since the late 1800s. Walking around Palermo Hollywood you will see more of the old, Spanish-style architecture than in other parts of the mega Buenos Aires city, and these historic buildings are mostly low-rise style construction. This is due to the earlier city bylaw prohibiting new buildings in the area from being above nine meters in height. A perfect harmony exists between the old and the recycled houses. The spacious factories and warehouses are mostly used as art galleries, showrooms, restaurants, bars, or TV sets and photo studios. These calm and shady streets are home to a huge variety of excellent restaurants. This is a special place for a full day’s stroll. The combination of low houses, wide cobbled streets, and trees lends it a nice ambiance. However, you will notice a great deal of new construction of high-rise apartment towers due to the recent trend of people desiring to live in Palermo Hollywood.

Own Hotel Foyer

Palermo Hollywood’s gay-friendly Own Hotel represents a new concept in urban boutique-hotels, characterized by personalized attention, modern design, and timeless style. Own Hotel offers a unique experience with oversized rooms providing all the services expected of a 5-star hotel. You have the feeling of being in your Own private oasis amidst the action of the city. The highly trained staff will insure that guests have everything they need to enjoy their stay in the hotel. The decor is pure and simple yet elegant, and in order to feel completely at home, the hotel offers you the opportunity to customize your stay!
With a choice of Junior, Deluxe, or Master Suites, your Own Hotel offers the perfect choice to suit your travel budget. They range in size from 35 to 55 square meters with either luxurious King or twin beds. The indulgent and spacious rooms include Mini Wine Bar, hot/cold individual air conditioning, hair dryers, luxury bathrobes and towels, 500 threads Egyptian cotton sheets, a security box large enough to store your laptop, and LCD TV with DVD, CD player, home theatre and surround system. Some suites include a balcony or terrace to enjoy the views over Palermo. A delicious continental breakfast is served daily in the lobby lounge and is included in the room rates. This gay-friendly boutique hotel is a must stay to enjoy the vibrant Palermo Hollywood community within walking distance.
As you enjoy the tree-lined streets and distinctive architecture you will find The Pride Cafe just a five minute walk from Own Hotel. This is the sister cafe to the very gay and popular Pride Cafe in San Telmo and it is developing a loyal following with the Palermo gay community. It is open Monday through Saturday from 11am till closing for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and simple snacks.

Pride Cafe Palermo

But Palermo Hollywood earns its reputation for fine dining with restaurants on almost every corner— and in between—with every culinary speciality imaginable. Close to the Own Hotel is a wide variety of dining choices. Il Ballo del Mattone is as peculiar as its Italian name—The Dance of the Brick. The interior is a jumble of tables and eclectic artwork, while out on the pavement or in the rear gardens you sit around an old tree, decorated with trinkets. The freshness of the homemade pasta and the tiramisú coupled with friendly service has resulted in the popularity of this genuine Italian experience. For some pastas and jazz, swing and bossa nova music, this is Palermo Hollywood’s favorite! (Gorriti 5950)
Hidden behind an 8-ft high wooden fence on the quiet street of Gorriti, sits Olsen, a wonderful restaurant serving Scandinavian cuisine in a tranquil environment. Whether you are seated at one of the reclining chairs in Olsen’s mini-garden out front, or at a round table for eight in the open-air dining room, your experience will no doubt be relaxing and enjoyable. Olsen transports diners from Palermo Hollywood to Scandinavia with its seafood-heavy menu and impressive selection of more than sixty vodkas. Dishes like blini, smoked herring, and red tuna are a large part of the restaurant’s allure, but so is the 60’s-inspired dining room, set in a former warehouse. Vodka is the focus at the bar, but innovative cocktails like dill martinis are also available. The Sunday champagne brunch attracts both expats and the Argentine elite. (Gorriti 5870)

Olsen Restaurant

If you are looking for a break from meat at the renowned parillas, then Artemisia is a veggie lovers delight. They only have a few dishes on the menu and daily specials, but most of the offerings are inventive and seasonal vegetarian meals. The home-made bread and garlicky hummus—served free before your meal—are sublime, and along with the gingery lemonade it’s seriously worth a visit just for the bread and juice. The pear, goats cheese and rocket bruschetta or the huge tapa selection, featuring fresh and tasty vegetables, cheeses and dips, provide a great variety of taste sensations. It’s a lovely bright space with huge windows, wooden tables and a small courtyard. The menu selections are constantly changing so they are handwritten on brown paper bags, while the hand-crafted, colourful plates and bowls add to the rustic charm. (Gorriti 5996)
Your Own Hotel is also located just a short fifteen minute walk to the Mercado de las Pulgas—flea market—where you can hunt through the antiques and other items for that truly unique Argentina souvenir.

Own Hotel Suite

Despite the lively nightly action the tree-lined streets provide a quiet, relaxed and tranquil atmosphere. The very gay-friendly Own Hotel is located on a peaceful street, yet just steps from all the vibrant action. Prepare yourself to enjoy the wilder side of Buenos Aires by night whilst enjoying your Own luxurious suite.
For More Information Visit:
www.ownhotels.com

Guido’s Italian Dining Experience, Palermo Chico, Buenos Aires

Guido's Cafe-Bar

 

 

By Roy Heale

There are some well kept secrets in Buenos Aires and Guido’s Bar is one of them. This authentic Italian restaurant is well-known to local residents, but is off the beaten track for most tourists. With a kitsch atmosphere this wonderful Italian restaurant offers an array of home-cooked Italian specialties served by smiling waiters. The walls, which are plastered in movie posters and pictures featuring old school Italian actors, gives it a fun edge and a real—if not slightly over the top—Italian feel. It is a small cosy place with a few tables outdoors for patio dining. Reservations are a must if you don’t want to be disappointed when the house is full!

Although there is a small menu available, most guests opt for the chef’s set meals which differ daily. Dinner is a five course affair, including wines and soft drinks for around US$40 plus gratuity. To start there is an array of hot and cold antipasto—including a wonderful cherry tomato and bocconcini salad—with new and old Italian favorites to choose from. This is followed by two different pasta dishes with fresh home-made pasta combined with local ingredients. Then comes the carni—meat dish—and on this particular night it was a wonderful veal tenderloin in a light, creamy tarragon sauce accompanied by the best french fries I have had in Buenos Aires! If that is not enough for most appetites, then the dessert tray will top off the meal. A selection of home made treats included a unique Tiramisu, chocolate gelato, a pineapple cake, and a chocolate surprise. Throughout the meal there were bottomless bottles of excellent red and white wine offered, plus soft drinks and bottled water. The service is friendly plus unusually fast and efficient compared to other local establishments.

I can’t believe I ate the whole thing—a testament to the excellent chef!

Kitsch Interior Decor

Guido’s is located in the elegant Palermo Chico barrio at República de la India 2843 facing the Zoo grounds. It is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner but it is recommended to call ahead and check on the opening hours as they have a tendency to vary, phone:(005411) 4802.2391. Dinner begins at 8:30PM which is perfect for those who do not wish to eat late at night, but be sure to allow about three hours to enjoy the many different courses at a leisurely pace.

For Italian food lovers and gourmands this is an absolute must during a visit to Buenos Aires and now my personal favorite Italian restaurant in the city.

JARDIN JAPONES PALERMO

 

 By Roy Heale

In a city of thirteen million people you might think it is hard to escape the urban noise and bustle, but residents of Palermo in the heart of Buenos Aires are fortunate to have large parks and woodlands close at hand. One of the smaller parks within this green space is the Jardin Japones—Japanese Garden—where the Feng Shui influence creates a tranquil escape under the shadows of high-rise towers.

 Under the care of the Japanese Cultural Foundation of Arentina these gardens have been in existence since 1969 to create a peaceful oasis for visitors to enjoy year-round. The park was created to honor a visit by one of the Japanese princes of that era. It includes a pavilion with a traditional Japanese tea-house, cultural center, library, and Oriental souvenirs. Plus of course the gardens are landscaped with lakes full of fish and ducks, footbridges, walkways, greenhouse, and ornaments encompassing Feng Shui traditions. A leisurely stroll around the grounds will prove to be a very calming and tranquil relief from the busy city.

 Children can enjoy feeding the fish—mostly large Carp—in the ponds or attending an origami folding class in the cultural center. Throughout the year Asian cultural fairs and festivals take place in the grounds.

 The garden is located at the intersection of Avenue Berro Adolfo and Avenue Casares opposite the Plaza Alamenia—German Plaza. The park admission is a very nominal two dollars towards the expenses and administration which provides several hours of enjoyment. During the summer the park hours are Monday to Friday 10AM to 6PM and Saturday and Sunday 10AM to 7PM and check their website for winter hours.

 Although the park is enjoyable throughout the year it is alive with colors during early spring and late fall. It provides a colorful garden for all the family to enjoy amidst the Palermo woodlands and parks.

 It’s just another of the many reasons why Palermo is a popular residential community in the heart of Buenos Aires.

 For More Information Visit: www.jardinjapones.com.ar

Palermo Rose Garden, Buenos Aires, Argentina

 

Palermo—Why I chose it for my new home…

Gay travel to Buenos Aires is always full of pleasant surprises! One of the great joys in relocating to a different city is the time spent discovering one’s new neighborhood. My choice to live in the Palermo community of Buenos Aires was based on a number of different criteria. But probably the biggest reason was my close proximity to the wonderful parkland which skirts the region and extends to the banks of the River Plate. This is like being close to Central Park in New York or Hyde Park in London, but with a distinctly European flair and variety of landscapes in a much larger green space than either of those parks can claim. One of the reasons this massive parkland exists in the heart of Buenos Aires is because it was an enormous private estate until the middle of the 1800s.

It has been said that Palermo has the feel of a park where some people happen to live—in the midst of this miles-long expanse of green open space the towering high-rise apartment buildings re-enforce that expression.

My home is just two blocks from the main entrance to the parkland area which begins with the Botanical Gardens and the Zoo Gardens. So naturally I try to spend as much time as possible enjoying an island of green space in the heart of this metropolis, usually commencing with an early morning walk. To fully enjoy this peaceful haven I need to own a bicycle, but for the time being I settle for long walks before the afternoon sun becomes too fierce.

Recently I decided it was time to explore the Rose Gardens about which I had heard many glowing reports from my new neighbors and friends. It was a sunny Sunday morning and I thought my early start would avoid the crowds. However, after a short ten minute walk to the garden’s entrance I discovered the roads were closed to allow joggers and cyclists to enjoy an energetic Sunday morning workout. Despite the night-owl culture of this city’s residents, the park was already humming with Portenos. But once inside the Rose Gardens there was a distinct air of tranquility as everyone took a moment to stop and smell the roses!

This park within the park was ablaze with the sights and scents of almost every variety and species of roses known to horticulturists and much more. The fountains, lakes, ornate bridges, pergolas, patios, gazebos, statues, and even the collection of International Rosas Nuevos, were neatly laid out and cultivated perfectly for a relaxing stroll through the manicured gardens. Even though the park proved to be very popular on a Sunday morning there was never a time when it felt crowded. Everyone was enjoying a leisurely stroll through one of mother nature’s wonderlands!

Each time I venture out to enjoy a different slice of the Palermo pie I am not disappointed by the choice of my new beginning.