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Trip Report (By a Former Resident)

California Central...
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Trip Report (By a Former Resident)

Background: I lived in BA for five years leaving at the end of 1991 and except for a brief visit in January 1994 I haven't been back since. As a foreign service officer with the state department (living all over the world) - I know something about visiting foreign countries. I promised my wife that I would take her to most of the places I have lived (for obvious reasons Almaty, Kazakhstan will not be among them) and BA was chosen as the first.

After searching and reviewing reviews and posts we decided to stay at the Glu Hotel in Palermo Soho - it was definitely the right decision. I knew I wanted to stay in the Palermo area since that area (where I worked for the embassy) and Belgrano (where I once lived) are the areas I knew best (although I am familiar with most areas of the city). I was somewhat hesitant to stay in Palermo Soho because 18 years ago there was no Palermo Soho and in fact what is now palermo Soho was pretty much nothing back then. My, how 18 years has changed Palermo - anyone (no matter their age) should strongly consider staying in Palermo Soho.

First the hotel: the Glu while on the edge of Palermo Soho has the advantage to being next to Palermo Hollywood. The hotel is a small 11 room hotel with service being a 10+. The rooms are big - the staff can't do enough for you - the beds are comfortable - the rooms are quiet - what else would one want? Read the reviews of the hotel and you will be convinced that this hotel ranks among the finest in an area that is flooded with similar type hotels.

Within a six block walk - either through Palermo Soho or Palermo Hollywood - you probably have 25 restaurants that you can't go wrong with - while a few of them would be at the top of anyone's restuarant list like La Cabrera Norte (the sister restaurant of La Cabrera). Restaurants of all types - you could try a different restaurant each day for a few weeks and come up with glowing remarks each day. While everyone's list favors restaurants in Recoleta - Barrio Norte - San telmo ---- I guarantee I can come up with a matching restaurant in Palermo! Shopping: stores galore and you have the discount shops within an 8 block walk and the leather district within a 12 block walk. From the hotel you can take a $2/$3 taxi ride to Recoleta or walk 7 blocks and take the subte to just about anywhere. You are near the Botanical gardens - the Japanese Gardens (a must see) and the zoo (which we didn't go to). If it sounds like I was enthralled with my selection of the Glu Hotel and Palermo Soho - I was!

Other items:

Crime: where was it? Be cautious and prudent and you won't have any problems. The worst thing I saw was two older gentlemen fighting on the subte because one wouldn't get out of the way to let the other out (avoid the subte during rush hour).

Taxis:: it helps to know Spanish - I say that because if you can converse with the driver about anything - even if they are up to know good they might not view you as a tourist. On the other hand, we flagged taxis all over the place and each driver was courteous and honest.

Portenos: I obviously have experience living among them - things have not changed over the years - for the most part they are wonderful people.

Cost: some people have stated that BA is getting expensive - I didn't think so. When you can go to a high class restaurant like La Cabrera Norte and two people can get ull course dinner with wine for less Than $50 - cost is very reasonable. Hotels are the most expensive part of your trip - food and incidentals will even everything out.

Other observations: the drivers are just as bad as always - Ezeiza is beautiful with it's new departing lounge (a 100% improvement over 20 years ago) - Florida and San Telmo are fun places to go (especially if you have never done so).

I probably forgot to say something since I didn't write notes and was depending on my memory - but bottom Line: it's the BA I remember and it's the BA I will never forget.

San Clemente...
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1. Re: Trip Report (By a Former Resident)

Thanks so much for your report and happy to hear that you still enjoy thecity like we do. Don't wait so long for the next visit.

Suerte!!!

Boulder, Colorado
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2. Re: Trip Report (By a Former Resident)

Thanks SO MUCH for conveying the enthusiasm and love that you still have for this terrific city. We only have 10 days left of a 9 week stay,but we are returning to Colorado as enthusiastic about BA as we were on our first 10 week stay.

DH and I are continuing our love affair with ALL things Argentina.

Come back soon!

California Central...
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3. Re: Trip Report (By a Former Resident)

I also remembered a few other things: the Ezeiza Taxi worked great - 118 (peseo) from the airport and 88 to the airport.

While there are free guided tours at the cemetary on Tuesday and Thursdays - you can basically go anytime and get a tour in English and you tip the guide what you feel is appropriate.

Fredos still has great ice cream

The fairs in Palermo Soho while nice - are no where as nice as San Telmo and Recoleta.

I'll probably think of more things as the days go by.

Buenos Aires...
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4. Re: Trip Report (By a Former Resident)

Hola and Gracias for coming back with a Report ! I was looking forward to this :)

I guess BA is pretty much a great first trip in your visiting the places you have lived, with your wife... although Kazakhstan might be exciting . ( lol)

I am happy that the Glu is so nice ! How great that you were happy with the hotel and location. When you mention that Palermo "Soho" wasn't even there when you lived here, it reminds me of how fast the city has changed just since we have lived here! It must have been such fun for you to see the changes.

And yes, you can count on good food in those neighborhoods, driving through Palermo Hollywood late on a weekend night is amazing, row after row of restaurants and people sitting outside.

We were in San Telmo yesterday. It was packed. You could not move. I got claustrophobic, I might have turned into one of those old gentlemen if someone did not move out of my way lol ...

I love the taxi drivers here. And my Español is nothing compared to yours ! or to a 3 year olds, but we still get along great !

I try to never look out the front window in a taxi, if I look out the side window at things going by, I am not so terrified ( she says, 3 years later)

It has gotten more expensive but mostly ( I think) in ways that a tourist would not see. Not just restaurants but groceries and bills and cost of living.

Where will you go next and when will you return to BA again ? :)

Chau & Gracias !

California Central...
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5. Re: Trip Report (By a Former Resident)

Scarlett - I am really surprised that the Glu Hotel doesn't get more attention here - they have continuous great ratings and they're in a perfect location (in my opinion). Plus, (again, in my opinion) I think Palermo Soho is the place to be (I know you live in Recoleta and I have nothing against Recoleta but believe for a visitor that Palermo Soho and Hollywood have more to offer).

There are always changes but except for the transformation of Palermo - all else pretty much looked the same. Where I lived in Belgrano has not changed at all and Recoleta and Barrio Norte look the same.

I know that BA is more expensive than when I lived there - again, three of the five years I was there was during the hyper-inflation when prices changed three times a day! I stopped in a disco (for old time sake) and could tell that it was more expensive. But restaurants are still a great bargain (when you can go to La Cabrera Norte and two can get a full course dinner for $50 - to me that is a bargain).

It was great getting together with Argentines whom I worked with in the embassy (although most are retired now - and living a wonderful life). The gentleman who worked for us in the cultural section (I'll just call him Federico) is the biggest producer of plays in BA) - he knows most of the producers in New York and secures the rights to them and has them translated into Spanish.

Our next trip will be to Europe (Bonn was my first posting overseas) - and we will return to BA at some point - but next time we'll rent an apartment.

By the way, felicidades to you for getting your residency.

Edited: 26 April 2010, 23:30
6. Re: Trip Report (By a Former Resident)

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