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“Pleasant, Convenient, Personal, Small Hotel”
Review of Babel Plaza

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Babel Plaza
Ranked #237 of 442 Hotels in Buenos Aires
Reviewed 31 January 2006

Based on the preceding review (May 2005), my partner and I stayed at the River Hotel for about two weeks from the end of October to the beginning of November 2005 and enjoyed our visit. We found it a small, personal hotel with friendly, cooperative staff, and patronized by professional and middle-class South Americans with a sprinkling of other foreigners. We would stay there again, but select a suite rather than a room.

Our flight from the U.S. arrived in the morning. The remise (hire car and driver) reached the hotel before the official check-in time and we prepared to wait. To our surprise, the desk clerk gave us an available room immediately. Later, we learned that the cleaning staff start work at 8 a.m., and keep the rooms meticulously clean and tidy.

The hotel has nine stories: seven floors of accommodation with six rooms per floor; the top floor has a small conference room, open terrace with deck chairs and staff apartment. On each guest floor, the U-shaped building has four rooms facing the front street (not a major avenue but still with constant traffic) and the remaining two in each of the back wings. The front room windows have double glazing; the back rooms thick single glazing. The rooms were well soundproofed from noise outside the hotel (ensure that the windows, which you can open out, are tightly closed against the rubber seal).

During our stay we became aware of the lack of exact fit and seal between a door and its frame; also a 1-2 cm gap between the bottom of the door and the carpeting. This meant that you could hear occasional noises such as people waiting for the elevator, loud conversation from another room, slamming doors and the like. Also, cigarette smoke could drift in. However, such problems occurred infrequently given the small number of rooms and, consequently, guests per floor.

Suites 101 to 501 have a bedroom with a door which separates it from an internal corridor off which are a separate sitting room and bathroom. (I would give suite 501 my first preference, and proceed down.) Suites 601 and 701 do not have a separate sitting room or door separating the bedroom (as the top three floors of the hotel are slightly smaller, being set back from the street façade). Rooms 106 to 706, in the wing opposite the suites, offer greater isolation and so are preferable to the front rooms x02 to x05.

The air conditioning worked well. Each room had a small safe useful for storing valuables we did not want to carry around. Some rooms needed attention to minor defects such as scuffed paint or chipped plaster, but otherwise were in reasonable condition.

The dining area, with a buffet breakfast set up each morning (7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. — very civilized), opened onto the lounge and reception areas. We found it pleasant to start the day watching street life passing by the floor-to-ceiling windows fronting the hotel. However, during our extended stay we wished that they would have varied the selection of foods.

We found the location of the hotel suitable for our needs: a secure base (a policeman or policewoman regularly on street duty) from which to explore Buenos Aires on foot and using public transport. (If you plan on extensively using the bus system, we suggest that you buy a copy of Guia Peuser de Capital Federal at a magazine kiosk.) At one’s convenience: Plaza Congreso (and several bus routes) half a block away, subway station Saenz Pena (A line) a two-minute walk, Callao or Uruguay stations on C line a few minutes more. In addition, as you might want: a laundry two doors up, greengrocer on the corner, supermarket half a block down Av B. Mitre nearby, numerous restaurants and pastry shops around on nearby streets Av. Montevideo, Av. Rivadavia, Av. Callao, Av. De Mayo and Av. Corrientes, all these facilities and more within convenient strolling distance.

If you need a travel agent while in Buenos Aires, we can personally recommend Argentinago, Av. Tucuman 1427, Suite 201, Tel. (54) 011 4372 7268. We found the English-speaking staff friendly and efficient, successfully arranging our visit to the Iguazu Falls (spectacular and breathtaking) at short notice.

  • Stayed: October 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9  Thank Chelydra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 8 November 2005

My wife and I stayed at the River Hotel from October 26-31. The hotel is two to three years old and is in excellent condition. It is in a middle class area known as Congreso. We paid $41/night and had a fair sized room which was immaculately clean. The bathroom was spotless and included shower, wash basin and bidet. The double paned window helped reduce the street noise below. We had a delicious buffet breakfast each morning that included cheese, meat, fruit, cereals, croissants, tea and coffee. The front desk staff was extremely helpful with our daily planning. They did not speak a lot of English but that seems to be the usual throughout BA. Most taxi drivers do not know of this hotel so it is important to have the hotel address with you. I would highly recommend this hotel; it is a genuine bargain!

  • Stayed: October 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
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5  Thank maltasr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 May 2005

Check out the RIVER HOTEL located on 86 Montevideo. We stayed there from 7-9 May 2005 for US$42 per night for a standard room with a double bed. They have suites (a little larger, having a small sitting area) for about US$55.

The rate of US$42 for the River Hotel was actually negotiated in pesos, in person at the front desk of the hotel. It cost AR$120 pesos per night for a standard room and AR$160 pesos for a suite. At the time, the exchange rate came out to US$42 per night -- that includes taxes and the small continental breakfast every morning.

If you book via internet, it may cost a little bit more? -- we saw charges of US$40+21% tax as the lowest price on the web. We decided to just go to BA without any hotel reservations and check out the three hotels we had narrowed down and decide from there. It worked out fine ONLY because it is the low season, mid-week, and we were able to get a good price negotiating in person.

The reason we stayed there is because, after looking at several hotels' rooms, we found this one to be not only affordable and clean, but also having newer furniture and -- the most important of all -- soundproofing of the room. (The most important thing when searching for hotels, we found out, is to make sure the rooms have double-paned, soundproof windows.) Even some of the expensive hotels do not have this feature!

River Hotel features slick stone-tiled floors and granite sinks in the bath, and plenty of towels. The bathrooms are very small, but they are very clean, and as I described, they make up for the small size by using expensive fixtures and appointments. So it feels like one of the a 4-star hotels in BA, even though it's a 3-star. Rooms have cable TV and adequate storage space in the mirrored closets.

River Hotel includes a small buffet breakfast in the downstairs lobby area. It was nothing special, with large & small croissants, sliced bread (white and wheat), corn flakes, frosted flakes, milk, juice, yogurts, one type of sliced meat, and one type of sliced white cheese. There was also tea and coffee.

The lobby area is a kind of cafe during the day & evenings, and as such it is sometimes smoky with cigarettes, but that is inescapable wherever you go in Buenos Aires.

They have free internet access via a computer in what must have been formerly a telephone booth in the lobby (you can close the glass door for more privacy).

There is a workout room on the 8th floor with a bike, a treadmill, and weights, and a TV and air conditioning. It also has a shower, toilet, and a small sauna. They set up a balcony there with lounge chairs, but it's just one of those nice efforts that one would probably not use.

The staff speak English, though some speak it better than others. They are very friendly and were able to help us find nearby ice cream and steak shops.

Overall, the hotel, which is relatively new -- seems to have been built in 2001, is a terrific deal. The furniture is very modern and clean. For the price, this hotel is much better than older, more established hotels, which look nice from the lobby but are shabby in the rooms themselves.

From River Hotel you can walk to Teatro Colon (we went to the ballet of Sleeping Beauty -- $25 per person for side balcony seats) and to many restaurants including the BEST steak restaurant in Argentina, called Parrilla Pena, located on Rodriguez Pena street, between Viamonte and Tucuman. This was recommended to us by a nice Argentinian man, and we had our best meal there. We had one Bife de Lomo and one Bife de Chorizo Ancho, plus fantastic salad....

River Hotel is the best-kept secret in Buenos Aires.

  • Stayed: May 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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34  Thank sakura
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 week ago
Google Translation

  • Stayed: January 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Fernando R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Google Translation

  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Samantaexploradora
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago
Google Translation

  • Stayed: December 2017, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank nicolas1236
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 November 2017 via mobile
Google Translation

Stayed: November 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank Nacho S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Babel Plaza

Address: Montevideo 86, Buenos Aires C1019ABB, Argentina (Formerly River Hotel)
Region: Argentina > Capital Federal District > Buenos Aires > San Nicolas , El Centro
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #237 of 442 Hotels in Buenos Aires
Price Range: £26 - £54 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Babel Plaza 3*
Number of rooms: 42
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
River Hotel Buenos Aires

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