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.
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- Also Known As:
- River Hotel Buenos Aires