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“Solid hotel, great location, poor rooms”

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Vain Boutique Hotel
Ranked #13 of 445 Hotels in Buenos Aires
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
New York City, New York
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Solid hotel, great location, poor rooms”
Reviewed 24 April 2011

This is very simple: the location is about as good as you can get in all of Buenos Aires, the staff is very helpful, and cafe/bar is simple but very good, but the rooms are poor. We generally have a very high bar for hotels and we still really liked this hotel despite the poor rooms because everything else, especially the location and staff, is so great. That said, if you want plush rooms with great views stay elsewhere. The rooms are very very simple and very very small. Some or the rooms essentially don't have windows (a glass panel above the door which allows a touch of light to come in), our bathroom was comically small, and our closets literally had sheets substituting for doors because the room was too small to fit real closet doors.

It is important to emphasize however, that despite the small rooms, the hotel is very solid and we really recommend it for all the reasons that are important about BA: location, food and drink, people. If you spend more than a few minutes a day in your hotel room when in Buenos Aires you probably have more to worry about than where you are staying.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mikomiko58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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English first
Honolulu, Hawaii
Level 6 Contributor
610 reviews
128 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 284 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 March 2011

March 15-17, 2011

Once we disembarked from the cruise ship and passed the security area, we were assaulted by the aggressive and not-so-honest taxi operators. It often pays to walk a block or so away from this unpleasantness and hail a taxi driver who uses the meter and is more objective about the fare. Thus, in our case, we went from AR$80 to $30 for a transfer to Vain. As our room was not ready at 9:00 AM, our driver waited 30" and drove us directly to La Boca, a fave tourist destination. For lunch try Don Carlos near the Junior soccer stadium with your host Carlos, a friendly portenos who keeps the food coming until you say "stop."
Upon our return we got an unacceptable room with a clogged toilet (later found out the toilet was not working). Quickly Lillian got us another, yet better, room. The room was on the lobby level so there was some noise from the front desk and elevator. I could also hear someone walking above late at night. We received our welcome drinks.
However, the hotel is cheerful with attentive, English-speaking personel in front and in the breakfast room. Internet is free, and the breakfast is wonderful with flavorful coffee or hot chocolate. The orange juice is fresh-squeezed. I couldn't ask for a better start.
There are serious flaws in the room. Two are 1) the lavatory is in the bedroom which meant waking up the spouse with noise of the splashing water and the light of the bulb, and 2) the shower floor was not level, drained poorly through a breach and wetting the bathroom floor and wood threshold. Moreover, Kleenex is not provided and there is insufficient counter space. There are no doors to the closet. The room lighting is dim for the size of the room.
The pluses are the terrific location in a busy residental/commercial area, proximity to the metro on Santa Fe Ave., Lillian and Gabi in the front, and 24 hour service. I can recommend two memorable restaurants in walking distance: El Perfidio de Palmero and Cafe Pallasca.
I would be neutral on recommending this property.

Stayed March 2011, travelled solo
Helpful?
Thank alohatripper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 March 2011

Positioned perfectly between the train station and Palermo Soho. Great location for the younger crowd with plenty of fun bars, restaurants and nightlife nearby.

A lot cheaper than many of the other boutique hotels in that area so I am surprised to see that someone said it was overpriced. We were extremely happy with the value. The included breakfast was one of the best we had in Argentina. Delicious fruit platter coupled with croissants and Dulce De Leche…what better way to start a big day of shopping and sightseeing. Staff were awesome, always willing to help with directions and make restaurant reservations. Rooms were on the small side but new and fresh and pretty quiet.

Don’t miss Post Bar on the way to Palermo Soho, great bar!

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AD27LD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Geneva, Switzerland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 February 2011

We stayed here looking for a nice place to end our trip in Argentina on a high note. While the hotel is well located and fits the boutique qualification, we were extremely disappointed with both the service and the room. The room had black traces on the wall and numerous cracks in the bathroom. The front desk was aloof and paid very little attention to detail. We asked for tickets to be booked for a city tour for the next day. They never followed up. We asked for tickets to a tango show and had to remind them twice to follow up on that ! Breakfast was extremely basic and the fresh orange juice had more water than actual juice. The general impression was that this hotel was way overpriced for BA.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank nicot78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
1 review
Reviewed 9 February 2011

I stayed here with my gfriend for 4 nights. We had an excellent experience. I believe we had a Std Sup. It was on the 2nd fl and off the atrium. The bed was great. Plenty big enough for two and firm enough for a great night sleep (we did not hear the noise reported by other guests). We did find the lighting too low for using the mirror and noted this on our review at the end of our stay. Otherwise, we did not spend much time during the day in the room so it did not otherwise bother us. When we were in the room, we did make use of the top window either to open or just to bring in some natural light. Breakfast is huge plus. It is hard to find a proper bfast in BA and Vain basically allows you to order anything you want from fresh fruit, pancakes, eggs, etc. Great prep for a day of sightseeing. Free room service is also available for those who want to eat bfast in their own room. Their Wifi actually works. so one can ck things last minute at bfast before heading out for the day. If any Qs, the staff are eager to help and almost all speak v.good english. We found Lillian, in particular, to be extremely helpful. The size of the room was fine. It was comparable to the size of rooms in New York City, where space is also at a premium. The closet set-up may not be ideal to some but one can hide the sight of hanging clothes or the dresser drawers by pulling the curtain across. The hip sink area is a bit too small to wash face w/out getting h2o on the floor. We commented this as well. The shower and pressure were great. The hotel area is safe, though it is up-and-coming so it may give one the idea that it is not safe. When in a foreign city one should take precautions and more care than they would at home. The low cost of taxis in BA makes this option easy if preferred. It is in walking distance to great restos and places to party. It is also a short taxi ride to Palermo Soho and most other hoods one might go for dinner or a night out. The hotel is a very good choice. It may not be the wonderful AND inexpensive combo that some are looking for, but its value is on par with other hotels at this price point.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Seb444
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 February 2011

We stayed here for 1 week in January and we were pleasantly surprised by the presentation of the hotel which appears new, modern and clean behind a traditional facade in a very pleasant part of town.

After reading reviews we realised that the rooms were not going to be huge, despite some hotel booking web sites describing some of the rooms as suites. We booked what was described as a junior suite and as expected it was what I would describe as a good sized hotel room, (not a suite). The room was on the ground floor, wooden floors, high ceilings, good quality fixtures and it looked out into a small courtyard that could be accessed from the room for private use, (possibly useful for smokers). After the first night we asked to change rooms as I found that there was some noise possibly from an air-conditioning unit sighted in the small courtyard. We were immediately offered another room on the first floor which was actually an upgrade, again this was not what I would describe as a suite either but it was a good sized modern room with a bath. This room faced the street with a very small balcony which I found much more preferable in terms of light and I enjoy being able to look out of a first floor window as opposed to looking into a courtyard. Noise from the street was not a problem for me but could be an issue for some people.

The hotel staff were keen to quickly recommend and arrange any trips or restaurant bookings. The communal areas of the hotel were clean, comfortable and peaceful but were very underused by us as we were usually out exploring the city. Free Wi-Fi is great for utilising your iPhone/ smart phone / lap top to plan and make the most of the city. The breakfast was always enjoyable everyday and it's made to order. The location was very good with an underground station, parks, cool bars and good restaurants all within a pleasant walking distance.

One word of advice to the owner(s) would be to review their use of low energy lighting in the rooms, in particular the bathroom in the first room we had was dimly lit with no window and only some very low output LED lights in the ceiling. These LED lights were also used elsewhere and don't have sufficient output to do justice to the rooms. You can get similar low energy LED lights with a higher light output!

All in all I would highly recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mjellis99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2011

My friend and I stayed at the Vain over New Years and we had a wonderful experience. The entire staff was friendly, helpful, and went out of their way to book restaurants and shows for us. Even though we tried, our Spanish is pretty embarassing and they all speak English very well so it was great to have them to help out.

I am not sure what the other rooms looked like but we had an "A" room which is the second biggest. As some commenters said, it wasn't huge by U.S. standards but you aren't in the U.S.! It was plenty big enough and it was absolutely spotless. There are wood floors which are great as it just feels cleaner than wall to wall carpeting that a thousand people have walked on. The beds were new and comfortable- they had it set up as a king when we arrived but we asked them to arrange it as twin beds and they did immediately. When it was a king there was an awesome down duvet but I don't think they had smaller size duvets so they just switched to regular twin blankets which was not quite as nice but fine. All the linens are bright white and feel fresh. The maids came on time and made the room like new every day.

I read a few negative comments about the AC and the rooms but I think these are old. The AC was controlled by us in the room and worked perfectly. The bathroom looked brand new and the water pressure in that shower was great. There wasn't a ton of space to put stuff next to the sink but it was just enough. The one suggestion I would make is to have a little bit brighter light in the bathroom mirror for putting makeup on. Our room was on the second floor and yes, it does face a courtyard and the aisle to walk down to get to the rooms is right past your door but this wasn't a problem for us at all. The windows to the room are actually big glass panels in the door and they let in plenty of light. There are room darkening shades but also privacy shades that let light in-you can see them in the pictures. It was charming and unique.

The breakfast was fantastic. They will pretty much give you whatever you like. The fruit salad was like a picture and it had a ton of different fruit in it. The bread and croissants were delicious and how can you go wrong with dulce de leche plus a few other things to put on the bread. They also had eggs and bacon, fresh squeezed orange juice and great coffee.

The neighborhood is Palermo, which would be comparable to the Village and Soho combined in NY. You are about 3 blocks from where the majority of the stores and bigger restaurants start so the block is quiet but there are stil people around. The subway is also a few blocks away which is great because Buenos Aires is a huge city and we did hit traffic in some spots when we took a cab.

The roofdeck is really nice and relaxing and the common room adjoining it has a computer with internet access if you need it which came in handy for looking up places to go at night. They also provide free wifi if you bring your own computer.

I did the pre-paid rate which is non-refundable. Our plane was cancelled due to a blizzard so we missed the first three days of the trip but I knew what the deal was when I paid the discounted rate. The pre-paid rates are a good deal less so they are worth it if you get trip insurance which I did not so hopefully somebody will learn from my mistake.

Overall we really enjoyed our stay and I would definitely recommend the Vain for the staff, the cleanliness, the breakfast, and the location.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jennifer B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Vain Boutique Hotel

Property: Vain Boutique Hotel
Address: Calle Thames 2226 8, Buenos Aires C1425FIF, Argentina
Phone Number:
Region: Argentina > Capital Federal District > Buenos Aires > Palermo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Green Hotel in Buenos Aires
#9 Luxury Hotel in Buenos Aires
#15 Romantic Hotel in Buenos Aires
#34 Family Hotel in Buenos Aires
#47 Business Hotel in Buenos Aires
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Vain Boutique Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the heart of Palermo Viejo neighborhood, only 15 minutes away from the main tourist attractions, VAIN Boutique Hotel gives the possibility of having another alternative to the noisy BA downtown. It preserves the "Porteno" neighborhood feeling, combined with a bohemian and avant-garde mixture that can be sensed in the variety of stores, from fashion designers, antique and design furniture to coffee shops, fashion restaurants and bars, along with the traditional ones. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Vain Boutique Buenos Aires
Hotel Vain Boutique

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