In the last decade, the Buenos Aires barrio of Las Cañitas has become a nighttime playground filled with bars, restaurants and shops that draw the young and beautiful. And now, with last year’s opening of 248 Finisterra, you can sleep there, too. Riding a wave of new boutique hotels in the city, the family-owned 248 Finisterra opened with 11 rooms, furnished in the usual design tropes: minimalist lines, Philippe Starck playfulness, a few antiques and, this being Argentina, plenty of leather. The hotel was a hit with the cast of the TV show “Latin American Idol,” who stayed there last year during its taping. But then again, the contestants probably spent more time lingering in the garden and cavorting in the glam night-life district than lounging in the hotel’s pint-size rooms.
In the heart of Las Cañitas, one of Buenos Aires’s hopping neighborhoods, on a block filled with popular clubs, sushi lounges and steak houses like Novecento. Taxis seem to pass every 15 seconds, though the crowds can be overwhelming at 2 a.m., when you have to wade through masses just to reach the hotel’s front door.
French and Argentine businessmen, conducting meetings in the lobby, and American urbanites in their 30s, flipping through copies of “Lonely Planet Buenos Aires.”
Comfortable, but as small and minimally decorated as a design-fair showroom. My first-floor standard room (No. 1), which was wheelchair accessible and child friendly, had sea-foam green walls, a white armoire, a black-and-white leather headboard and antique bedside tables painted white. The window looked out onto a vine-covered garden with a giant ficus and lemon trees decorated with Christmas ornaments — a rare oasis among the bustle of Las Cañitas. There were no newfangled flat screens, but the old-style television did offer 72 channels, including CNN and BBC in English — not that you’ll want to spend much time inside your sparsely furnished room watching TV.
Modern and clean, like the room, with muted beige colors, a round mirror and a low teak stool. The sink was enormous — perfect for bathing a small child — but not large enough to make up for the lack of a proper tub. Another amenity seems to be missing: the shower lacked a shelf for toiletries, forcing you to squat to pick up the shampoo.
The rooftop sundeck, about the size of five parking spaces, has teak lounge chairs, cement planters with bamboo trees and a four-person hot tub, where you can enjoy birdsong at twilight as you soak away the day’s shopping. The deck doubles as a spa, which offers one-on-one yoga classes and massages (starting at $30 an hour, plus an additional 21 percent tax). Rooms are equipped with Internet via cable. Wi-Fi is also available, but barely; the signal was too weak in my room, and not much stronger in the lobby lounge.
Limited to breakfast offerings (croissants, fruit and eggs from the free buffet) and refreshments from the bar (glass of wine, 70 pesos, or $4,37 at 16 pesos to the dollar). Service was spotty. Pushing the room-service button on the sundeck yielded nothing. (Later, I was told that the battery had to be replaced.) But a bottle of water, requested at 2 a.m., showed up in less than a minute.
Photos of Hotel