Saturday, March 23, 2013

Own Palermo Hollywood Hotel

Hotel Stay Details
Hotel: Own Palermo Hollywood
Dates: March 19-March 24, 2013
Rate Paid: $142.50 + $30 taxes / night
Total $ Savings: $0
Points Earned: 3,040 United Miles

As I mentioned last week, we decided to check out the Buenos Aires boutique hotel scene instead of sticking to the usual corporate chains (Starwood, Hyatt, Hilton, etc).

Since we didn't want to miss out on earning points (in addition to the 2x credit card points for paying with my mother's Chase Sapphire Preferred card), my father booked the hotel through the website  As I've discussed before, it works very much like or, except that instead of giving you another loyalty program currency, you get airline miles that you'd actually want like United MileagePlus miles or Hawaiian Airline miles. So for our 5 night stay at $142.50/night (excluding taxes), we earned 3,040 United miles or about 4.3 miles per dollar spend through Pointshound.

We read great reviews on TripAdvisor about the great customer service (including free wifi and breakfasts) and the cozy feel as being a truly welcomed guest instead of just a room number.

The Own Palermo Hollywood is located near the border between Palermo SoHo (the posh/trendy part) and Palermo Hollywood (the grittier part literally on the other side of the train tracks). Some people don't like the Hollywood part, but it reminded me of the East Village in New York City: a lot of graffiti, broken sidewalks, empty beer bottles and homeless people but it's also full of vibrant young alternative types, delicious local restaurants and rock bars/clubs that I can only hope still exist when I turn 18 (in 2029).

When we pulled up in the cab from the airport, someone came out right away to help us with our bags. So far, so good. Check in was prompt as there are only 16 available rooms in the entire hotel so they were expecting us. We were escorted to Room 101 on the 1st floor (2nd floor if you're an American) and I immediately ran onto the colorful bed. Bright colors make me very happy.

Unfortunately, I was going to be sleeping in the pack and play that the housekeeping staff set up shortly after we arrived. It was a standard pack and play set up, but they did put in a nice soft pink blanket, baby sheets, and a colorful baby pillow for me. Nice touch!

Then I went to check out the "bathroom area" as my father started to put our bags away. There wasn't a closet but there were hangers, drawers and storage space next to the door. I tested one of the two sinks. It worked. Underneath the sink, there was a small mini fridge (filled with water, juice, soda and beer) and the mini safe. Behind the sink area, there was a frosted glass door that opened into the toilet/shower area.

Unlike our bathroom in our NYC apartment, this one also had what I could only imagine was a water fountain for babies to drink from. I went for a drink, but my father pulled me away and strapped me into my stroller while he finished unpacking.

We also had large floor to ceiling windows along the far side of the room with an outdoor balcony, but you only had a view of the building next door so not exactly a place to get your Argetntine tan. But you could sneak a peak at the office workers next door collaborating in their conference room.

The rest of the room had 2 funky chairs along with a "mini bar" out on the small table as well as a mounted flatscreen TV and DVD/stereo along the wall. I started to run for the candies and snacks in the mini bar, but my mother told the housekeeping staff to remove them as we wouldn't be consuming them.

Overall, the Own Palermo Hollywood did a good job in the service department. The front desk workers were very helpful and housekeeping did a great job cleaning up after me.

Unfortunately though, they were too"green" (in terms of environmentally focused) and didn't wash our towels or sheets as often as we would have liked. Personally, I find the whole "green" initiative at hotels just their acceptable way to save money (as well as water/energy).

Free WiFi and breakfast included in our rate were two of the perks of choosing this hotel. Unfortunately, we didn't find them that great.
  • WiFi was spotty (like your apartment's WiFi router when it doesn't have a password to keep all your neighbors from stealing signal)
  • Breakfast was "continental" (ie, toast, coffee, cereal, yogurt and/or fruit). We had breakfast the first morning, but then the other days, we went out to sample some of the neighborhood's awesome restaurants.
Overall, we had a decent stay at Own Palermo Hollywood, but it always felt like we were staying at a trendy friend's overly modern apartment rather than a hotel. Perhaps that's the point of a boutique hotel experience, but I think I'd rather stay at a real hotel if I'm paying for it, especially while my father has top Diamond elite status.

I think we'll probably try another hotel next time we're in Buenos Aires (which will be in 10 days).

We did however, LOVE being in Palermo, both the gritty reality of Hollywood and the yuppie charm of SoHo. My mother especially found the tree-lined streets and leisurely pace of life in Palermo much more enjoyable. The tons of boutique shopping probably didn't hurt either.

This area was a stark contrast to the hectic businessman/tourist-ridden areas like Puerto Madero or Microcentro. Those parts of town were very much like Midtown Manhattan... but in Spanish.

1 comment:

  1. You chose a great place! Congrats! I am glad you enjoyed the time there!