Welcome to Insider Out Travel, a blog about LGBT travel written by LGBT tourism professionals. Travel the globe and gain insight into the tourism industry (with a gay twist), brought to you by the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association.

Enjoy!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Your Very OWN Gay-friendly Hotel

Palermo Hollywood, Buenos Aires

Own Hotel Entrance


By Roy Heale
Some may call it the restaurant capital of Buenos Aires, but Palermo Hollywood is a barrio with its own distinctive flavour. In the mid-nineties a number of TV and Radio producers set up shop  in the area of Palermo Viejo between Córdoba, Santa Fe, Dorrego, and Juan B. Justo Avenues. Subsequently, this part of the neighbourhood began to be called "Palermo Hollywood". Presently, it's best known for the concentration of restaurants, cafes, night clubs, and vibrant atmosphere.
Although Palermo Hollywood is a name that was recently invented, this area  has been a popular residential community in Buenos Aires since the late 1800s. Walking around Palermo Hollywood you will see more of the old, Spanish-style architecture than in other parts of the mega Buenos Aires city, and these historic buildings are mostly low-rise style construction. This is due to the earlier city bylaw prohibiting new buildings in the area from being above nine meters in height. A perfect harmony exists between the old and the recycled houses. The spacious factories and warehouses are mostly used as art galleries, showrooms, restaurants, bars, or TV sets and photo studios. These calm and shady streets are home to a huge variety of excellent restaurants. This is a special place for a full day's stroll.
Typical Palermo Hollywood Architecture

The combination of low houses, wide cobbled streets, and trees lends it a nice ambiance. However, you will notice a great deal of new construction of high-rise apartment towers due to the recent trend of people desiring to live in Palermo Hollywood.
Palermo Hollywood's gay-friendly Own Hotel represents a new concept in urban boutique-hotels, characterized by personalized attention, modern design, and timeless style. Own Hotel offers a unique experience with oversized rooms providing all the services expected of a 5-star hotel. You have the feeling of  being in your Own private oasis amidst the action of the city. The highly trained staff will insure that guests have everything they need to enjoy their stay in the hotel. The decor is pure and simple yet elegant, and in order to feel completely at home, the hotel offers you the opportunity to customize your stay!
Own Hotel Suite

With a choice of Junior, Deluxe, or Master Suites, your Own Hotel offers the perfect choice to suit your travel budget. They range in size from 35 to 55 square meters with either luxurious King or twin beds. The indulgent and spacious rooms include Mini Wine Bar, hot/cold individual air conditioning, hair dryers, luxury bathrobes and towels, 500 threads Egyptian cotton sheets, a security box large enough to store your laptop, and  LCD TV with DVD, CD player, home theatre and surround system. Some suites include a balcony or terrace to enjoy the views over Palermo. A delicious continental breakfast is served daily in the lobby lounge and is included in the room rates. This gay-friendly boutique hotel is a must stay to enjoy the vibrant Palermo Hollywood community within walking distance.
Own Hotel Foyer

As you enjoy the tree-lined streets and distinctive architecture you will find The Pride Cafe just a five minute walk from Own Hotel. This is the sister cafe to the very gay and popular Pride Cafe in San Telmo and it is developing a loyal following with the Palermo gay community. It is open Monday through Saturday from 11am till closing for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and simple snacks.
But Palermo Hollywood earns its reputation for fine dining with restaurants on almost every corner--- and in between---with every culinary speciality imaginable. Close to the Own Hotel is a wide variety of dining choices. Il Ballo del Mattone is as peculiar as its Italian name---The Dance of the Brick. The interior is a jumble of tables and eclectic artwork, while out on the pavement or in the rear gardens you sit around an old tree, decorated with trinkets. The freshness of the homemade pasta  and the tiramisú coupled with friendly service has resulted in the popularity of this genuine Italian experience. For some pastas and jazz, swing and bossa nova music, this is Palermo Hollywood's favorite! (Gorriti 5950)
Pride Cafe Palermo

Hidden behind an 8-ft high wooden fence on the quiet street of  Gorriti, sits Olsen, a wonderful restaurant serving Scandinavian cuisine in a tranquil environment. Whether you are seated at one of the reclining chairs in Olsen’s mini-garden out front, or at a round table for eight in the open-air dining room, your experience will no doubt be relaxing and enjoyable. Olsen transports diners from Palermo Hollywood  to Scandinavia with its seafood-heavy menu and impressive selection of more than sixty vodkas. Dishes like blini, smoked herring, and red tuna are a large part of the restaurant’s allure, but so is the 60’s-inspired dining room, set in a former warehouse. Vodka is the focus at the bar, but innovative cocktails like dill martinis are also available. The Sunday champagne brunch attracts both expats and the Argentine elite. (Gorriti 5870)
If you are looking for a break from meat at the renowned parillas, then Artemisia is a veggie lovers delight. They only have a few dishes on the menu and daily specials, but most of the offerings are inventive and seasonal vegetarian meals. The home-made bread and garlicky hummus---served free before your meal---are sublime, and along with the gingery lemonade it’s seriously worth a visit just for the bread and juice. The pear, goats cheese and rocket bruschetta or the huge tapa selection, featuring fresh and tasty vegetables, cheeses and dips, provide a great variety of taste sensations. It’s a lovely bright space with huge windows, wooden tables and a small courtyard. The menu selections are constantly changing so they are handwritten on brown paper bags, while the hand-crafted, colourful plates and bowls add to the rustic charm. (Gorriti 5996)

Mercado de las Pulgas


Your Own Hotel is also located just a short fifteen minute walk to the Mercado de las Pulgas---flea market---where you can hunt through the antiques and other items for that truly unique Argentina souvenir.
Quiet Tree Lined Streets

Despite the lively nightly action the tree-lined streets provide a quiet, relaxed and tranquil atmosphere. The very gay-friendly Own Hotel is located on a peaceful street, yet just steps from all the vibrant action. Prepare yourself to enjoy the wilder side of Buenos Aires by night whilst enjoying your Own luxurious suite.
For More Information Visit:
www.ownhotels.com

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Fashionable POP Budget Boutique Hotel

Villa Crespo, Buenos Aires, Argentina
By Roy Heale
POP Budget Boutique Hotel Entrance

Sometimes referred to as “Palermo Queens”, the Villa Crespo barrio is located at the southern end of Palermo Soho with the unspoiled charm of  tree-lined, cobble stone streets for which Buenos Aires is renowned. However, this neighbourhood is much less touristy than its Palermo neighbours and the Porteños---as the local residents are affectionately known---dominate the scene here in cafes, boutiques, bars, and clubs.
Trendy Villa Crespo is home to the new and evolving Paseo de Compras---Fashion Outlet Stores---where shopping for new clothes is a unique, fun experience. And what gay person doesn't love to shop for a new outfit while on vacation! The latest addition to this fashionable, hip community is the POP Budget Boutique Hotel---the first of its kind in Buenos Aires. Opened in November 2011, this unique hotel offers large, designer rooms---at modest prices---which are perfect to enjoy the local scene but leaving enough holiday budget to savour the nearby shopping.
Fashion Outlet Stores

The gay-friendly POP Hotel is a place where you can make new friends, relax in spacious rooms, enjoy the lounge areas on each floor, and use the computers on the second floor. It is a comfortable place with a modern design, clean and accessible facilities, and with an outstanding price-product relationship.  Located in a strategic area near to the gay nightlife, commercial and tourist attractions, yet close to the subway and bus routes.
Whether it is for business or leisure travel, POP satisfies every traveller's needs, regardless of the length of stay. Focusing on guests who are seeking to get the maximum benefit from their trip, POP offers a simple service, with emphasis on an economic price point. The forty-four rooms reflect the smart design of the urban clientele, created for comfort and flexible use of the specific space. POPCORN Lounges are on each floor with a specially designed area for pleasure, relaxation, comfort, recreation or to meet other guests. The F&B Lounge, located on the first floor, is a space to enjoy snacks and drinks, where you can interact with fellow guests plus make new friends. The 24/7 gay-friendly, knowledgeable front desk staff will quickly assist you to find your way around the Villa Crespo community.
Spacious Designer Rooms

Included in the low room rates is a morning breakfast and it is served at the nearby Krok Bar and Cafe. Here you will be able to enjoy complimentary coffee, fresh juice with a fruit plate, plus toast accompanied by preserves, dulce de leche, or cream cheese, and of course the local Argentine speciality---medialunas. Krok offers both indoor and outdoor seating with friendly, efficient service.
Krok Cafe For Breakfast

In close proximity to the POP Hotel many local restaurants offer a variety of menu options. The Almacen Purista Cafe is on the same block as the hotel and offers an extensive menu of Argentine specialities all prepared on-site. Just three blocks from the Hotel is the Cafe Crespin where the lox and cream cheese on a bagel or New York Cheesecake are rarely seen on Buenos Aires' menus and the hearty brunches are renowned. Central Cafe on Serrano Street will delight you with fresh baked breads, pastries, salads, and more. For a unique experience the Jamming Radio+Bar on Loyola Street offers pizza, baquettes, tapas, burgers, and veggi specials accompanied by live Jamming Radio Reggae for musical entertainment. Of course there are several local Parillas (BBQs) where traditional Argentine assado and grilled meats are prepared for hearty appetites.
Another fashionable reason to stay at the POP Hotel is the close proximity---fifteen minute walk---to the Murillo Street leather shops. Here you can find the best prices for genuine leather goods, made in Argentina, including shoes, coats, jackets, bags, accessories, and novelties.
If you are looking for a break from the urban excitement and shopping then a twenty minute walk will take you to the Parque Centenario---Centennial Park.  Here you can relax in twenty-five acres of parkland including a mile-long promenade around the lake's perimeter which is very popular with local joggers. The Buenos Aires characteristic Tipa trees provide lots of shade but there is plenty of open space for sun worshippers.
Parque Centenario---Centennial Park

So if you are looking to plan an economical visit to the gay mecca of Buenos Aires, the POP Budget Boutique Hotel and Villa Crespo offer a fashionable, budget conscious, and smart alternative to the more expensive and well-known tourist neighbourhoods. But there is no need to sacrifice any of the LGBT excitement of this metropolis which is still close at hand when you stay in Villa Crespo. This is one of Buenos Aires' best kept secrets!
For More Information Visit:
www.pophotelsbuenosaires.com
www.almacenpurista.com
http://www.jamming.com.ar/radiobar/
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cafe-Crespin/106729469390708?sk=notes