Palo Santo Hotel is a modern, sustainable boutique hotel located in the hip neighbourhood of Palermo in Buenos Aires. We were lucky enough to be able to spend time there during our stay in the city.
Location, location, location
Palo Santo Hotel is located within walking distance from trendy bars, restaurants and boutiques and a short cab ride away from posh Recoleta. The hotel is connected with the financial and historical centres of the city by public transport. When we checked in, the receptionist gave us a guide in English with useful information about the hotel and the city: the different districts, museums and art galleries, nightlife, what to see and do in Buenos Aires, where to shop, bars and restaurants and the like.
Once inside our room, we heard a beep. We finally figured out that the door wasn’t properly shut and the electronic lock was letting us know in no uncertain terms.
Our room had a balcony with a table and two chairs. The lush vertical gardens along the façade of the building do double duty: it reduces the hotel’s carbon footprint and provides insulation against the elements – and looks pretty too.
Palo santo is a native tree to the Americas which gives the hotel its name and whose wood was used for the floors.
The courtyard, in line with the hotel’s green concept, is an oasis in the middle of the city. I would have loved to sit down to breakfast among the lilies of the Nile but it was raining that morning. The water feature at the top of the garden matches the 20-metre high water feature that runs along one of the inside walls of the hotel.
In our experience, service was friendly and unobtrusive. Turndown service is one of my pet peeves – to me, it feels like an intrusion- and although Palo Santo Hotel is a high-end hotel, fortunately this service is not offered.
We were given one voucher each for a complimentary glass of wine in the evening –between 6 and 8 pm- but we came back late from dinner so we unfortunately missed it.
Check-in was a breeze. The receptionist offered us an Argentinean plug adaptor in case we needed one for our electronic devices. It was very thoughtful because, as it turned out, we’d forgotten to bring ours.
Topinambour is the hotel’s restaurant. One word: delicious. We had lunch and breakfast (included in the rate) there and every morsel was delightful. Fresh, good quality ingredients and fantastic execution make for a memorable experience. Chef Sébastien recreates French classics with an Argentinean twist. And it doesn’t hurt that he’s charming and speaks five languages.
Palo Santo Hotel is a certified green hotel built to LEED standards. Some of the sustainability features are the use of durable and certified materials, the vertical garden that reduces the hotel’s carbon footprint, LED lights and the VRV inverter air conditioning system that reduce electricity consumption, or the trickle irrigation and efficient toilets that reduce water consumption.
Personally, I liked the fact that the hotel works closely with El Ceibo, a co-op run by former rag-and-bone men and women and which provides jobs for disadvantaged and disabled people. They collect recyclable materials from the hotel and process and sell them.
The cotton fair trade laundry bags are made by small communities from Northern Argentina and can be purchased for US$ 5.