Palermo Hollywood, Buenos Aires
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. 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!
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.
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)
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)
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.
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.
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