There's no place like Home. Or rather there wasn't in 2002 when Argentine PR Patricia O'Shea and her British record -producer husband, Tom Rixton, were planning their wedding in Buenos Aires. As their guests jetted in from around the world, they realised that there was a boutique hotel-sized gap in the market. So with some additional funding from U2's record producer, Flood, and Crowded House bass player Nick Seymour, they decided to create the kind of place they would like to stay themselves.
It's the kind of place where the rooms all have MP3 players and the outside bar is the place to be on a Friday evening when the city's top DJ s take control of the music. However, the result is not as scarily hip as those music industry credentials make it sound. The hotel does what it says on the label – feels like home. The staff couldn't be friendlier: there's none of that cooler-staff-than-guests nonsense.
Deceptively small from the outside, the hotel stretches back through a lobby decked out with an eclectic mix of Scandinavian sofas and chairs from the 1950s and restored flea market finds, to a lush garden and floodlit infinity pool.
Tom and Patricia worked with Argentine architect Rodrigo Cunill to design a light and contemporary space – think lots of glass and wood. It's modern with a retro slant. In the bar there are 1960s Robin Day Polyprop chairs, in the garden, Eero Aarnio Pastil chairs (squashed white balls – or Space Hoppers).
The garden was designed by actress Chunchuna Villafane and is an urban oasis: towering trees and a mass of flowers. Every surface is dripping greenery.
The spa is very Zen, lying down a wooden staircase and across a gravel courtyard. The ayurvedic treatments help soothe away the effects of a trans-Atlantic flight, or one too many poolside cocktails. Say it again: there's no place like home, there's no place like home...
Home Hotel Buenos Aires, Honduras 5860, Buenos Aires (00 54 11 4778 1008; homebuenosaires.com). The hotel is down a shaded tree-lined street in the chi-chi barrio of Palermo Hollywood, with its hip boutiques, cafes and restaurants.
Time from international airport: depending on the time of day it can take between 45 minutes to an hour and a half. A taxi costs a flat fare of 138 pesos (£25).
There are 18 rooms (including three suites) which overlook either an interior patio, the tree-lined street or the garden.
Design themes include vintage French wallpaper, custom-made beds using native watambu wood and design classics such as the Saarinen tulip chairs.
I stayed in the Garden Suite, which is more rock and roll than its name suggests. The suite is hidden behind a high wall with its own plunge pool and roof terrace – accessed via a spiral staircase from the L-shaped room – complete with open-air fireplace.
The décor features 1926 green leaf design, hand-painted French wallpaper, an original George Nelson desk and a soft cream leather and wood Florence Knoll sofa. Chilean rugs and llama wool blankets add a splash of colour. A home from home – there's also a good selection of well-thumbed novels.
Freebies: Large bottles of Home-labelled shampoo, conditioner and shower gel are provided in the bathrooms. The Home Guide, a constantly updated book of insiders' tips bound in the signature vintage wallpaper print, is gold dust and free from reception.
Keeping in touch: direct dial phones, free Wi-Fi internet access – and a computer in the lobby for guests to use.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Double rooms start at US$120 (£16) including breakfast. The garden suite costs US$380 (£259).
I'm not paying that: Che Lulu Trendy Hotel (00 54 11 4772 0289; luluguesthouse.com) in Palermo Soho has doubles with private bathroom from US$70 (£48).Reuse content