B&B and Beyond: The 5th Floor, Buenos Aires

Discover this Art Deco guesthouse with a strong psychological connection. Sorrel Moseley-Williams put her mind to the task

The 5th Floor was a psychiatrist's practice for almost half a century. It is located in Villa Freud, an unofficial mini-barrio in the bustling Palermo neighbourhood that is mainly residential, and named for the concentration of psychologists' offices here. The 5th Floor actually occupies two floors of a 1942-constructed Art Deco building. The ride up in the cramped three-person lift fades to a distant memory as soon as guests take in the high ceilings at this newly-converted, airy, seven-room B&B. Many original features remain, such as stained-glass windows depicting summery palm trees or cardon cacti in blue hues, and the stunning pink, white and grey marble curved staircase leading to five of the bedrooms.

With several communal areas designed for visitors to kick back with a borrowed novel or a glass of Malbec from the honesty bar, shared space is geared up for as much or as little socialising as one pleases.

 

The bed

The curved walls and natural light enhance the Art Deco proportions and interior design, from parquet flooring to antique chandeliers and 1930s-style leather club chairs. The larger en-suites have the feel of a luxury yacht cabin, complete with private viewing deck, while guests staying in compact rooms recharge batteries "down below". Black-and-white chequered marble floors are the norm in elegant en suite bathrooms, which have either a walk-in rainfall shower or tub. There's also a communal living room, front terrace, dining room and terrace, complete with the quintessential Argentine grill and potted herbs.

 

The breakfast

Taking a full English fry-up on the beautifully tiled Andalucian-style terrace is an unusual experience in Buenos Aires, but it works. The owner has sourced an English supplier for his back bacon, a Texan for the smoked variety, and German expatriates for the sausages, while locally grown vine tomatoes, mushrooms and organic eggs complete the line-up. Too hearty? Greek-style yoghurt, fresh fruit and medialuna pastries are available from the self-service sideboard.

The hosts

Owner Miles Lewis and his Argentinian partner Verónica Romano are on hand to offer insider information about their Buenos Aires querido. London-born Miles had visited Argentina every year since 1996 to play polo, then spent two years living in Buenos Aires before going back to Britain. Then the former venture capitalist realised that the capital had, in fact, become his home. He returned, later purchasing an ex-girlfriend's grandmother's apartment. The easy part done, Miles and lawyer Verónica have spent the past year converting the adjoining consulting rooms into a seven-bedroom B&B, taking care to maintain the property's original Forties features.

Although this is an about-turn for Miles's career, he says: "When I had a home in Cap d'Antibes, I'd always entertain and cook for 30 friends over the course of a weekend, so this is a natural transition."

The weekend

As Buenos Aires's largest neighbourhood, Palermo is buzzing at the best of times. However, this residential zone means that guests can delve into an authentic part of town, while having the luxury of Palermo Soho's bars and restaurants a stone's throw away. The ultra-modern Alto Palermo shopping mall (Santa Fe 3253; altopalermo.com.ar) is around the corner for stocking up on local staples, such as Paez's espadrilles (laspaez.com.ar).

Friendly service at La Pharmacie (Charcas 3494; lapharmaciepalermo.com.ar) has kept punters enjoying light pasta lunches for years, while nearby Plaza Güemes is home to the picture-perfect Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe church (parroquiaguadalupe.com).

As night falls, head to Thelonious (Salguero 1884; thelonious.com.ar) for jazz jams before dropping in for a nightcap at Verne Club (Medrano 1475; vernecocktailclub.com), a Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea-inspired cocktail bar led by renowned bartender Fede Cuco.

 

The pit stop

Sample traditional folk music and the taste of north-west Argentina at La Peña del Colorado (Güemes 3657; lapeniadelcolorado.com.ar). This venue offers a programme of musical guests every night of the week, so expect mournful vocalists and guitar combos accompanying locro beef- and blood-sausage stew, quinoa and pumpkin pie, or porky packages known as tamales. Show tickets cost 30 pesos (£3), 90 pesos (£9) for a meal.

 

The essentials

The 5th Floor, Vidt y Santa Fe, Buenos Aires, Argentina (00 54 9 11 2181-8574; the5thfloorba.com). Double rooms start at US$90 (£60), including breakfast.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Avatar grossed $2.8bn at the box office after its release in 2009
filmJames Cameron is excited
News
news

Lincoln MP Karl McCartney 'denied all knowledge' of the Twitter activity

Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
filmDirector said film would 'never have been financed' with ethnic minority actors in key roles
Arts and Entertainment
Stik on the crane as he completed the mural
art
Life and Style
View of champagne glasses at a beach bar set up along the Croisette during the 66th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes on May 17, 2013
food + drink(and for now, there's a clear winner)
News
The author PD James, who died on 27 November 2014
people

Detective novelist who wrote Death comes to Pemberley passed away peacefully at her home, aged 94

Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Arts and Entertainment
Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
arts + ents
Life and Style
tech

Sites using the popular Gigya comment platform were attacked by the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA)

Extras
indybest
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
An unseen image of Kurt Cobain at home featured in the film 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck'
film
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    h2 Recruit Ltd: Sales Manager - Holiday Homes - £100,000 OTE

    £40000 - £60000 per annum + £100,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: Birmingham, Derby, L...

    Investigo: Finance Manager - Global Leisure Business

    £55000 - £65000 per annum: Investigo: My client, a global leader in their fiel...

    Investigo: Senior Finance Analyst - Global Leisure Business

    £45000 - £52000 per annum + bonus+bens : Investigo: My client, a global leader...

    Investigo: Financial reporting Accountant

    £40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits : Investigo: One of the fastest growing g...

    Day In a Page

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
    Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

    Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

    The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
    Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

    Sarkozy returns

    The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
    Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

    Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

    Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
    Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

    Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

    Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
    There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

    In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

    The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
    UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

    UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

    It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
    Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

    Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

    It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
    The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

    Staying connected: The King's School

    The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
    Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

    Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

    Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
    Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

    Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

    The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
    Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

    When two worlds collide

    Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
    Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

    Putin’s far-right ambition

    Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
    Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

    Escape to Moominland

    What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?