Budget hotels in Buenos Aires tend toward down and dirty hostel dorms or bare-bones modern hotels that have seen better days. Bonito, a handful of unusually shaped rooms on the third floor of a four-story 1914 building located in Montserrat near the center, is an exception. The old building was just waiting to be turned into something grand when a local architectural firm put its mark on it, inviting various contemporary Argentine artists to each decorate a room without interrupting the original layout. Every space is quite unique. While all units have private bathrooms and modern extras like LCD TVs and free Wi-Fi, the overall feel of each varies greatly: Some have curved windows. Some have two floors. Some have hand-painted wallpaper. One has a wine cellar. A common living area, anchored by a bar, is the social center of the property, and it occasionally plays host to cultural events like readings or film showings. There is also an on-site art gallery, 15 Litros.
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The neighborhood of Montserrat, where Bonito Buenos Aires is located, is a short cab ride to attractions in the center like the Plaza de Mayo, the city’s main plaza, or Casa Rosada, the government palace. For hot chocolate and medialunas (croissants), there’s Café Tortoni, a longtime literary hangout that dates to the late 1800s and was inspired by French fin de siècle coffeehouses. Mercado de las Pulgas, San Telmo’s famed flea market, is just a few blocks away, as is the highly recommended El Baqueno, a restaurant that incorporates many lesser-known Argentine ingredients in its menu.
Need to Know
Rooms: 5 rooms. From $60. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: Breakfast is offered, but there are no on-site dining facilities. Spa and gym details: Neither is available.
Who’s it for: Artsy, budget travelers looking more for an enchanting atmosphere than for modern perks. Our favorite rooms: Each of the five rooms is designed by a different artist. Number 305, from Carmen “Raya” Alonso, is a favorite with its two levels, floating staircase, lots of plants, and wall-sized murals. Sister property: If the hotel is full, Bonito has an associated B&B in San Telmo (formerly the Cocker) with similar features.