Argentina: Trip Planning and Hotel Reviews 2009

In March of 2009 we spent two weeks in Argentina.  We had so many people asking why we chose to go to Argentina, so I thought I would answer that here.  We were trying to decide where to go when Stephen said , “How about Argentina!”  (he had been bringing this up for awhile but I was really not interested in going anywhere in South America).  However, after a trip last  summer back to Europe when the Euro was at its height, we were all looking for someplace a bit cheaper that would also allow us to do some shopping without feeling like we were paying 1.5x more than we would need to in the states.  So, I headed to the bookstore to check out Argentina.  As soon as I started reading about Patagonia and how you could go “minitrekking” on an ice glacier I was hooked!!  I am always looking for some sort of unique thing we can do while traveling (riding camels in Morocco or elephants in Thailand) – it always makes for a great experience/adventure and an awesome Christmas pic.  Then I started reading on Fodors about how everyone loved Buenos Aires and soon I was booking plane tickets there!!

Our basic itinerary was a total of  eight nights in Buenos Aires (broken up at beginning and end of trip), three nights in El Calafate (Patagonia) and one night in Iguazu.  I do not normally use a travel agent but for our inter country airfare, I did.  They would not allow individuals to book airfare more than sixty days in advance.  Now, I am an advance planner and I get nervous that I might have a problem getting tickets if I am not able to book sooner.   So, I contacted Isabel at Buenosaires-tours.com.  She was able to book tickets several months in advance and that helped keep me happy.  All the other tours, etc. I booked on my own directly through the websites.

Our accomodations:

Miravida Soho, Buenos Aires

(http://www.miravidasoho.com/)

We stayed at the Miravida Soho for all eight nights.   This place really was as wonderful as everyone reports.  The owner, James, has put together a wonderful small boutique hotel, and his staff was extremely helpful and charming.  They were always willing to make reservations/phone calls for you – one evening Nadia even located where we could find some medicine that Stephen needed.

Our first two nights we had two of the courtyard rooms.  They were not large but equipped with everything you would need and a small balcony onto the quiet courtyard and quite cozy.  It was really nice that rooms also come equipped with plug adapters.  The next three nights and upon our return visit we stayed in the suite.  Excellent for a family of four (if kids can share a bed and you can all share a bathroom).  There were two rooms one with a king size bed and one with a sofa sleeper.  Both rooms were quite large and we were very pleased to stay there (and saved us money from renting the two rooms!!)

A hot breakfast was served off a limited but nice menu.  Basically you have four choices:  French toast with bacon, poached eggs and spinach with bacon, scrambled eggs with bacon or yogurt with fruit and granola.  Everything was yummy (and yes, you can ask for French toast and eggs – we did), and the bacon was like no bacon we have had at home – delicious!!  If you were staying for more than four to five days the choices might feel really limited, but since our eight day stay was broken up we were really happy with it.  The young lady who worked the breakfast room was so sweet and knew our drink orders by the second morning.  The wine bar was a nice place to hang out before or after dinner and particularly nice for Stephen to try wines since I do not drink.

The hotel was walking distance to tons of restaurants and shopping in Palermo Soho.

 Miyazato Inn, El Calafate

(http://www.interpatagonia.com/miyazatoinn/index_i.html)

I deliberated for a long time on where to stay in El Calafate.  I really wanted to be within walking distance of the town since we did not have a car,  but also wanted one of the more modern hotels with a view of the lake.  Unfortunately, that seemed nearly impossible to find.  Also,  many of the more modern places always seemed to have mixed reviews on Trip Advisor.  I decided to go with Miyazato Inn which at the time was the #1 place on Trip Advisor. I knew it was a small, simpler place, but within walking distance of the town and received consistently positive ratings on Trip Advisor.  The place is quite simple and I would describe it more like a B&B then an inn.  However, the rooms were a good size and the owners were the nicest people and will do anything for you.  Our first day we did the All–Glaciers boat tour and we had asked for four box lunches, but the company had only delivered three.  Once we realized the mistake the owners immediately called, but it was delivered after we had already been picked up by the bus.  Jorge met the bus at the last hotel pickup and handed us the lunch.  The inn included breakfast, which included croissants plus ham and cheese.  It was just a five to ten minute walk to the main street of town.

In retrospect I think I would have preferred to stay in one of the bigger hotels, just to have a bigger lobby and more space to sit and enjoy the view.  But for the price Miyazato is a great place and I would recommend it!!

Sheraton Iguazu Resort & Spa, Iguazu Falls

(http://www.starwoodhotels.com/sheraton/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=1152)

We stayed at the Sheraton, which I would highly recommend, particularly if you are only there for a short time. It was just a quick walk to the place to pick up the jeep/boat for the falls and we really appreciated not having to always drive back into town. I know people were saying it was a bit long in the tooth, which is true (particularly the exterior – looks a bit Soviet), but the rooms were a nice size, and ours appeared to be recently renovated.  It has a nice large lobby, and we thought the pool area was nice. Definitely expensive (especially since we had our two kids so had to get two rooms) and not as nice as the expense, but I think ultimately it was worth it!  The breakfast buffet that comes with the room was quite extensive with a lot of choices.  We ate lunch there on our arrival day which was quite good.

To read about the trip click below:

Buenos Aires

Patagonia/El Calafate/Perito Moreno Glaciers

Iguazu Falls

 

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2 responses to “Buenos Aires 2009”

  1. Manisha says:

    Thanks for all your wonderful trip reports. I always like to read them and note things for our future journeys. A prom dress from Argentina! Wow! Must have been amazing 🙂

    • Judy Gambee replied: — May 17th, 2016 @ 6:35 pm

      Manisha – So glad to hear that you enjoy the reports and find them helpful! Hope your next journey is amazing!

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