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6 People, BA Christmas 2009! I need suggestions, or even a few good control freaks to help me!

6 People, BA Christmas 2009! I need suggestions, or even a few good control freaks to help me!

Jan 3rd, 2009, 07:30 AM
  #1  
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6 People, BA Christmas 2009! I need suggestions, or even a few good control freaks to help me!

Happy New Year! Six of us, in our 50's, who are very road tested are planning our next journey. Buenos Aires and surrounding areas during the last two weeks of December and the first week of January.

I am open to talking to the pros, but a few good Fodrites who want to chime in and help me plan this thing would be much appreciated.

We are pretty active and don't want to spend our whole time in the city. We have had great luck in the past with booking early and getting amazing lodging, both in small boutique hotels and big fancy places. In my fantasy world maybe $125 or less a night in BA? Apartments or hotel rooms....we all need our space.

We also usually love to hire a tour guide and cruise with him/her to museums, etc.

Being the top control freak in the group, I start early with planning, but I welcome you (Pleeeze!) to start to help me with suggestions on how you would divide the time and places to stay, dine (two are non pork/red meat eaters), and take excursions to. Thank you all in advance.

PS. I have been doing lots of reading in the BA forums, but it's a bit overwhelming. So far maybe staying in Palermo Soho?
seeksocean is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2009, 09:37 AM
  #2  
 
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we just got back this morning from our second trip to Argentina! Two weeks this time, with BA and the Lake District. Last trip also BA and the Northwest.

Loved them both and stayed in wonderful, small hotels with charming personality and service.

In Ba, we stayed in the Palermo barrio both times (once in P. Hollywood and the other in P. Soho). Soho is a better location. We loved it there. Maybe get an apartment for best price and most room together, though. This time we ended our trip in the suburb of San Isidro, and stayed at the amazingly charming Hotel del Casco.

If it were me with three weeks, I would spend about a week in BA, which gives you time to make daytrips, too, two or three days in Iguazu and then pick a week (at least) in either the Northwest or Patagonia (lake district and /or glaciers). Don't forget that you lose some days for your flights, since you have to return to BA each time.

You probably have time to pick out another region, but your planning would depend on how much downtime you would like, to just hang out by the pool, take hikes, etc.

skatedancer is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2009, 10:26 AM
  #3  
 
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We've made 2 trips to Argentina -- first time we spent about 8 days in BA time divided between the beginning of the trip in Palmero Soho and the end of the trip in Recoleta. In between we went to Iguazu Falls which is fantastic and should not be missed. We also spent a few days at 2 estancias. One estancia is fine.

This past trip in November we stayed in San Telmo which is an area we loved, but not sure it's right for a first visit. Then we went to the NW for 9 days which we fell in love with. I've got a Trip Report ongoing on the NW portion of the trip. Its pretty detailed about the NW. U can click on my name to find it. We returned to BA and stayed in Palmero Soho at the Miravida Soho. The suite room is very nice, the other rooms are smaller. Expect the weather to most likely be pretty hot in late December/January.
Arg is fabulous -- enjoy the planning...
yestravel is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2009, 11:04 AM
  #4  
 
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With 6 of you and at that price, I would think an apartment would work better for you.

http://www.batravelguide.com/
I would only use this lady for any tours or help in getting around here. She is bright and speaks more than a couple of languages and is sooo nice!
The Museums here are wonderful and really don't need guides. I have a free book that my son got when he visited one of the museums.. it tells you every museum and where they are and what kind of art, etc. That is all I would think you would need... you have a year to read up on everything~

Also, look into the Cicerones. These people are wonderful!! and you will most likely like the Price..
http://www.cicerones.org.ar/index_es.html

We don't eat pork/red meat and eat everywhere our friends eat .. the menus here always have something non red meat/ chicken and fish and pasta are almost always on every menu.

We were just in Palermo Soho today.. fantastic weather, I heard almost nothing But English as we walked around. It is becoming extremely touristy but that might be nice for you, or not. The Palermos and Recoleta are all great areas to stay in... we can walk from our home in Recoleta to Palermo so it is no big deal wherever you stay to get around.
Just remember this- only 4 people in a taxi.

I would go to Bariloche for at least 5 days - a week.

Get a map. It will be sooo helpful for you in your planning !

Have fun planning !
Scarlett is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2009, 12:04 PM
  #5  
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Thanks! Great suggestions so far!! I think the reason we all do so well traveling is that we have our own space, so I think maybe nice hotels or B&b's with lounge/common areas and breakfast included might work better for our crew.

Any names of hotel and restaurants in the non BA areas and more hotel and food choices in Palermo Soho areas would be much appreciated..


Any 'street food' in these places? What prices can we expect for meals in BA? Scarlett, what restuarants were your favorite for the non meateaters? Keep it coming folks!! I really do appreciate this!

What travel book would you recommend for me to buy? Thanks!
seeksocean is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2009, 02:28 PM
  #6  
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Scarlett, We are used to the two taxi thing. What's the usual fare for getting around in BA? How easy is it to get to and from the airport if we want to check out other places? What time of day is the worst for that traffic-wise (or is that a rhetorical question) and, what's the fare from the airport to Palermo Soho? Thanks!!
seeksocean is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2009, 02:48 PM
  #7  
 
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Look into the Home Hotel, BoBo and Miravida got some good reviews too. They are all in Palermo. I would choose Home if I were doing this ..

Palermo Soho is one restaurant after another.. get a guide book and go over to TripAdvisor and read there too... we are always discussing Food and Drink there.
We just had lunch today at a Mexican Place that we like, Xtapa. There is a wonderful place called Meridiano (something...a number) that is so good.
La Cabrera the famous steak parrilla is there, you can get fish and chicken too.. salads here are great.
They do veggies and fish well too.
I don't know about outside of BA.

I would never eat "street food" here.
An expensive restaurant here will still be a bargain in terms of US dollars.

< I yelled down the hall to my husband for price info .. this should give you some idea of pricing, even if we are off a little.. >
Our meals that always include a bottle of wine, apps, main courses and sometimes dessert usually cost the 2 of us anywhere from $25-30 USD to $70..
Breakfast in our favorite cafe is 2 coffees and 2 scones and that is $27 pesos, which is about $8 USD.and they are higher priced than some
Pizza is about $7-9 USD..
Ice cream .. kilo $24 pesos .. $7-8 USD.. fresh made every day , you will be addicted right away..

I have my favorites but none of them is depending on meat/non meat.
I like a couple of parrillas a lot, I like their seafood and salads.
Juana M
Rodi Bar
Olinda Bistro
Amici Miei
Defensa au Sur
Sirop
Erin
Guidos Bar
Hermanns
my mind has just gone blank..

Buenos Aires Rough Guides, 2008.
and a good map.

Seems like the most we have paid for a taxi anywhere lately was about $17 pesos... $5-6 USD.
You will pay more for the Remiss to and from the airport.. We use VIP.

EZE is about 45 minutes from town with no traffic , I think. The other airport is right in town.. that would probably be the one you would use for flights in the country.
Traffic here is the same as any big city in the world.. it can be a nightmare or you can just zip right in.
Your flights will arrive early in the am.. .
You will leave in the evening.. .
(Unless things have changed in the past couple of months)
The flights in the country I know nothing about.

We have been lucky with flights and getting through customs quickly.








Scarlett is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2009, 03:00 PM
  #8  
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Thanks Scarlett, You are amazing! I will start with all of this. Start with the BA research stuff and then work my way to other locals. Thanks again!

How far in advance did you buy your ticket? Our closest major airport is SFO (San Fran). Any clues on the best airline that leaves from there?

We all usually use miles, but now our mileage programs are getting harder to redeem and we all have different programs. Might work best to cough up the dinero and get the miles and all fly together.

Keep it coming and thanks again!
seeksocean is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2009, 03:56 PM
  #9  
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Scarlett, Although a bit over our original budget, Mine Hotel looks really great. What do you think?
seeksocean is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2009, 04:44 PM
  #10  
 
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First time we visited BA, it was maybe 2-3 months ahead of time.
When we moved here, it was just a month or two but we flew FC and always on Continental.
From Portland Or it was stop-over in Houston then on to BA. Arriving here around 8:30-9 in the am..

We used AMX Platinum and made them do all the booking.Our first trip was just a 2 week visit , nothing complicated but the flight when we moved here involved bringing a large dog... very complicated.

I have read reviews of the Mine Hotel but I don't remember them being especially good or bad.. sorry.


Scarlett is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2009, 04:46 PM
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I have stayed at both Home and Mine Hotels. We stayed at Home two years ago, and Mine just last week!

We had a slight preference for Home as a hotel, but liked the location of Mine much better, as you are right in the thick of things in Palermo without having to go over the train tracks. The rooms in Mine are on the small side, but they are nice and comfortable enough.

Both have nice personalized service.
skatedancer is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2009, 05:16 PM
  #12  
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Skatedancer, what was your slight preference with Home Hotel? They both look good. Location is a good thing too. I am hoping maybe a multi-room discount and cash on arrival might bring the price down a little. Can I ask what the price was for both hotels for you? Thanks!
seeksocean is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2009, 05:41 PM
  #13  
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Scarlett, No FC for us, although back in my courier days many years ago I flew Continental FC to Indonesia a few times and it was really fabulous.

But, chances are that Continental via Houston will be our route. I guess I can't even research the fares now...too early.
seeksocean is offline  
Jan 4th, 2009, 07:19 AM
  #14  
 
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We liked the outdoor area and the breakfast better at Home. I just recall feeling like we had really been at an oasis, with a really cool "vibe."

The Mine has a nice outdoor setting and breakfast, but the Home was just slightly better in that regard. While the Mine was a really nice stay, I just remember feeling sadder about leaving Home.

That having been said, our room at the Home was quiet (even though it faced the street) (except for the pocket door to the bathroom squeaked and woke me up at night...), but our friends had a room over the bar area, and heard noise until the wee hours.... At least when we were there, the Home was more of a hangout than the Mine.

When we stayed at the Home, I recall our room being US$145, but I'm sure it's gone up since then (we probably had the second level of size). The 2009 rates at Mine are going up to US$165, 190 and 230 for the different size rooms. Although I didn't go in the "classic" rooms, I think they're probably just a bed and night stands; the superior gets you a small table and chairs; the suite has a sitting area with a couch.

Since we first went to BA two years ago, alot of new boutique hotels in the area have been established. Judging from the reviews on TA, they all look pretty good! I think you will be okay just about anywhere you pick.

As far as food for non-meat eaters, you will also be fine no matter where you travel in Argentina. All restaurants had veggie options.

In Palermo Soho, we had lunch at Mott, where they grow their own produce. The salads were phenomenally fresh-tasting -- the arugula in particular was a revelation!! If you go there, try the kiwi mint drink -- fantastico!! DH and DS ate lunch at a place called Mundano that they said was great -- and definitely good for veggie choices.


skatedancer is offline  
Jan 4th, 2009, 08:10 AM
  #15  
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Thanks soooo much for the great reply! I just love Fodors. I E-mailed both the Mine and Home Hotels. The Miravida, as well, although they have no pool. I know it is early in the year, but whenever we have all traveled, we have gotten better places and better prices, early like this. I did ask about a muli-room and possible cash discount. We'll see!

Since I have figured about a week in BA, now I need to research the rest of our trip. I don't want to do a bunch of back and forth airport trips from BA.

Oh, I did have one more question. How about at the end of our stay, when we fly out of BA, should we try and get a hotel close to the airport, or just go back downtown? Thanks again!
seeksocean is offline  
Jan 4th, 2009, 08:16 AM
  #16  
 
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how long will you be returning to BA? You might consider doing what we did: staying in the suburb of San Isidro at the Hotel del Casco. This place was so incredibly charming, and a very relaxing way to end the journey!! It is right in the center of the historic center of the town and there are many amazing private homes in this suburb. It is near to the Tigre (we didn't have a chance to tour that, though).

The hotel is about fifteen minutes from the domestic airport and about forty-five minutes from Ezeiza.

hoteldelcasco.com
skatedancer is offline  
Jan 4th, 2009, 08:52 AM
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How far in advance did you buy your ticket? Our closest major airport is SFO (San Fran). Any clues on the best airline that leaves from there?
I think that I can help you with this one, I'm also from SF.

I am going to BA in Feb 2009, I started looking in July, fares were in the $1500 range, with connections in Huston/Dallas/Miami and the others that I would not consider where Toronto/NYC/DC, seems way too long of a flight.

I found a great fare on Orbits, with Mexicana, which I have no affiliation so won't accrue miles on any of my millions of programs, BUT, $770 with all taxes!!! I found this in Oct, so it did take a little patience. It is also the shortest route from SF, through Mexico City. Right now on Mexicana's website, there are fares in the $900's, but I don't know if it is for next xmas???? Take a look.

When I was looking I went ahead and wrote hotels and apartments but couldn't really commit until I found a flight, and then in Oct/NOv I was able to book everything I wanted for Feb without any problems.

susanna is offline  
Jan 4th, 2009, 09:09 AM
  #18  
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Skatedancer, That sounds like a great idea!

Susanna, We haven't and couldn't if we wanted to, buy our tix yet. I did go on the Mexicana website and put in theoretical dates (November was really the latest I could do). I got the cheap airfares, but with tax it was more like $900RT. Most of our group usually is able to use FF miles, but with this one, I think that booking together and staying together and paying is probably the best idea for this trip. I figure our tix will be over $1,000.

The journey seems longer than most trips we take. As soon as December dates become available, I will be ON IT. I would prefer an airline that we could get mileage credit with, so I may want to do SFO-EZE on Continental. They are my 'common denominator' airline. Ironically, I haven't flown a Continental Jet in over 10 years. The flight to BA is through Houston. They have a nice lounge there.

I'll post back and let you know how it goes and if you hear anything, let me know as well.
seeksocean is offline  
Jan 4th, 2009, 09:31 AM
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Getting to the airport (EZE) from downtown BA can take as long as 45 minutes.. there are no "airport" hotels. You would have to stay in town, which would not be such a bad thing

We have always flown Continental and we liked the waiting areas at Houston airport..
Scarlett is offline  
Jan 4th, 2009, 09:52 AM
  #20  
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Scarlett. Oh, okay, I understand now. I was reading too fast and missed the 'domestic'.

What are your suggestions as far as avoiding traffic to the BA International airport with times and better days to travel? I usually try to make our returns on a Sunday. It's usually the crack of dawn, but I am really sick of the early hussle to get to the airport. Maybe later in the day is better. What do you think?
seeksocean is offline  

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