The 5th Floor, a ‘secret B&B’ in the heart of Alto Palermo (which I was assured would be open within the next six weeks!) sits inconspicuously on the top two floors of a 1930’s building.
Originally a “Petit Hotel”, British expat Miles Lewis, ex-banker turned polo player, has refurbished the place (without straying too far from the Art Deco original) to create his hidden “boutique B&B”- where custom is generated by word of mouth.
Miles wanted to create a more “hosted experience” when he started this new project a year ago. In short, the idea is to mix the hostel atmosphere young backpackers enjoy so much but adapt it for adults with a refined palate and interest in fine art.
With its Art Deco ambiance and attention-seeking, award-winning marble staircase – coupled with a grand piano in the living room – the entrance area is both exclusive and inviting, a far cry from most traditional chain hotel lobbies. There are no bored desk clerks here, but friendly staff who cruise halls lined with stained glass windows.
With a little – “well maybe a lot” – of help from the talented architects Jesus Rodriguez and Patricia Franco, interior designer Susan Kennedy and furniture designer Marcelo Liska (who are also the owners of the local fish and chip shop “The Chipper”) the place has come to take a life of its own.
In the upstairs area, where most of the luxurious yet intimate rooms are located, is a second terrace (my personal favourite). It used to be an old Andalusian garden – now fitted with the compulsory parilla – and is also heated and can be covered on those rare rainy days.
Each of the seven rooms has its own statement chandelier – the main being made of Murano glass, which Miles admits is a weakness of his.
Back downstairs, the kitchen is designed to be a social area for guests, and comes with all the latest equipment a foodie could dream of. Miles, a trainer chef himself, offers home-cooked breakfasts featuring actual English bacon and German sausages – the real deal. Guests who have acquired appropriate culinary skills will be welcomed to share their tricks with Miles for “dinner for all” type soirees around the twenty-seat dining table.
There is also an “honesty bar” and a sizeable terrace – ideal in the summer for drinks outside. With happy hour cocktails on the terrace with Miles and the gang in the evening, this new spot in town is not just a bed to sleep in – it’s your home away from home, luxury in all aspects.
Miles came to live in Buenos Aires four years ago but has been coming and going for 17 years and eventually decided to stay. He knows the city inside out – boasting many contacts in whatever industry you may think of – and wants share this enthusiasm with his guests by inviting them to gallery openings, theatre productions and other events.
The B&B comprises of seven rooms, three with their own terrace, at the reasonable price of US$90-160 – the star of the show will be living there himself to answer any traveller queries. There is also lift access for people with disabilities.
So grab your room now, the 5th floor is already receiving plenty of reservations! For more information, visit the website.