Saturday, July 5, 2014

Local Markets at Ing Maschwitz, Buenos Aires

Mercado Maschwitz



By Roy Heale
 
 
The small town of Ing Maschwitz in the province of Buenos Aires was named after Carlos Maschwitz who was born in Buenos Aires on May 7, 1862, son of Mr. Georg Eduard Maschwitz, first manager of the Bank of London.
 
Zeppelin Restaurant Garden

Today this small historic village is home to the Mercado Mendoza and the Mercado Maschwitz offering a selection of local restaurants, cafes, boutiques, and local handicrafts. Using recycled materials, the unique construction of these markets is slightly reminiscent of La Boca in the city of Buenos Aires but less commercial and more authentic Argentine. There is a new market under construction scheduled to open in December 2014 and using large steel shipping containers for the main building materials.

New Market Under Construction

This is a popular place with local residents for weekend brunches and shopping expeditions. Just a one hour bus ride from the city of Buenos Aires, it is also a well known escape from the city to enjoy the relaxed rural pace of life.

Emilio Mitre Square


In the Emilio Mitre Square, which is also the central park for the townsite, ther is an old London phone booth which has been converted into a unique public library.



This charming village is a relaxing place to spend a day away from the traditional tourist attractions and experience the real rural Argentine customs and lifestyle.

Mercado Maschwitz
 
Mercado Mendoza
 

Getting There: Take the Escobar express bus from Plaza Italia in the city and ask the driver to announce Maschwitz. Upon arrival at the town it is a short walk to the village or the markets located on Mendoza Street.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Historic Colegiales Barrio, Buenos Aires


Colegiales Barrio
By Roy Heale

The Colegiales Barrio of Buenos Aires offers a laidback alternative to its noisier neighbors Palermo and Belgrano. Covering just over two square kilometers, it is one of the city's smaller barrios and a largely residential one. Known for its large, open green spaces and treed residential streets, Colegiales is squeezed between Belgrano, Chacarita, and Palermo. Although it is off the tourists' beaten track there are some interesting points of local history to discover.

Street Art

Historically Colegiales was paired with Chacarita---the barrio situated immediately south---and the two were originally known as Chacarita de los Colegiales. In its beginnings this community was made up of small Jesuit-owned estates that were utilized as student retreats. In 1767 the Jesuits were expelled and the Spanish took control of the land. After the turn of the century and the commencement of Bernandino Rivadavia’s government in 1826, large numbers of European immigrant workers settled in the area and forced it to be divided into the two separate barrios of Chacarita and Colegiales.

Today, Colegiales maintains a strong residential feel that is characterized by its sleepy cobblestone streets lined with overhanging trees. With its close proximity to Palermo, the neighborhood is experiencing increased numbers of bars and restaurants.

Mercado de Pulgas

One major tourist attraction of Colegiales is the Mercado de Pulgas---Flea Market. Founded in 1988 and situated at the intersection of Avenida Dorrego and Alvarez Thomas, this indoor market presents an eclectic collection of furniture, art work, antiques and other curiosities. If you are planning to stay long term in Buenos Aires you might just find a bargain for your new apartment here.

When in Colegiales you can retrace the footsteps of some of Argentina’s most famous sons. The comic strip Mafalda----written by humorist Quino (Joaquin Salvador Lavado)---was based on the barrio and Plaza Mafalda is dedicated to the creator and his artwork. Other famous names of the barrio include journalist Ulises Petit de Murat and inventor Ladislao Jose Biro. The latter invented the ballpoint pen and Fundacion Biro (Cramer 450) is dedicated to helping and promoting young Argentine inventors.

Pasaje General Paz

On a sunny day, take time to relax in one of the many plazas or take a stroll along Pasaje General Paz, (a narrow pedestrian promenade) which attracts visitors to see its mature trees, bridgepaths, streams and ornate, balconied Andalusian-style patios. Avenida Elcano is a wide leafy boulevard that connects the barrio with Belgrano and Chacarita. Situated on the latter you’ll also find Elcano Grill, a classic neighborhood parrilla, and The Oldest, a pleasant British-styled pub. When venturing deep into the back streets of Colegiales you will be treated to a wonderful mix of classic porteño cafés, closed-door restaurants and live music venues. Mix with a stylish hipster crowd at Pipi Cucu (Ciudad de la Paz 557), a quirky French bistro-restaurant. Mismatched plates, glasses and cutlery add to the aloof charm of the place whilst the bartenders are known for mixing delights such as red fruit martinis.

Pipi Cucu French Restaurant

Recently, upscale lofts were developed in what years ago were the massive Buenos Aires flour mills (known also as Silos Minetti), at 1916 Dorrego Street. Elegant and trendy, they were built into the silos themselves and have become popular with local yuppies.

Silos Minetti

Colegiales also has a rich religious heritage including The Holiest Corpus Christi Monastery (450 Amenábar St.)which has been the centuries-old home to the Order of Barefoot Carmelites.

The Holiest Corpus Christi Monastery

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Grand Country Mansion


San Isidro, Buenos Aires, Argentina


By Roy Heale

Victoria Ocampo Mansion
Argentine writer and intellectual Victoria Ocampo, CBE was described by fellow renowned Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges as La Mujer Más Argentina---The quintessential Argentine woman. She was well known as an advocate for others and as publisher of the legendary literary magazine Sur. In her long professional career as a writer and critic in her own right she became one of the most prominent South American women of her time. Her long life---April 7, 1890 to January 27, 1979---was filled with awards and distinctions and she is interred in the well known Recoleta cemetery.

Main Entrance


Although she owned several homes in Buenos Aires, San Isidro, and Mar del Plata, perhaps her favorite was her summer home, a country mansion in San Isidro, which is now just a 15 minute drive or a short train ride from the heart of Buenos Aires.

Gazebo


Originally this was her summer home and today it is a UNESCO museum. The tranquil grounds are beautifully kept and the main floor of the mansion is open to the public where you can enjoy the period décor. There is a small indoor/outdoor restaurant offering interesting menu items at affordable prices. A nominal admission charge of ARS$30 for adults helps with the upkeep. It is a short walk from the Beccar train station or from the San Isidro village center. This is where Victoria Ocampo hosted the likes of author Graham Greene and politicians like Indira Gandhi. The restoration of this historic mansion allows visitors to step back in time and visit the library of her works.

Outdoor Cafe


The splendid gardens were created by Victoria herself. One of the lesser known facets of Victoria Ocampo was her love of plants, gardens and nature. She inherited this passion from her mother and learned the names of plants and gardening tasks at an early age. Victoria also introduced these contemporary style gardens in her Mar del Plata and Palermo Chico homes. She visited the major gardens of the world, wrote several gardening books, some of which can be found in the on-site library.

Living Room


The Villa Ocampo UNESCO project was launched in 2003 in collaboration with the Argentine government, the Municipality of San Isidro, the Association of Friends of Villa Ocampo, plus many donors and sponsors. Under the direction of UNESCO the house, garden, furnishings, art and photography collections plus 11,000 books in the library were restored. The site was opened to visitors and aimed at a diverse audience offering a broad and comprehensive cultural program.


Dining Room

Open:

Wednesday to Sunday and holidays from 12:30 PM to 7:00PM


Guided Tours:

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday: 15:00hs and 16.30hs.

Saturdays, Sundays and holidays: From 14:00hs, every hour approx.

Splendid Grounds

For More Information Visit: www.villaocampo.org

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Garden of the City---Villa Devoto, Buenos Aires

By Roy Heale


Tree-Lined Streets
A short train ride from the heart of downtown Buenos Aires is the upscale neighbourhood of Villa Devoto which is also known as ‘El Jardin de la Ciudad’----The Garden of the City---due to its tree-lined streets. In fact, Villa Devoto famously boasts more trees than any other barrio of Buenos Aires. It derives its name from Count Antonio Devoto, a member of the Buenos Aires elite society from the late 1800s and early 1900s. Devoto, an Italian immigrant and philanthropist, owned the majority of the land that today makes up the barrio, which he acquired in 1888 when sections of the town of San Martin were incorporated into Buenos Aires Capital Federal.

In 1910, Count Antonio Devoto commissioned the building of Palacio Devoto, one of biggest mansions in Buenos Aires spread over more than 10,000 square meters. An icon of the barrio, the palace was designed by Italian architect Juan Antonio Buschiazzo and adorned with Florentine mosaics and gold, silver, and bronze trimmings. Unfortunately, Devoto died in 1916 before Buschiazzo had finished his work and completed the construction.

Today, Villa Devoto is famed for being the home of football icon Diego Maradona’s family members and the childhood neighborhood of tennis star Gabriela Sabatini.

Plaza Arenales

At the heart and center of Villa Devoto is Plaza Arenales, a large public square and park occupying the equivalent of four blocks. Here you will find a vast array of pine, walnut, eucalyptus, and magnolia trees, and history proclaims that at the turn of the 20th century the plaza was a popular meeting place of the Italian mafia. The plaza is named after General Juan Antonio Alvarez de Arenales, to whom a commemorative monument was built in 1958. There is also a statue of Antonio Devoto. Today, the plaza is a favorite evening and weekend hang out spot of Villa Devoto residents. Walking one block north along Nueva York street from Plaza Arenales you will discover the imposing Palacio Devoto.

Many other historic and grand mansions known as palacios can also be found in this barrio as you wander around the tree-lined streets. Of particular historic interest is the ornate, decorative style of Palacio Ceci built cerca 1895 and located on Lincoln between Gualeguaychú and Havana.

Palacio Ceci


Visit the Café de Garcia (Sanabria 3302) which opened in 1900 and is like a journey back in time as little has changed since its early beginnings. With walls adorned with football and tango memorabilia, it is as porteño as a café can get.

Café da la Plaza


The Café da la Plaza (Lincoln and Nueva York) offers a superb bistro-styled menu mixing Argentine, Armenian, and European ingredients. Overlooking the Plaza Arenales, it has become a Devoto institution for coffee, lunch, or dinner since opening in 1988.

A final delight can be found at the Vagon Devoto Bar and Restaurant beside the train station. Enjoy this unique dining experience on board an old historic British 1906 train wagon from the original Kassel Express. The food is excellent and the atmosphere is charming in this antique dining car. Choose from appetizers including bruschettas, pate de maison, or smoked salmon with cream cheese. Then enjoy traditional Argentina parilla cooked meats of beef, pork or lamb. For lighter appetites there is a selection of fresh salads, pastas, or fish dishes. The desert selection is varied and includes a wonderful cheesecake with red berries sauce.

Vagon Devoto Dining Car


Discover the proud inhabitants and a classic Buenos Aires lifestyle in Villa Devoto which is served by both the FC Urquiza and FC San Martin train lines with frequent service to the city center. A few hours spent in the Garden of the City Villa Devoto barrio will make for a unique Argentine experience undiscovered by most tourists but a genuine local education to be enjoyed.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

An Afternoon in Vicente Lopez, Buenos Aires

By Roy Heale
Sometimes an escape from the heart of the city of Buenos Aires and the traditional tourist attractions can be a welcome relief on a hot summer afternoon. If you are feeling adventurous then a short twenty minute train ride from the Retiro station will take you to the Barrio of Vicente Lopez and the expansive coastal parkland and beaches.

                                            Paseo de la Costa
Just a few blocks from the train station is Carlitos restaurant where you can enjoy a refreshing brunch of crepes, omelets, sandwiches, or salads accompanied by freshly squeezed juices or beer and wine. The excellent service and home cooked meals are a delight at economical prices. Start your visit here and then take the short two blocks walk to the coastal promenade.

                                           Carlitos Restaurant

                                          Carlitos Patio


The Paseo de la Costa is an expansive riverside green space with different sectors and is ideal for enjoying the outdoors with family or friends. During weekends the Coastal Promenade is closed to vehicular traffic and welcomes thousands of people who come to walk, jog, roller blade, and bicycle alongside the Rio de la Plata.

Some of the places that stand out in the Paseo de la Costa are the pedestrian bridge, the amphitheater "Arturo Illia " the memorial of the millennium, the Arenales Peninsula, and Vito Dumas tribute monument to the " Lone Sailor ".

                                          Treed Areas Providing Shade
 
The Children's Park with its thirty-two acres is an ideal walk for everyone to enjoy, especially on hot sunny days. From the coastal walk enjoy the Rio de la Plata vista with numerous sailboats and where fishing enthusiasts along the riverbank try their luck with their fishing rods and lines.

                                          Outdoor Sports
 
The park has areas with trees, picnic tables, and sports fields for soccer and more. There are also restrooms, a nursing station, kiosks, drinking fountains, family playgrounds, and parking for cars. In recent years the city government has installed artificial sandy beaches with umbrellas, chairs, showers and sports activities for families to enjoy in the sun and fresh air. In addition there is free Wi Fi Internet for those who need to stay in touch.

                                           Vicente Lopez Café

On your return journey allow enough time to visit the Vicente Lopez Cafe on the north side of the train station. This delightful café is perfect for a light breakfast or afternoon tea, coffee and fresh pastries. The baked goods are a delight and prepared every day to ensure a tasty treat. They have a courtyard patio across the street, outdoor sidewalk tables, and a large indoor restaurant. The short menu offers a variety of teas, coffees, sandwiches, salads, and of course freshly baked delights. The service is impeccable, efficient, and friendly. It's a great place for a snack or light meal and is conveniently located to start your visit with a traditional Argentine breakfast of medialunas or to enjoy your last few moments in Vicente Lopez with a sweet treat.








Sunday, March 2, 2014

Nuvo Hotel, Calgary, Canada


 Nuvo Hotel Suites
 
 
 
By Roy Heale

In the heart of Calgary's downtown is the trendy residential community known as the Beltline where comfortable and safe urban living is a recognised characteristic of the neighbourhood. Modern new high rise apartments blend with older historic buildings and everything architecturally in between to form a truly pleasant living environment for those who want to be close to the downtown commercial district. Naturally, this community is home to several new boutique hotels for the convenience of business and leisure travellers who want to share this urban experience. One of the most popular is the stylish Nuvo Hotel Suites which is perfect for a short visit to Calgary or an extended stay in the city.



This small boutique hotel is in an ideal location to walk a few blocks to the downtown business sector of Calgary, or the trendy and renowned 17th Avenue entertainment district. The suites are spacious and well appointed with all amenities including a kitchen for simple meals in your room. This is particularly good as the hotel is located just across from a Safeway supermarket with a great take-out deli section. There is a small work station area for a computer enabling guests to keep in touch while traveling. The staff are very efficient, friendly and helpful. Some parking is available but needs to be reserved in advance of arrival if possible. They offer free high speed WiFi and long distance calling within North America. Some units even have their own washer and dryer for the convenience of those on long term stays.

At Nuvo Hotel Suites, the guests' comfort is a top priority and as a unique Calgary boutique hotel catering to a multitude of needs, they strive to provide an affordable, comfortable and convenient experience.



All of the hotel suites offer a spacious queen bed, with a top of the line mattress. If you require more sleeping areas, rooms are available with pull-out couches or a second bed. The property is a 100% non-smoking facility to protect the guests' health and comfort during their stay. Impressive value is available in this exceptional downtown Calgary hotel which offers executive suites displaying unique artwork and contemporary furnishings.

Many local attractions are nearby, including the Saddledome, the Calgary Tower and the Calgary Stampede Fairgrounds. After a day of perusing the city's offerings and exhibits, guests enjoy the multitude of dining and shopping options in close proximity to their Calgary accommodations. Some balcony rooms are available with a view of the breathtaking Calgary skyline, and all the rooms have windows which open to allow fresh air to circulate. Those traveling for business purposes will appreciate the complimentary Internet and phone services, and the automatic coffee maker available in each room offers the perfect beginning to your day in the privacy of your own room. Numerous local restaurants and bars, shopping amenities, recreational facilities and cultural experiences are easily accessible from Element Hotel. Just a few short blocks from the hotle is The 17th Avenue Entertainment District which is recognised as the heart of Calgary for dining and shopping.

Some Local Dining Options Include:

* Balo Vietnamese Restaurant

* The King and I

* Brewsters 11th ave

* Ric's Grill

* Janice Beaton Fine Cheese and The Farm Restaurant

* Laurier Lounge

* Bonterra Trattoria

* The Coup + Meet

* Bumpy's Cafe

* Nellie's Cosmic Cafe

* Blowfish Sushi



Nuvo Hotel Suites offers the unique combination of contemporary styling, modern connectivity, and sophisticated, stylish decor to make your stay easier and more enjoyable. The friendly, knowledgeable staff is ready to help you with everything from a local restaurant recommendation to a last-minute photocopy need.




Facilities of NUVO Hotel Suites: 

Bedroom: Alarm clock, Wardrobe/Closet, Extra Long Beds (> 2 metres)

Kitchen: Dishwasher, Microwave, Coffee machine, Kitchenware, Refrigerator, Oven, Stovetop, Toaster, Kitchen

Living Area: Seating Area

Media & Technology: Radio, Cable Channels, iPod dock, Flat-screen TV, Telephone

Food & Drink: Breakfast in the room

Internet: Free WiFi is available in the hotel rooms

Parking: Guest parking is possible on site (reservation is not needed) and costs CAD 18 per day.

Services: Express check-in/check-out, Laundry, Fax/photocopying

General: Non-smoking rooms, Family rooms, Heating, Allergy-free room, Non-smoking throughout, Air conditioning, Fan, Ironing Facilities, Iron

This is an affordable boutique hotel option in a perfect Calgary downtown location providing spacious, reasonably priced accommodations for short or extended visits.


For More Information Visit:

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Great Boutique Hotel in Beltline Community

Hotel Elan, Calgary, Alberta, Canada


By Roy Heale

In the heart of downtown Calgary the trendy, residential community known as the Beltline is close to the business center of the city plus the hip restaurants, clubs, and boutiques of the 17th Avenue Entertainment District. For this reason a number of boutique hotels have recently located themselves in this area providing accommodation options for business and leisure visitors to Calgary. Perhaps the newest addition is the Hotel Elan which opened in June 2013 after an extensive period of renovations converting an apartment building into luxury suites for discriminating travellers.

Spacious Living Area

At Hotel Elan no detail is overlooked when it comes to comfort, luxury, and space. From the custom designed bathroom fixtures to the stylish furniture that has been imported directly from Italy, each suite has been created to make your stay unlike any other hotel you’ve ever experienced in Calgary. This is the only boutique hotel in Calgary to offer combined accommodation and private in-suite meeting spaces designed specifically for business travellers but also appreciated by vacationers to the city.

Large Bedrooms


Situated just one block from Calgary’s renowned Uptown 17th Avenue SW, Hotel Elan is in a vibrant part of the City that is home to over 200 boutique shops as well as numerous restaurants, lounges, and pubs. The downtown business district is just a short walk from the hotel. If you have your own vehicle, you can enjoy the benefits of their heated, secure underground parkade for a moderate nightly cost. It is also situated in the heart of the car-2-go zone---Calgary’s newest mode of transportation.

Hotel Elan has been designed to make you feel pampered and well looked after whether you’re travelling for business or pleasure.

Balconies For A View


Hotel Amenities:

Suites:

All suites offer meeting spaces for 4-6 people

•47″ flat screen TV in the meeting space/living room

•Complimentary High Speed Internet – Secure Wireless and Hard Wired

•Complimentary, unlimited calls anywhere in North America

•Natural light with access to a private outdoor balcony

Fitness Centre:

•Google map enabled treadmill – you can go for a run on a wide variety of trails all over the world

•Elliptical trainer

•Recumbant Bike

•Weight machines

•Bosu Ball

•Stretching area with free weights

Complimentary Deluxe Continental Breakfast Buffet

•Delicious, fresh, and healthy breakfast offered weekday mornings from 7:00am to 10:00am and weekends from 8:00am to 11:00am

The spacious rooms and suites offer the perfect combination of contemporary style and thoughtful functionality. The simple elegance of this boutique hotel will ensure that you stay in comfort and style. Whether you’re travelling for business or pleasure, you’ll find everything you need.

Well Appointed Kitchens


Room Amenities:

•Complimentary Dedicated 15 MB secured wireless and hard wired internet access for the most secure highspeed connection in each room

•Multi-layered walls that provide incredible soundproofing between all rooms and halls to ensure a restful and quiet night’s sleep

•Luxurious pillow top mattresses

•Italian furnishings throughout the bedrooms

•Thermostatic temperature control water valves in all showers to ensure the perfect water temperature every time

•Heated floors and toilet seats in all bathrooms for added comfort

•Dimmable light fixtures in every room ultimate lighting control

•Windows that tilt open in every suite

•All suites have bedrooms separate from the living/meeting space

•All rooms and suites have Lavazza Luxury Italian Coffee brewed in a Cuisine Art machine

•Complimentary local and North America wide calling

•Wake up call system that guests can use to set their own alarm each day

•iPod and iPad dock

•Luxurious contemporary sofas in suites
 
Convenient Work Areas
 

So whatever the reason for your visit to Calgary the Hotel Elan is sure to please and satisfy every travellers needs. The ultimate luxury of the heated toilet seats is truly unique and very welcome on a cold winter Calgary day!



For More Information Visit: http://hotelelan.ca