Sunday, October 13, 2013

From Hetero-Friendly to Gay-Friendly, Axel Hotel Buenos Aires Changes Hands

Buenos Aires, Argentina
BeHotel Entrance
By Roy Heale

In a surprise move during the first week of October the Spanish Axel Hotel Group announced the sale of their Buenos Aires property to a group of Argentine investors and henceforth it will be known as the BeHotel. The former owners did not give any reasons for this unexpected move but local travel industry speculators blamed the decrease in LGBT visitors to Argentina during recent years and the national Government's foreign exchange controls. However, the new owners and management assured that LGBT visitors will still be welcomed with a gay-friendly reception at the new BeHotel. No major changes or renovations are planned for the facilities but the food and beverage plus customer services will be upgraded for a more enjoyable stay.

Outdoor Pool and Sun Decks

The Catalan Group, based in Barcelona, commissioned the design and construction of the hotel and it opened as the Axel Hotel in 2007 developing into a major institution of the Buenos Aires LGBT community. BeHotel Buenos Aires is the first establishment of the Argentine investment group, which plans to expand in 2014 with another location in the City of Buenos Aires and other main tourist destinations like Iguazu, Bariloche, or Mendoza.

Indoor Spa

Uniquely designed with the guest rooms located around a large central atrium and a spa on the top floor, the spacious designer suites and rooms with the creative use of glass and mirrors have proved extremely popular. The large heated swimming pool at the rear of the building offers plenty of sundecks on multi-levels for summer outdoor enjoyment. Whilst the top floor spa includes fitness equipment, two jacuzzis, sauna, and a swimming pool with a translucent floor.

Designer Rooms & Suites

Terrace, Outdoor pool (seasonal)
Sauna, Fitness centre, Solarium, Spa and wellness centre, Hot tub, Turkish/steam bath, Indoor pool (all year)
Food & Beverages:
Restaurant, Bar
WiFi is available in all areas and is free of charge.
No parking available. Other parking garages are close by.
24-hour front desk, Luggage storage, Room service, Meeting/banquet facilities, Business centre, Laundry, Dry cleaning, Ironing service, Tour desk, Shuttle service (surcharge)
Non-smoking rooms, Facilities for disabled guests, Lift/elevator, Safety deposit box, Heating, Design hotel, Air conditioning
Languages Spoken:
Portuguese, Spanish, English, German, Italian, Hebrew, French


The hotel's location in the heart of San Telmo, close to the subway (Subte) and buses (colectivos), is perfect for exploring all of the Buenos Aires tourist attractions. Nearby are the numerous cafes, bars,and restaurants of historic San Telmo and of course Tango shows. The world renowned San Telmo market occurs every Sunday, all year long, and the BeHotel is just a five minute walk to all of the merchants and antique vendors.

So whether straight or gay, visitors will enjoy any stay for leisure or business at the new BeHotel in the heart of all the excitement for which Buenos Aires is famous.


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Argentina's National Flower Festival Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Floral City Park, Escobar, Argentina
By Roy Heale

Anyone who has wandered the streets of Buenos Aires would probably have noticed the countless flower vendors offering their remarkably fresh blooms at very low prices. This phenomenon is due to the fact that Escobar---the so called Flower Capital of Argentina---is just under a one hour drive from the heart of Buenos Aires facilitating reasonable prices and fresh supply.

Floral Displays

Celebrating spring each year Escobar hosts the National Flower Festival and this year marks the 50th Anniversary of this fiesta. Starting at the end of September and for the first two weeks of October visitors to the park known as Floral City can enjoy floral displays, lush grounds, and of course Argentine specialty foods including fresh fruits and a variety of meats cooked on a large outdoor Parilla----BBQ.

Fresh Fruit Sundaes

Outdoor Parilla

The last Saturday includes a parade of floral floats in the evening with the reigning Queen of the National Flower Festival presiding over the celebrations.

Visitors travel from all over Argentina to celebrate spring and you might even see gauchos---cowboys---from the Pampas in traditional costumes. Entertainment stages offer local folklore dancers in costume and regional musicians playing Spanish favorite tunes.

Gauchos From The Pampas

There is a nominal admission charge to help offset the Festival costs but an afternoon strolling around the park and enjoying magnificent spring flowers, trees, and shrubs is priceless!

The town of Escobar is easily reached from Buenos Aires by local buses and the journey takes just less than one hour. From the heart of Escobar a short inexpensive taxi ride will take visitors to the park.

So if you happen to visit the city of Buenos Aires at the launch of Spring, then be sure to take some time to stop and smell the roses!

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