Our city traveller and South America expert Susana just sent us this review of Eco Pampa Hostel, the first Eco Hostel and sustainable budget accommodation in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Thanks!
It is a sunny autumn Tuesday in the city of Buenos Aires, I take the subway line D from Plaza de Mayo, get off at Plaza Italia and after walking three blocks I see the green large door entrance that welcomes me to Eco Pampa Hostel.
Besides, I love its retro vintage décor! Having talked to Pablo Gueilburt, one of his young owners, many times before, I know he is both a passionate auction buyer and a fan of Reduce + Reuse + Recycle. Hardly surprising, the furniture in the lobby once belonged to the theater that operated in the same place several years ago.
Some of the decoration has the touch of Argentinian artists, such as Marcelo Soares Leguineche, who, as Pablo tells me when we meet, was a great help for selecting the perfect colors and lights during the restoration of the building.
Marvelling at the art work in the hostel’s spacious lobby feels like a glimpse inside “The Factory”, Andy Warhol’s famous studio. Two boys and a girl tucked into a brown sofa, glancing at the ceiling, while I can’t take my eyes off the stylish benches and bar stools upholstered with red, blue and yellow spots.
Green Initiatives at Eco Pampa Hostel in Buenos Aires
When we cross the lobby, Pablo explains the last changes and sustainability initiatives at the hostel. We stop in front of a new blackboard, which reads in stylish letters “Shopping list”: “Waste separation. Different bins. Recycling” and “Organic garden in the terrace”. Chalks are available, in case someone feels like adding something else. What about: “Reduce energy. Follow the signs”.
Signs all around the hostel remind guests how to save water and energy. An excellent graphic strikes me just at the entrance of a room, suggesting travelers to think twice before switching on A/C and to open the window instead.
The posters and signs replace the Green Handbook handed to visitors previously – one little improvement by Eco Pampa Hostel’s entrepreneurial owners in order to save paper and trees.
Shifting the bed’s quilts I touch one of the few organic cotton sheets that remain still in the hostel, crude not white because they haven’t passed through the chemical process of bleaching. Pablo tells me that sometimes guests feel suspicious about them because white is considered the “pure and clean color” in hospitality, but they soon appreciate the different colour when told about how they were made.
Later we walk up to the terrace to visit the organic vegetable garden, next to a small piece of grass where guests sit or even drink at evening. The garden provides a variety of herbs and vegetables to use for cooking or to create drinks – ideal for enjoying a great night at the Eco Pampa hostel.
My favorite “eco innovations” at Eco Pampa Hostel in Buenos Aires
- Computers are soundproofed and energy-saving
- Solar panels provide energy to light up the hostel façade, the terrace and indoor see-through ceilings.
- Air chambers with crossed ventilation keep the place cool
For more info on the various environmental initiatives, visite the Eco Pampa Hostel website.
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Susana Sandoval is our South America expert, having lived and worked in famous Patagonia, Southern Argentina and now Buenos Aires, the capital. Susana has visited and reviewed many sustainable hotels and activities for her website Viajero Responsible (Responsible Traveler). Follow her on Twitter (@sandovaltur).
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