Our city traveller and South America expert Susana just sent us this review of Urban Hotel Palo Santo in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Green, quiet, pure and bright, my favorite adjectives to describe this small, intimate eco-hotel in Buenos Aires. Palo Santo was built according to LEED standards, which means that all the materials and suppliers were carefully selected according to environmental criteria.
Guests also find a pure style in furniture, floors and walls and the most curious can even discover in their bedrooms or public areas hidden gems made by Argentine artists and local entrepreneurs.
How about you take a glance and ask the staff for that picture you find in your room? They are so polite and knowledgeable that maybe you’ll feel comfortable enough to continue asking and asking more.
Green Initiatives at Palo Santo Hotel in Buenos Aires
Pablo Porolli, project management developer of Palo Santo, proudly tells me that I am staying in “the first urban Green hotel in Latin America”. Little competition and a smart combination of environmental sustainability and comfort, no wonder this unique hotel is so popular. Post baby-boomer generations (aged between 35-50) especially seem to love it, judging by my fellow guests during my one-night stay.
Palo Santo is located in a quiet street within Palermo neighborhood, next to several cafes and “parrillas” (local barbecues), but if you don’t really feel like leaving this place (like me that evening), the hotel’s own restaurant “Topinambour” is a great alternative.
Head chef Sèbastien Faulliade, a French with 20 years living in Buenos Aires, creates a mouth-watering blend between local and French cuisine, and garnishes his dishes with vegetables grown by himself. Delicious.
Food aside, I notice that the hotel has made a huge investment in the best technologies and materials. For example, its air conditioning system is 30% more expensive than those you’d normally find in Buenos Aires, but much more energy-efficient. Inside the hotel, highly durable materials like marble and porcelanato give it a healthy feeling and good insulation.
Later I walk through the natural illuminated aisle that links the lobby with the restaurant. On my side, Palo Santo hotel’s general manager Fernando Martín tells me about all the details that contribute to making his hotel one of the most sustainable in Buenos Aires.
I learn that the hotel’s name, Palo Santo, comes from a tree that grows in northern Argentina, and whose sustainably sourced wood has been used extensively for floors and furniture. The result: good looks but also a natural, fresh fragrance within the building.
The building’s energy-efficient elevators run smooth and silent, and of course bathrooms are equipped with latest water-efficient flush systems. Thinking climate change, the hotel also got this one right: Over 800 ever-growing plants ensure CO2 absorption and cover hotel’s façades, roof, balconies and patio.
Comfort is what environmentally conscious travellers like me expect from a good city hotel, and Palo Santo ticks the box with double glazed windows (less heat and street noise), green cleaning products and toiletries, and two beautiful cascades with a built-in water recycling function.
My favorite “Little Green Details” at Palo Santo Hotel
- Finding a wooden pencil instead of a pen on my bedroom desk
- Tasting the flavour of a fresh, local organic egg during breakfast
- Finding an Argentinan organic wine on the room service menu
- Sitting in the cosy sunny hotel garden in February with its topinambours flowers in full bloom
More info on the Palo Santo Hotel website.
Ready to go? Check availability and rates at Palo Santo Hotel
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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