Argentina has a broad variety of hotels, and the healthy competition between them generally translates into high quality and reasonable rates. Nearly all hotels—even hostels—include breakfast in the room price, but not all include the 21% tax in their quoted rates. Prices are also linked to municipality-run rating systems, which are based on a checklist of amenities (often outdated) rather than detailed evaluation. You can get wildly different things for your money, so do your homework. In destinations popular with locals, room prices soar in high season (usually January, February, and July), and some establishments won't take bookings for less than seven days. In the off-season the same places can be a steal.
Apartment and House Rentals
There are hundreds of furnished rentals available by the day, week, or month in Buenos Aires and other cities. International outfits such as HomeAway and AirBnB (which also lets individual rooms) list an enviable selection of properties. Reputable local reservations services like ApartmentsBA.com, ByT Argentina, and Buenos Aires Habitat have large online databases, too.
When choosing your rental, remember that air-conditioning is a must in central and northern Argentina between December and March. Always check exact street locations on a map, as listings sometimes exaggerate a property's proximity to particular neighborhoods, landmarks, or subway stations. Likewise, apartments are often more worn than they appear in gleaming website photos.
Most online apartment agencies act as intermediaries between you and the owner: an English-speaking representative meets you at the apartment, you sign a contract, pay the owner, and are given the keys. You pay for your entire stay up front, and usually have to pay a deposit equivalent to a week's rent, which is returned when you leave. Note that though you give a credit card number to secure your reservation, actual payment is nearly always in cash only. Read cancellation policies carefully: many agencies don't refund if you're not happy with your apartment choice.
Air BnB. www.airbnb.com.
ApartmentsBA.com. 646/827–8796; 11/5254–0100; www.apartmentsba.com.
Buenos Aires Habitat. 305/735–2223; 11/4815–8662; www.buenosaireshabitat.com.
ByT Argentina. 11/4876–5000; www.bytargentina.com.
You get a taste of Argentine country life—including home-cooked meals and horseback riding—when you stay at a ranch. Estancias Travel and Estancias Argentinas are two good booking services, but you usually get better rates if you call the estancia directly.
When booking, ask specifically about what activities and drinks are included in rates, and bear in mind that many establishments accept only cash payments. Be sure to factor in travel times and costs when planning your stay: remoter locations may be reachable only by private transport, often at a hefty cost.
Estancias Argentinas. 11/4343–2366; www.estanciasargentinas.com.
Estancias Travel. 11/5236–1054; www.estanciastravel.com.