Arriving in a far-flung foreign city can be disorienting. Particularly so if you arrive at night and darkness shrouds your surroundings.
My flight was delayed arriving in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and I touched down around 8.30pm. After a 14-hour flight, it felt like I was in the twilight zone – literally and metaphorically.
I fell into a taxi and sped through strange and unfamiliar streets. Around 30 minutes later, I was at Byblos Palermo Soho.
Byblos – modern living in the heart of the city
Byblos is a serviced block of rental apartments. It has its own nighttime security person, who proved welcoming and helpful.
Besides the essential wifi and front door password details, he gave me a list of recommended local restaurants and cafés (there is no restaurant on the premises but a small kitchenette area in each apartment – with microwave and hobs – for those who want to make their own food).
He also gave me his WhatsApp number in case I had any questions, which – given I felt very much a stranger in a strange land – I thought was a nice touch.
By the time I got into my room it was 11pm and I was ready to collapse into bed. I noticed the living room area surrounded by glass on two sides, with a large balcony. It wasn’t until I woke up the next morning that I got the full ‘wow’ effect.
The view from my tenth floor apartment was stunning, offering a panoramic vista over the Palermo Soho neighborhood. It’s one of the more desirable Buenos Aires neighborhoods and recommended for tourists. It’s buzzing with bars, restaurants and quirky little independent stores.
The apartment itself is business-like and functional but classic South American in design. Large floor tiles throughout help keep things cool. There are large blinds to pull down over those windows if all that sunlight is a little too much for you or if it begins to feel a little greenhouse-like.
The separate bedroom ticked all the right boxes, with plenty of storage space and a king size bed. Again, there’s floor-to-ceiling windows and access to that large balcony.
Air conditioning in each room was surprisingly quiet yet effective (coming from the UK, I’m not used to sleeping with air conditioning and often find it noisy – but not here).
I was fortunate to be staying in the Premium apartment on the top floor, which starts at around US$100 a night. But there are several different rooms available, including student apartments from just $60. Make sure you show ID when you arrive to avoid a 20% tax locals have to pay (but foreigners are exempt from).
Byblos was purpose-built and only launched a couple of years ago. It offers 28 rental apartments. It’s modern, clean, cool and functional. Besides the night concierge, the owner-managers of the block have an office on the first floor, so are around during the day to offer any assistance or answer questions.
Price-wise, my apartment was incredible value in a good location – with frequent taxis on the main street outside ensuring the rest of the city was easily accessible.