IN THE WRITE PLACE

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Front Page -

I AM in the room of El Escritor, the writer, at Le­gado Mitico, a funky 11-room ho­tel in the arty Palermo Viejo district of Buenos Aires. The room hon­ours Jorge Luis Borges who grew up here­abouts, al­though he died long be­fore the ho­tel was even thought of. Its themed rooms cel­e­brate the re­spec­tive lives of Ar­gen­tian no­ta­bles, from first lady Eva Peron (La Primera Dama) and tango singer Car­los Gardel (El Tanguero) to Che Guev­era (El Ide­al­ista).

The de­sign touches are sub­tle but ap­pro­pri­ate. In El Escritor, there’s a nod to Borges’ love of mir­rors, an oil paint­ing of a li­brary col­lec­tion and an old Royal por­ta­ble type­writer on an an­tique desk. Borges rubs shoul­ders with Vic­tor Hugo, Leon Bloy and Henri Troyat on the chummy book­shelf.

The ho­tel opened in Novem­ber 2007 and its young staff are cour­te­ous and help­ful. Break­fast is served at in­di­vid­ual ta­bles in a long room stuffed with comfy fur­ni­ture, piles of mag­a­zines and books; it feels like eat­ing in a li­brary, a no­tion of which Borges would have ap­proved.

There’s a so­lar­ium and pa­tio and light evening meals can be or­gan­ised upon re­quest. Di­ag­o­nally op­po­site Le­gado Mitico is a gor­geous lit­tle shop, Bed and book: Le­gado Mitico, Buenos Aires Sa­bater Hnos, which sells hand­made soaps in fun shapes (stars, fig­ures, flow­ers and flakes) and big bath cakes with block-printed let­ter­ing. Fra­grances in­clude vanilla, cit­rus and co­conut; th­ese are per­fect sou­venirs that will also per­fume your suit­case. Su­san Kuro­sawa

Le­gado Mitico, Gur­ruchaga 1848, Palermo Viejo, Buenos Aires. From $US190 ($288) a dou­ble, break­fast in­cluded. More: www.legadomitico.com; www.ki­wicol­lec­tion.com.

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