The Cocker, Argentina

Ingeniously restored art nouveau townhouse with sprawling roof top garden in bohemian San Telmo, where tango rules

Once home to Buenos Aires’ elite, San Telmo was abandoned after a yellow fever outbreak in 1871. Aristocratic mansions became conventillos (tenements) for immigrant families.

Gentrification began in 1970, but the neighbourhood was still a patchwork in 2005 when two Brits rescued the run-down townhouse and spent a year restoring art nouveau elements, including a three-storey wall of paned glass with extravagant wrought iron flourishes.

Today, this laidback guest house – which passed to new owners in 2008 – is the complete antithesis of a standardised city hotel.

Five imaginative rooms make shrewd use of space while showcasing the previous owners’ artful personalities. Three open to a rambling roof garden with cosy niches.

Enjoy luxe features (Egyptian bedlinen, free wi-fi) along with the kind of personalised advice about nearby restaurants, shops and tango salons that you’d expect from a trusted friend.

The Cocker, Buenos Aires, Argentina is a boutique guesthouse with 5 rooms with doubles costing from US$90 for bed and breakfast.

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