Overland Traveller



Ostinatta, San Telmo, Buenos Aires

Best for… unhygienic trendy types.

Hostel Ostinatta © Craig FastToo cool for school (but unfortunately not school groups it seems…), Ostinatta looks good but fails to deliver as far as cleanliness in concerned.

At first glance, this San Telmo hostel impresses: crisp white lines and natural light spill down to the ground floor from the windows in the building’s fifth-floor ceiling. Dormitories surrounding the inner balconies have high (top border) and comfortable bunk beds. There’s even free wifi, a hot tub and a penthouse suite.

So far, so good. Until you want to shower. Two showers per floor, each one a grotty, dank cave that seems to be omitted  from the daily cleaning schedule. Black tiles do not a good shower room make, particularly when there’s no window and, shock horror, no extractor fan. No extractor fan! It’s basic plumping. Mind you, hostel Ostinatta is clearly lacking a decent plumber. It seemed to be generally accepted that one shower flooded and the other mildewed. Take your pick.

At least a shower can’t kill you. The height of the balcony walls, however, could. Hip high to a lady of five-foot-five-and-a-half, if a tall man wearing a top-heavy backpack stumbled and fell towards them he’d be shattered in a pool of blood and guts three storeys down before you could say “banister”.

Bathroom in Hostel Ostinatta © Craig FastThere are some saving graces. The staff are very friendly, helpful, perky and happy to help you arrange trips and tours, for a fee of course. There’s a sociable bar and free internet (for the first 30 minutes). Breakfast is a bit on the bready side, but there are oranges and watermelon for the carb-conscious.

The best thing about hostel Ostinatta is its location. Almost equidistant between Centro and central San Telmo it offers the best of Buenos Aires to those keen to get out and explore the city. And, let’s be honest, Hostel Ostinatto isn’t the place to stay if you have little intention of getting out and about. If, on the other hand, you prioritise hip over hygiene, this is the hostel for you.

Chile 680, San Telmo, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Tel: (+54) 011 4362 9639


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Overland Traveller copyright © Emma Field 2010