Tango Hotels and Dancing the Tango in Buenos Aires Argentina
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I'll begin with my favorite.
Caseron PortenoCaseron Porteno is a delightful and charming Tango guest house located just a couple of blocks off the D Line subway at Ciudad de la Paz 344. While certainly not the largest Tango hotel in B.A. I get the feeling that they are probably one of the hotels most dedicated to the dance. Caseron Porteno encircles a lovely, small courtyard that leads to the dance studio at the back of the property. My balcony allowed me to see dance lessons in progress from by room through the glass doors of the studio. Click here for more information.
If you're wondering about the rates I can tell you that you might well pay more for a single hour of instruction in the U.S. than you'll pay for the night's stay at Caseron Porteno which includes your breakfast and the usual amenities (like internet access, mineral water) and the less common free use of the kitchen.
Free tango group lessons every dayYou should also know that they publish what I consider to be one of the best maps of the city available along with their very handy and free guide. If you're there for Tango, the guide includes a very comprehensive list, by day, of the various milongas, including location, time of day, phone number, organization putting it on as well as a key to find it easily on the included map. Could you want more? O.K., then, there are also some shopping ads for the latest in the finest Tango shoes, apparel, shows, and events.
Free use of the tango dance floor
Advice and reservations for different tango places
Conventillo de LujoAnother B & B Tango hotel a couple of blocks away is the Conventillo de Lujo. I was only there for one evening but found it to be very comfortable. Don't be confused by the name - it is NOT a convent. What you will find here is a very contemporary styled lodging, but warm and friendly like most of Buenos Aires. The rates are very reasonable and many amenities are included. You will receive one complimentary Tango lesson and frequent evening group lessons are available at a nominal charge.Read more
here I should mention that both of these establishments found in the Belgrano district will assist you with making travel arrangements, finding shows, etc. They are very helpful.
Mansion Dandi RoyalIf you're inclined to go a little more upscale you may want to check out the Mansion Dandi Royal in the San Telmo District. It's just a short walk from the Plaza Dorrego with it's fabulous Sunday market where you will always see Tango dancers on the northeast corner. If you smile and ask politely, they'll gladly dance with you. The Mansion Dandi Royal has a number of special packages listed on their website and all include a complimentary Tango lesson. They have a dance academy adjoining the hotel and offer private and group lessons as well as their own milongas and practices. The hotel itself is an early 1900's family mansion with beautiful rooms, antique furniture, king-sized beds and even a small laptop swimming pool and a small gym. But, skip the gym and take Tango lessons instead - that's why you're here, right? Read more here There are other Tango hotels in Buenos Aires, but I think I should mention the Argentina Tango Hotel. I don't think this is a Tango hotel. Some of the reviews I've seen are not so good and I see no reference to Tango other than in the name.
The other is Madero Tango at the ritzy Puerto Madero. A dinner show also, it is a bit more contemporary and an excellent meal and show as well.
For that matter, there are tango shows all over town, some free, some for a fee. Street performers will pass the hat, some restaurants in LaBoca will ask you to buy something to drink or eat, but the fact is that none of them will bust your budget.
Eat, Watch, Dance, Learn about TangoThere is one restaurant that you simply cannot miss. You have to visit the Cafe Tortoni, founded in 1858. The oldest coffee shop in Argentina it is a beautiful building and you may find yourself standing in line to get in, depending on the time of day. If there is a busload of tourists walk away and come back later.
You can go next door and visit their Tango Museum. Also, remember to ask about their Tango shows. They won't be as expensive as the big shows, but they're very entertaining.
The Tango is everywhere you go. You can hear it on the streets and in the sidewalk cafes. You can watch Tango dancers performing every day and every evening on Florida Avenue, in La Boca district, at Dorrego Plaza in San Telmo and more places than one might imagine. I can't even guess how many Tango shows there are in cafes and restaurants of all sizes. Some are upstairs, some are in basements, some are on the main dining room floor, while some are in special showrooms that at first glance would make you think you're in Las Vegas -- Esquina Carlos Gardel, Madero Tango, others.
But the portenos -- the people of Argentina -- who are real tango aficionados don't spend much of their time at the shows - unless, of course, they are part of the show. The real, everyday Tanguero, who is deeply and passionate about the tango, will be found at his or her favorite milonga. And that might be a different one on different nights of the week.
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A former college professor, Robert Painter is author of one of the highest ranked Southwestern Art and Travel books on Amazon.com. He has traveled extensively throughout Indian country attending virtually every major American Indian art show in the Western U.S. and visiting Native American communities throughout the country. Robert has recently completed cruises on the Crown Odyssey, the Silver Cloud, the Silver Shadow, the Norwegian Dream, Seven Seas Navigator and the Windjammer S/V Mandalay. He has traveled to Italy, Greece, Barbados, Russia, Denmark and more countries than we have room to list. Story and photos by Robert Painter: email@example.com.
Unless otherwise indicated, all photos by the author