“ Address: Lima 11 / Ciudad de Buenos Aires / Buenos Aires C1073AAA / Argentina „
Lime House is a popular hostel on Calle Lima near the intersection of 9 de Julio and 25 de Mayo in the centre of Buenos Aires. I recently stayed here for around a month-although i don't mean to imply that the relatively long stay in one hostel means it was fantastic, i was just too lazy to move!
The hostel is in a great location for sightseeing as Plaza de Mayo is a 10 minute walk away and there is access to the other main tourist areas via the metro (subway) which stops just outisde. There are also bus routes across the city from the street the hostel lies on. Around the hostel itself there are plenty of restuarants and a couple of supermarkets. The one downside is that the main pubbing and clubbing area is in Palermo, quite far from the Lime house, and as the subway stops at around midnight the taxis to get to and from going out can become a hefty cost if you party out a lot.
First arriving in the hostel there is a fairly large common room with a reception/bar. The area can be a little dark as it has no windows but is welcoming and there are often other backpackers wandering around. Off this room is a pool (billiards, not swimming!) room and a enclave for computers. Continuing through there is a kitchen, eating area, TV room with cable and up a rather narrow set of stairs what is called a roof 'terrace'. A travel agency is also in the hostel and can arrange trips, flights and buses.
Rooms are available in doubles, singles and dorm rooms that range from 4-12 people. All the rooms are clean but some can feel as if they have been bashed around and a quick coat of paint sometimes wouldn't go amiss. Also many of the rooms don't have windows or access to natural light and can be a little dark and depressing. The bathrooms are kept clean, have hot water and there are plenty for the number of people who stay in the hostel. Two of them even have great pressure which I find a miracle!
The room costs are as follows for the high season (low season has a discount and long stays can also sometimes negotiate a further discount):
12 bed dorm: 35
6 bed dorm:45
4 bed dorm:50
Double queen w/ private bathroom:80
Single w/ private bathroom:150
All prices in argentinian pesos, currently around 6 pesos to £1
These prices are on the low side of average for the city and include breakfast and sheets/towels. Internet access is also free but I have to point out that the internet was sporadically not working for at least half the time I was there.
The breakfast itself is quite good, self-service, with medialunas (croissants), cornflakes, oranges and apples and tea/coffee available. However, on busy days there often wasn't quite enough particularly of the popular medialunas-I found out that they only provide one per person which seems a little stingy. The other problem is that breakfast is only available from 8-10am-which may not seem so terrible but this is a city where you don't start heading out to a club until 2am and so 10 am is very early. it did seem designed so that they could guarantee a certain percentage missing breakfast each day-when the 'one croissant per person' issue was discovered one of the staff even said there was no way the majority of the hostel made it to breakfast each day.
Another few downsides I found in the hostel were the fact that the couches in the common area and the TV room were the least comfortable things I have ever sat on. Not exactly inviting to sit around and chat on. Also the bar area played really loud music until late at night particularly at the weekends even though usually there weren't many people trying to party. For the rooms which border onto the bar (and there are a few) this could be very annoying. The hostel also officially bans bringing in alcohol so that you must buy from their bar. The prices are cheap compared to a pub or club but still 3 times more than the shop just outside and I find it a little irritating and too money-focused when hostels do this.
When I first arrived smoking seemed to be allowed everywhere including in the bedrooms and kitchen which I found quite disgusting but to be fair this was really stamped out and I think it may have been some rule-breakers who started smoking wherever they liked regardless of the others and it just became a trend.
The upsides of the hostel are that it is relatively cheap and i found both the staff and the guests very friendly. The roof terrace is also a huge bonus as it is massive and a great place to sunbathe, sit out and watch the city at night or chill during the day. i would point out though the terrace part is a little misleading-it is more just of a big open roof with a few chairs thrown around but that gives it some charm for me and doesn't stop it being a good place to hang out.
One other thing I did really like about the hostel was the good mix of people who stay there. There was a wide range of nationalities from latin America, north America, all across Europe, Israel and Australia. It never felt that one group was dominating the hostel too much. Aside from nationalities the people themselves also varied in age, lifestyle and attitude towards life which made the place interesting and ensured that there was usually someone to be friends with in the hostel for anyone who turned up.
The hostel as a whole has a very slight run down feel to it but is extremely up beat and friendly. I think that a few relatively minor changes could make this an excellent hostel but for now I have to rate it as middle of the road..