Calle Juan M. Leguizamon 669,
While the nearby Sheraton Salta has more facilities for business travelers who are avoiding surprises of any kind, Solar de la Plaza is the best hotel in the city center for leisure travelers who want a sense of place–and who want to walk rather than depend on taxis.
Facing Plaza Guemes, just a few blocks from the center of Salta, this historic inn is in a converted colonial mansion, creaky parquet floors and all. Service is not exactly swift and it's about as lively as a library, but Solar de la Plaza evokes a refined, priviledged air that the more modern hotels in the area can't match. It is by far the best choice for those wanting a real sense of place in Salta and its pedestrian access to al of the city's charms give it an extra boost.
Two steps off the sidewalk and you're in a lobby that still looks like a formal sitting room, with heavy paneled walls and molding, heavy drapes, gilded mirrors, and antiques. The reception desk is straight out of something from an old black–and–white movie. A glass–covered room that was once a patio provides more light and a lighter touch, utilizing wicker armchairs and glass tables. The bar off this space is more Andean, with wood furniture, local wall hangings, and red walls dotted with sconces made from thin stretched leather. The attractive restaurant is one floor up, looking out on a winter garden, but dozens of other options are within a ten–minute walking radius.
The most desirable guest rooms are the two suites in the original manor, though note that these and two standards on the same floor can only be reached by stairs. These suites feel like a grand master bedroom in a mansion, with high ceilings, 4–poster beds, and plenty of light streaming through the big windows. The remaining rooms are in the annex and are a shade quieter. All accommodations contain a mix of antiques, iron beds with new mattresses and fabrics, armchairs, and woven area rugs over hardwood floors. Views are inconsequential throughout: mostly gardens or nearby buildings. Despite the historic air, safes, minibars, free wi–fi, and satellite TVs are still standard. Tile and porcelain baths are in keeping with the period feel, but are stocked with hair dryers and quality toiletries.
A small gym with sauna suffices supplements a rooftop pool that looks bigger in photos than it really is. In reality it's a glorified plunge pool.
This small hotel can't match the quiet solitude and personal service of House of Jasmines, but it is far more convenient for those who don't want to fight traffic in order to explore the city's colonial atmosphere.
Review by Tim Leffel, photos courtesy of Solar de la Plaza.
Web Site: www.solardelaplaza.com.ar/English/home_eng.htm
Total Number of Rooms: 30
Published rates: $145 to $230 BB
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