Monserrat ’s “hetero-friendly” Axel Hotel (Venezuela 647, tel. 011/4136-9400, www.axelhotels.com , from US$110 s or d) is the city’s first full-service hotel built and run with the gay community in mind. Architecturally, the creative use of transparent glass in common areas suggests its guests have nothing to hide, but the 48 midsize rooms evince a discreet boutiquey sensibility. Its staff are expert in local nightlife, and it has both indoor and outdoor pools.
Devaluation briefly made Monserrat’s four-star 562 Nogaró (Diagonal Presidente Julio A. Roca 562, tel. 011/4331-0091, www.562nogarohotel.com , US$121 s or d) a bargain, but prices have returned to international levels. Dating from 1930 but renovated a few years ago, this French-style 150-room hotel offers all contemporary amenities, including Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, and in-room safes.
Just south of Plaza de Mayo, the NH City & Tower (Bolívar 160, tel. 011/4121-6464, www.nh  hoteles.com, US$130–146 s or d) is a spectacularly modernized 300-room building dating from 1931 that had the misfortune to reopen at the nadir of Argentina’s 2001–2002 meltdown. That bad timing meant good rates for beautifully appointed rooms with all modern conveniences, plus luxuries like a rooftop pool, gym, and sauna, but it’s making up for the business it lost then. It also has an exceptional Spanish restaurant.
One of the capital’s most historic lodgings, dating from 1929, Monserrat’s four-star Castelar Hotel & Spa (Avenida de Mayo 1152, tel. 011/4383-5000, www.castelarhotel.com.ar , US$131 s or d) has hosted the likes of Spanish dramatist Federico García Lorca (who lived in room 704 for six months), Chilean Nobel Prize–winning poet Pablo Neruda, Nobel Prize scientist Linus Pauling, and many Argentine politicians. Embellished with Carrara marble, it offers comfortable, well-equipped rooms with breakfast and access to its own spa. There are entire nonsmoking floors.
In a painstakingly remodeled casa chorizo, Malabia House (Malabia 1555, tel./fax 011/4832-3345, www.malabiahouse.com.ar , US$140–188 s or d) is a stylish bed-and-breakfast with magnificent natural light, glistening wood floors, handsome furnishings, and small but attractive patio gardens. Standard ground-floor rooms have external private baths; the slightly more expensive upstairs rooms have air-conditioning and interior baths.
Near the Obelisco, the Panamericano Buenos Aires Hotel & Resort (Carlos Pellegrini 525, tel. 011/4348-5000, www.crowneplaza.com.ar , US$144–277 s or d) consists of an older south tower and a newer north tower. Both are comfortable, but the north-tower rooms are no longer technologically superior to the others.