By Johanna Read
Casa Calma is one of the few hotels in Buenos Aires that addresses environmental issues. Not only does Casa Calma look to improve the wellness of the environment, it aims to improve the wellness of its guests too. In fact, Casa Calma is the first wellness hotel in all of Argentina.
As you’d expect by the name, Casa Calma’s rooms are calming. Soft white and earth tones, they feature a huge jacuzzi tub with plenty of room for two people to soak away the stresses of travel. Though not included in rates, you can purchase "Wellness Boutique" items such as organic bath foam and salts, essential oil and body lotion. A yoga mat is hidden in the ample closet, so you can do some sun salutations in front of the big picture window looking out onto the hotel’s vertical garden.
The gardens not only mask the views of Buenos Aires utilitarian rooftops, they help regulate indoor temperatures and keep rooms cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Casa Calma’s double glass windows serve two purposes too — they keep traffic sounds from disturbing your sleep, and keep the rooms airtight, thereby conserving energy. Naturally, the window frames don’t contain PVC.
Owners Marcelo and Paula Kohen took special care to use sustainable products in the hotel. Many warm climate hotels use tile on their floors, but it can be hard on your feet. At Casa Calma the floors are Carolina pine. This wood is comfortable on bare feet (especially as it is polished using nontoxic products, rather than a laminate) and is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council as a sustainable forest product.
Casa Calma’s amenities are also sustainable. In the bathroom, products are 100% organic and not tested on animals, and supplied in reusable and refillable bottles. The pencils at the in-room desk are also Forest Stewardship Council-certified.
Unusually for BA, Casa Calma recycles paper and organics, uses recyclable glass bottles wherever possible, and the hotel is cleaned using only biodegradable products.
The hotel focuses on what is healthy, fresh, friendly and organic. This is reflected in their services too. A 24-honour bar provides snacks that are delicious and healthy, as is the breakfast (included in rates, even if you’d like it served in your room). Staff are extremely helpful in providing advice to make your stay just as you’d want it. Following on the wellness theme, in-room spa and massage, a personal trainer, and a yoga class are available too. Deluxe rooms even have a sauna.
Located in the Retiro neighbourhood, Casa Calma is centralized allowing you to walk to almost all of Buenos Aires top attractions. For those looking to venture a bit further afield, borrow one of the bamboo bikes in the lobby.