Located smack dab in the heart of San Telmo, on Defensa Street, The Depto is a ground floor one-bedroom apartment housed in an historic conventillo. Bright and refurbished, it still oozes old world charm with high ceilings, exposed brick walls, and wooden floors.
Our latest addition is called The Depto. Here in Argentina, apartments are called departamentos rather than the more common Spanish word apartamentos. And Depto is short for departamento, or more precisely, it’s the pronunciation of the common abbreviation dpto.
The Depto is an adorable one-bedroom apartment on the ground floor of a very cool, historic tenement (coventillo or casa colectiva). How incredibly San Telmo! This is part of what I love about this neighborhood (barrio). It was once home to the wealthy, who moved up north during a yellow fever outbreak in 1871. Then, during Argentina’s heyday and massive immigration, San Telmo’s mansions were converted into conventillos.
And what did this multiculturalism due to massive immigration give birth to? Tango, the most remarkable and celebrated cultural tradition of modern Argentina.
In The Depto, you’ll find plenty of reminders of Argentina’s heydey, a vintage fan and typewriter on the desk in the living room, a vintage telephone in the bedroom, and tiles with quotes from Borges or Cortazar. There will be no mistaking the fact that you are in San Telmo.
It’s not only the details we’ve paid attention to. During the remodeling, we knocked down a wall and opened the kitchen up to the living room because no one wants to be stuck in the kitchen cooking while everyone else is out in the living room listening to music, snacking on tapas and drinking wine.
There’s also a great little breakfast room just beyond the kitchen. Of course, it could be for breakfast, lunch, tea, dinner, whatever. It’s surrounded by windows (which can be opened) and the second heater is in the breakfast room for those who are visiting us in winter.
A spacious bathroom with great water pressure and polished cement floors is not easy to find in old apartments. One of our guests said she thought this was the best bathroom in all of South America. It’s not, of course, but it still rocks.
The bedroom is so cozy and quiet, you may have trouble waking up. After a particularly late night, close the shutters outside and light won’t come in at all. You’ll never know that you are indeed on Defensa Street, home to the Feria de San Telmo and the adorable Mafalda (make sure you get your photo with Mafalda…. she’s on the corner of Chile and Defensa).
The building even has its own Wikipedia page (in Spanish), Casa Colectiva Bernardino Rivadavia. It’s was built in 1921 as housing for the working class. What amazes me is the quality of the materials they used in working class constructions. Beautiful wood floors, tall ceilings, thick walls, gorgeous window frames and great doors. The Depto has been renovated, of course, but apartments these days are simply not built with such solid bones.
Learn more about The Depto or inquire about it’s availabilities.