Las Higueras 104, Tres Cerritos
Eclectic, colorful and cozy, the relatively new Kkala has obviously taken the idea of "your home away from home" to heart.
© Kkala Hotel
In transit to Kkala, you may wonder if your taxi driver is leading you astray, as the hotel lies a few minutes outside of the downtown area in an otherwise fully residential neighborhood tucked into a quiet hillside. A humble sign, almost difficult to spot at first glance, is the only confirmation that you have arrived at a hotel and not just the gorgeous house owned by someone easily imagined to be an architect or interior designer.
Your first impression of the hotel will probably be to note the difficult–to–nail balance of service that the staff provides: there for your every need, while never once feeling suffocating. You are welcomed less as just another hotel guest, and more as a friend that until now they had not had the pleasure to meet. Each and every employee at Kkala seems to take pride in their work and goes out of their way to put every guest at ease. Kkala was built in 2009, and because it is situated in a residential neighborhood, to comply with codes it is maxed out at having 10 rooms. Such few rooms ensure that the level of service is very personalized. In case you do not speak Spanish, you can rest easy knowing that all employees of the hotel speak great English.
There are Classic, Superior and Deluxe rooms, each with the expected amenities, including complimentary Wi–Fi. Many rooms have large private balconies complete with plants. Bath products offered are full–sized bottles, just one example of many of how Kkala does not cut corners. With incredibly low nightly rates for the value given, it is worth it to indulge in one of the 2 story apartment suites, each with its own oversized Jacuzzi tub. All rooms are unique, but the thread that ties the décor together is a bohemian take on Salta's indigenous artesania. Art lovers will appreciate the traditional Northwestern Argentine style offered with a funky twist; for example, local natural materials turned into a stunning mobile that hangs down the stairwell, or a custom sofa in the lobby decked out by a local artist with designs of colorful chickens — complete with real feathers and all.
While the vibe is playful throughout, and the atmosphere could not be more relaxed, it is evident that art and architecture is taken very seriously here (confirmed by the large library filled to the brim with art and design books). Color is used freely throughout the hotel, and if stark whites and minimalism are your comfort zone for décor, Kkala is not for you. For example, some rooms are painted jade green, with accents in deep reds.
Kkala shines at breakfast time. Whether you want to dine inside or out on the balcony which overlooks all of Salta, be prepared to come hungry. This is not one of those hotel buffet breakfasts that offer some pastries, some cereal flakes, some fruit, and some mediocre coffee. Think foamy cappuccinos, homemade Belgian waffles made for you on the spot, granola, eggs and sizzling bacon, and homemade bread accompanied by an assortment of local jams. In the spirit of helping you to feel like Kkala is your second home, there is a clay oven and a grill (parilla) in the garden, and if you would like to experience a traditional Argentine barbeque (asado) one evening, just give notice and it will be arranged for you.
© Kkala Hotel
Pool hours are whenever you feel like swimming, so a late night wine–filled barbeque followed by a dip in the warm pool is a great way to end the day before heading off to bed. While there is no restaurant for lunch or dinner on–site, the downtown area of Salta is an easy 15 minute walk, and hotel staff can recommend many dining options (a must when in Salta is to take in a peña, where locals enthusiastically sing folkloric music accompanied by guitar until morning).
While Kkala is not well–known yet, it has deservedly attracted a very loyal following. If a small boutique hotel with a relaxed home–like atmosphere is what you are looking for, it is difficult to not come away completely charmed by Kkala.
Web Address: www.hotelkkala.com.ar
Total Number of Rooms: 10
Published rates: $200 - $270 BB
Review by Cathy Brown, photos by author except where indicated.