Image: Adrien de Bontin
March 27 2011
Mark C O’Flaherty
While in Buenos Aires recently I found myself spending more time than I probably should have at the Oasis Clubhouse, a private members’ club in what was until recently a very flash and contemporary private property in Palermo Soho. The façade on Costa Rica, surrounded by some of Argentina’s chicest independent designer stores, is entirely unmarked, and the management won’t tell you the full address until you’re on the guest list.
The club feels, and looks, a touch like one of the international Soho House properties – the social focus is a very elegant little pool (first picture) that’s designed for sipping cocktails around rather than swimming laps in, and there are sofa-filled lounge areas (second picture) that are great to set up for the afternoon with a laptop. Unlike Berlin or Shoreditch, the weather in Buenos Aires tends to be more reliable for sunlounging, so the local (delicious) Ruca Malen Espumante flows alfresco for more of the year.
The art-filled clubhouse (complete with Warhol originals) is a hive of activity: in the summer, the Sunday afternoon pool party has become quite the scene among those in the know, and on one of the nights I was there in February, two opera singers – Pablo Foladori and Andrea González – sang by candle light at the water’s edge from the poetry of Salvatore Quasimodo and Paul Celan. I’ve never been particularly enthralled by opera as a grand event, but in this offbeat, intimate context, it was terribly moving.
The clubhouse was set up to be a mix of private members’ club and club-facility for anyone staying in the city in one of the super-luxe self-catering Oasis apartments, but when the guest list isn’t full, it’s possible to arrange a one-day pass for AR$100 (£15). There are also three guest rooms, including a truly vast master suite (rooms from US$100-$280 per room per night), but potential guests are advised that, this being Buenos Aires, the pool party downstairs can go on very late indeed.