By Paula Kehoe, International Banker
Argentina is a country full of surprises. From north to south and from east to west, its landscapes radiate different palettes that amaze the locals every day and take tourists’ breath away. Iguazú Falls, Salta’s valleys, Mendoza’s vineyards, Patagonia’s lakes and thundering mountains, and the busy nightlife of Buenos Aires are only some of the fascinating privileges of Argentina. For those who are planning their next trip, this South American country has a wide offering of luxury hotels and resorts that match up the scenery and any high standard. From creating your own wine to the exquisite regional cuisine, the benefits and amenities of these resorts are just as good as the warm and relaxing atmospheres that they provide.
Located in the heart of downtown Buenos Aires, Faena Hotel specializes in creating one-of-a-kind environments emphasizing the culture and art of our world. The ideas they propose involve the expansion of our minds, ranging from personal expression to cultural interaction. The Faena Arts Centre displays several exhibitions from local artists and from all over the world, such as AES+F, a Russian art collection; works from Englishman Brit Anthony McCall and from German Franz Ackerman; and crafted installations of Havana-based collection Los Carpinteros. The elegance of the rooms and the dynamic neighbourhood combine to present the guest a stylish sanctuary. Premium suites, executive rooms and studios are a part of the 105 spaces designed specially to offer a Belle Époque atmosphere and first-class comfort. Of course, the hotel offers several options as far as superlative gastronomy go. The Library Lounge is stocked with antique books, creating the perfect setting to relax with a glass of wine while enjoying fine literature. El Bistro’s menu was thought up by the renowned chef Christopher Carpentier and chef Rodrigo Vazquez. They created unique dishes that fuse the Argentinian flavours with the best cuisine from the region. The Cellar, El Mercado and Poolbar are other refined restaurants of the Faena’s experience. For entertainment, The Cabaret is a place of style and sophistication where you can enjoy an authentic Tango Show while tasting a delicious Argentinian dish along with a fine wine.
A few blocks away, the Alvear Palace Hotel is surrounded by some of the best restaurants, antique shops and boutiques. As a member of The Leading Hotels of the World, its suites and rooms blend the European elegance with cutting-edge technology. It offers guests a concierge and butler service, a complete Business Assistance Centre and an exclusive Spa & Fitness Centre that provides beauty and special treatments and a wellness area with steam baths, saunas, pressure showers, ludic pool and relaxation rooms. In the same neighbourhood, Algodón Mansión is a boutique hotel member of Relais & Châteaux (the first and only hotel in Buenos Aires that is part of this exclusive collection) that owns award-winning wines and fresh farm products from their Mendoza winery, Algodón Wine Estates, which are offered in their restaurant’s menu.
The also award-winning hotel Palacio Duhau – Park Hyatt Buenos Aires is located in the French heritage district of Recoleta, a truly amazing neighbourhood, close to bars and restós. Hyatt’s true excellence in service and renowned achievements make this delicate place a unique hotel. The crystal chandeliers and working fireplaces in all Palace suites make the guests feel immediately comfortable in a charming environment. The hotel owns an impressive art collection that showcases international and national artists, and its elegance reflects on the classic style garden. Duhau Restaurante & Vinoteca offers sophisticated regional cuisine and Gioia Restaurante & Terrazas serves modern Italian dishes. You cannot miss the 7,000 bottles of Argentinian wine in La Vinoteca, or The Oak Bar where you can relax with a cigar or brandy after dinner.
Situated in the Midwestern sector of Argentina and at the feet of the Andes Mountain Range (the highest of America), Mendoza is known for its rich vineyards and exclusive wines. Its climate conditions and rivers turn this land into an urban and rural oasis. Cavas Wine Lodge is strategically located between the best wineries and the marvellous landscape, nestled in a 55 acre vineyard. The rooms have a spectacular view of the mountains, creating the perfect environment to relax and breathe in the nature of the Andes. All rooms have a large private deck, a spa style bathroom, a private plunge room and wood burning fireplaces. This Relais & Chateaux member strongly believes that the best-tasting food is organically grown in the most ecological way, so they provide their restaurant with the finest and carefully harvested ingredients and change their menu every three months, appropriate to the season. Additionally, they help you organize your itinerary to visit the best wineries of the area (25 in total) and you can do so by bike or car. You can also enjoy horseback riding, take a yoga lesson, go white water rafting or hiking, or play some golf at 9 and 18 hole courses.
For a full-relaxing experience, Entre Cielos is the place to go. Located in Luján de Cuyo, they provide unique experiences to recharge body and soul, stimulating every sense in their traditional Hamam & Spa, the first in Latin America. It is a thousand-year old concept that consists of a circuit of six stages and several massage treatments. With the goal of getting rid of the accumulated toxins of the body, the Hamam uses heat, water, the typical soap and oil massage in a very particular way to completely purify the mind and refresh the figure. After this process, the visitors can enjoy a selection of teas, juices, fruits and oriental snacks in the relaxation room. Other special services that Entre Cielos (member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World collection) provides are the interesting wine treatments, which reinvigorate the senses with the essence of the finest grapes. The modern design of the hotel is respectfully integrated into the outstanding scenery, prioritizing the environment and Mendoza’s natural display. Space, detailed service, a beautiful spot and high-quality products are the definition of luxury in this boutique hotel.
The Vines Resort & Spa is the ideal retreat for food and wine fanatics and outdoor adventurers. The Andes Mountains are the backdrop for this laid-back luxury hotel that offers spacious private villas and a sophisticated spa that invigorates the mind and body through a multisensory experience in the Uco Valley (the treatments are specially design for each guest). Its world-class service reflects in their restaurant, Siete Fuegos, where the internationally recognized Argentinian chef Francis Mallmann serves the traditional asado and regional dishes. Moreover, the visitors can harvest grapes in the hotel’s vineyard and make their own wine with the advice and help of the renowned winemaker Santiago Achával. Fishing excursions and horseback riding are other alternatives while soaking in the sunshine of Mendoza.
This Northern Province reveals a rich culture and covers all types of landscapes: from the arid Puna desert and the green jungle, to valleys and steep ravines. The stunning and multicoloured rock formations of the Calchaquíes Valleys surround Patio de Cafayate Hotel & Spa, located on the El Esteco Winery, which takes you back in time to make you experience a true traditional colonial establishment. The 32 guest rooms and suites are decorated with antique furniture, artisan carpets, ceramic floors and silverware, and their extensive gardens invite the visitors to take a stroll and to amaze with the grand views of the vineyards and hills. The hotel also has an 18-hole golf course designed by Bob Cupp, from the Jack Nicklaus team. The spa, restaurants and Business Centre are also part of the amenities of Patios de Cafayate.
In the same city, Grace Cafayate is a luxury hotel, spa and residential villas development with the distinctive elegance and simplicity that Grace Hotels is known for. The hotel is part of La Estancia de Cafayate, a secluded 1,360 acre residential and sporting estate. Those who are seeking the finest cuisine and luxurious spa combination will not be disappointed with Grace Cafayate. On the one hand, the restaurant Muse by Jonathan Cartwright fuses international dishes with local ingredients, such as premium beef, empanadas and tamales. Plus, the guests can witness the work and creativity of the chef in its open kitchen. On the other hand, its splendid spa offers an extensive list of treatments to heal and detoxify the body, in a natural and magical frame.
House of Jasmines Estancia de Charme cultivates warm hospitality and gracious living. In this centuries-old mansion renewed with careful attention to detail, the guests can breathe the nature of the centennial trees and smell the captivating jasmines of the garden. As a member of Relais & Chateaux, the hotel is an ideal escape for a romantic getaway or for a family vacation. The spa and the outdoor swimming pool give a perfect chance to take a moment and relax. You can also recharge energies with a bike ride through the undulating park, go water rafting down the Juramento River torrents, paraglide, take excursions in motorbikes or go trekking with llamas. You can also play golf or polo at Club La Loma de Zamora. As one of the three wine regions of the country, Salta produces the traditional Torrontés and the hotel offers a tour of the wineries to discover the secrets of the region’s viniculture and invites you to wine tastings.
If breathtaking views and sceneries in their most pure and natural state is what you are looking for, Patagonia is definitely the place to visit. In this region, Argentina has an extensive amount of high-end hotels. Llao Llao Hotel & Resort, Río Negro, is on the top of the list. To start with, its location could not be more extraordinary: it is surrounded by the Cerro López and Tronador mountain peaks and the Perito Moreno and Nahuel Huapi’s Lakes, providing the most astonishing perspectives of the natural scene of Patagonia. It has two wings: the Bustillo wing, owner of an incredible historical heritage (it was opened in 1940), with 162 rooms, 11 studios and 12 suites; and the Lago Moreno wing, that harmonizes the classical Llao Llao style and modern Patagonia design, with 43 new rooms, deluxe studios and suites. The gastronomy offering is endless: it goes from the Patagonian lamb to the international dishes in the Patagonia Coffee Shop, the Lobby Bar, Winter Garden Restaurant and the Club House, all delicately established in warm atmospheres. The resort proposes lots of leisure activities. During the winter, snow is the star of the season in the exclusive mountain refuge at Mount Catedral, and during the summer, the hotel’s private marina organizes different water sports. Nahuelito’s kids club is the place for children to have fun and contact with nature.
Estancia Cristina, in the city of El Calafate in Santa Cruz, is the perfect opportunity to discover the Upsala Glacier, one of the largest in Los Glaciares National Park. Opened in 1914, the Estancia is a shelter decorated with rustic elements that displays hospitality in every corner of its 20 comfortable rooms distributed in 5 lodges. The excursions are numerous: you can view the Upsala Glacier, sail among icebergs, visit the Costumbrista Museum, amaze in the Cañadón de los Fósiles, a valley where there are remains of the last marine ingression, and discover Lake Guillermo. They also pay a lot of attention to the cuisine: fresh vegetables, homemade breads and the classic Patagonian lamb are some of the most treasured ingredients in their dishes. And, of course, the best selection of fine Argentinian wines joins the delicious menu.
San Carlos de Bariloche is one of the favourite settings of the South. There, Las Balsas is an ample residence located in the National Park Nahuel Huapi, on the shore of a peaceful lake, excellent scenery for those looking for tranquility and calmness. As a member of Realis & Chateaux, it offers a singular and unforgettable experience. The 3 suites and 12 rooms are bright and pleasant, with a harmonic decoration and vast windows to immerse in the Patagonia’s uniqueness.
In the Northeast of Argentina, bordering with Brazil, the Iguazú Waterfalls attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world. As one of the New Seven Natural Wonders, they do not lack luxurious hotels to stay in with wonderful scenery. Loi Suites Iguazú is one of them, located just 15 minutes away from the falls and submerged in the subtropical jungle of Iryapu. Surrounded by the native trees and nothing but the colour green, the 162 rooms are equipped with high-end technology and a tranquil ambiance. The spa offers innovative aesthetic, relaxing and nutritive treatments and the restaurant serves international meals and barbecues.