Set in a location with superb views, this stay combines colonial grandeur with avant-garde wine
Activity adventure | Food & wine | Spa
Dubbed the ‘Tuscany of Argentina’, Cafayate is second only to Mendoza as a wine producing region in Argentina. Both the tranquil town and this stunning hotel are spectacularly located amid the Calchaqui Valley vineyards, surrounded by rugged mountains at more than 1,700 metres above sea level. The nearest airport is in the provincial capital Salta, a three-hour drive away.
Accommodation comprises 32 rooms and three suites, many with superb views over the pool to the ripening grapes in the vineyards beyond. Each room is different but common touches like antique pieces of furniture, striking works of art, terracotta floor tiles and bedframes made from beautifully worked iron or carved and polished wood ensure they all maintain the feel of colonial Argentina. In-room facilities include a desk, cable TV, mini bar, WiFi, hairdryer, safety deposit box and air conditioning. Bathrooms even benefit from a double Jacuzzi.
The chefs here pride themselves on creating dishes that are typical of the region, often using fresh fruits and vegetables grown in the hotel gardens, and following recipes handed down for generations. Melt-in-the-mouth dishes of goat and llama are paired wonderfully with local wines – the trend is towards young, fresh and fruity wines. One of the predominant grapes in the region is Torrontes, which produces both sweet and dry aromatic white wines. That said, the wine that bears the name of the estate’s own winery, El Esteco, is known for its complex, rustic and elegant reds, including cabernets and malbecs.
The outdoor pool is a joy in the summer months, with the surrounding mountain peaks reflected on the water. Guests are very welcome to stroll or cycle through the vineyards (bikes are lent out free of charge). Horse riding is extremely popular. Golfers can thread 18 holes among the surrounding dunes and vineyards. The Vine and Wine Museum in nearby Cafayate is well worth a visit. An exceptional spa offers treatments inspired by the local surroundings. And, come evening, you can retreat to the hotel game room, or descend to the wine cellar to sniff, swill and swallow some more.
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