Cavas Wine Lodge

Alto Agrelo, Mendoza, Argentina Book from US$700

Heavenly boutique hotel and glorious spa designed in charming modern style, in the heart of Mendoza wine country
Unquestionably one of the most stylish places to stay in all Argentina, Cavas Wine Lodge is luxurious and hip without being remotely pretentious. Set amid vines against a backdrop of snow-capped mountains, all is designed for pleasure. The airy entrance lounge is filled with striking sculpture and modern paintings. There's an intimate Moorish spa with wine-inspired therapies, and charming bilingual staff who make you feel immediately welcome. Owners Cecilia Díaz Chuit and Martín Rigal are widely travelled and have brought the highest international standards to this hotel.

The wineries nearby produce excellent wine, and the lodge offers cuisine to match. Sip sauvignon blanc under a shady pergola as you choose from a menu of exquisite modern Latin American cuisine. At night, wind your way through lamp-lit vines to your individual Gaudí-esque creation: each room and villa has uninterrupted views of the snow-capped Andes and its own divine plunge pool. Inside are swirling organic walls, an immense bed, a fireplace, and a roll-top bath with a view. Step up to your roof terrace, order a local Malbec, and survey the mountains as the moon emerges. Utter bliss.

Highs

  • Fabulous architecture and innovative interior design
  • Amazing rooms: luxurious space and privacy, with utterly breathtaking views
  • Exquisite food - top-notch and distinctively Latin American; a real draw
  • The beautifully calm spa has a gorgeous pool with open views of the vines, plus private rooms for treatments and Jacuzzis
  • Superb wine tastings with an expert sommelier, or tours of nearby wineries with a guide and driver. We loved the delicious Bonarda wine - the hotel's own - served as a welcome drink on arrival

Lows

  • It’s pricey, but worth it for a treat
  • You’ll need to book ahead as the hotel fills up fast for the popular periods - especially for the wine harvest in March, when you need to give 5 months’ notice!
  • Children under 12 aren't allowed - but then this makes for a very calm atmosphere
  • During the autumn and winter months, rooms can take a while to heat up

Best time to go

Mendoza is mild and sunny for most of the year. However, autumn and spring (March/April and September/October) are the best times to visit, as they bring beautiful light and vibrant colours. The whole province gets packed out throughout March for the wine harvest, and it’s wise to book as many as 5 months in advance. January and February are best avoided, as this is peak holiday period in Argentina and there are a lot of people around.

Our top tips

This is most definitely one of Argentina’s loveliest places to stay - don’t underestimate how long you’ll want to linger here! And ask for a front-row room so your view of the Andes is uninterrupted.

Great for...

Foodie
Great Outdoors
Honeymoon
Spa
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 14 + 3 villas
  • Restaurant (open daily)
  • Over 12s welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Concierge Service
  • Bicycles Available
  • Board games
Room:

Rooms

From the main building, you see several strange and intriguing curved structures rising up from the regular rows of vines. Surely not? Yes, these are the guest rooms, and as you’re shown along a winding path to your own private cabin, prepare for a most unexpected surprise.

What might seem otherworldly from the outside is interiors-magazine-plush inside: curved white walls, concrete floors and irregular archways give interesting glimpses of far-off spaces, and floor-to-ceiling windows let in dazzling sunlight. Huge beds are dressed with pristine white linen, offset by striped headboards and bright red and teal textiles. Little niches hold rustic sculptures to remind you that this is rural Argentina. Sliding doors open directly onto your private, screened-off deck, complete with comfortable loungers, a plunge pool and an outside shower - all beautifully lit for night-time dips. Back inside, the bathroom has a huge claw-foot roll-top bath, also with open views, plus plenty of wine-based toiletries, sumptuous towels and bathrobes, all encouraging you to linger. Climb up steps curving around your little home to find a private roof terrace with a fireplace, and clear views across the vines to the Andes beyond.

There are 2 types of room: Luxury Rooms, which are the 'standard' ones, and more expensive Corner Rooms, which are more private (as you have no neighbours) and come with a Nespresso machine. All have air conditioning, safe boxes, hairdryers, TVs (ask for a DVD and CD player if you want one) and 2 phones; some have internet access. There’s a minibar too, and you can make delicious leaf tea with a selection from Teeson provided. Staff can arrange for the sofa to be made up as an extra bed for children over 12.

The newest additions are 3 villas - which we haven’t had a chance to see yet - 2 Vineyard Villas, and a Grand Villa - which can be booked for either 2 or 3-4 people. All are at least twice as big as the rooms and are decorated in the same elegant style, plus you get the added bonus of a living room, either a hot tub or Jacuzzi, and complete privacy. The Grand Villa has a full kitchen; if booked for 2, the second bedroom is blocked off.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Coffee tea making
  • Extra beds
  • Fireplace
  • Hairdryer
  • Internet access
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Plunge pool
  • Plunge pool
  • Safe box
  • Terrace
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • Tv

Eating

Mendoza is the place in Argentina for wine, and it’s perhaps not surprising that the food produced here is of the highest standard too. Cecilia and Martín’s vision for the restaurant was that it should provide simple, elegant food with a distinctively Latin American flavour, rather than the French aspirations of many top Argentine eateries.

The chef trained in Buenos Aires’ best, Oviedo, and creates truly inspired dishes using locally sourced vegetables and fresh seafood from just over the border in Chile. Our grilled calamares with rocket salad was gorgeous, and was followed by delicious freshly made ravioli filled with ricotta and walnuts. There are surprising delicacies, too, such as the locally reared chivito (kid), expertly cooked so that it’s perfectly succulent, and melt-in-the-mouth grilled squid served with piquant black beans.

Tables are smartly laid either in the elegant dining room, or on the terrace with its vineyard views and pergola of vines. Great trouble has clearly been taken to make sure that your fine wine - from a superb list - will be met with the kind of accompaniment it deserves.

Cavas’ restaurant is really one of the finest in the region, so while you might lunch elsewhere if touring bodegas, make sure you dine here every night: you won’t be disappointed.

The lodge also has its own sommelier, who will give you a personalised tasting and a quick course in the wines of Mendoza in the hotel's own cave, an atmospheric room under the main building with wonderful stained-glass tables.

Those staying in the Grand Villa have the option of self-catering as it has a full kitchen. But if you did want to dine in-villa (or under your pergola, or on your rooftop), perhaps ask that a professional make use of your kitchen instead, and request a private chef to cook for you - the food that the chefs whip up really is spectacular.

Features include:

  • Coffee tea making
  • Cooking classes
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Organic produce
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Head to the spa. Moorish in design, it has a central courtyard with a fountain and loungers, plus a sauna, Jacuzzis and treatment rooms - some with twin baths, so you can be pampered à deux

  • Wine is the other main attraction here. Book a guide and driver to pick you up in the morning and take you to 3 wineries in a day, stopping at one for lunch and allowing plenty of time for a serious tasting at each. There are big wineries such as Trapiche and Familia Zuccardi, as well as smaller ones such as the fabulous Tempus Alba. Carlos Pulenta’s inspiring Bodega Vistalba, with magnificent architecture, is nearby

  • You could also set off by bicycle to visit wineries - ask for a map, and make sure you have a packed lunch or have booked ahead for lunch at a bodega (reservations are generally required)

  • It’s definitely worth getting out into the mountains. Ask staff for a guide, or hire a car and head off towards Chile, with marvellous trekking in the foothills of Aconcagua en route. However, a day trip wouldn’t give you much time to walk, so you may wish to add this to the end of your itinerary

  • Mendoza's superb landscape is ideal for all kinds of outdoor activities, including rafting and horse riding. Los Potrerillos, just an hour away, is a good base for these and is very picturesque. Ask staff for a guide, who will meet you the night before your expedition to discuss what you’d like to do

  • You can play golf 15 minutes away

  • Skiing is possible at 2 places in Mendoza, from late June to September. The world-famous Las Leñas is in the south of the province, but the humbler family resort of Los Penitentes is just 2 hours away

  • Mendoza, just 20 minutes away, is one of Argentina’s loveliest cities: wide tree-lined avenues, pretty plazas and some great boutiques, galleries and restaurants. We recommend The Vines of Mendoza tasting room and information centre, plus the excellent restaurant and wine bar Azafrán

  • Back at the hotel, take cooking lessons in local cuisine

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cooking classes
  • Cycling
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Horse-riding
  • Museums / galleries
  • Private guided tours
  • Rafting
  • Shopping / markets
  • Skiing
  • Swimming
  • Trekking
  • Well being
  • Wine tasting
  • Yoga

Kids

Children over 12 are welcome, and all rooms have a sofabed.

Best for:

Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

The Grand Villa has a second bedroom, a sofabed and a full kitchen.

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

10/
Rooms
9/
Food
10/
Service
10/
Value
10/
Overall

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Rates for Cavas Wine Lodge