“Heavenly boutique hotel and glorious spa designed in charming modern style, in the heart of Mendoza wine country”
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.
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.