“Chic but relaxed: a beautifully designed guesthouse just southwest of Salta, which offers breathtaking tours”
The airy rooms are designed with sumptuous high thread-count bed linens, locally woven blankets of the softest llama or lambswool (chic not scratchy), and a choice of pillows - ours were both firm and soft, and all are anti-allergic. As well as modernist lamps, there are woven ponchos and baskets made by local craftspeople, plus old sepia photographs of the 1920s construction of the Tren a las Nubes (the famous Salta 'Train to the Clouds'). There’s underfloor heating for winter and fans for summer (you really don’t need air con), plus mosquito nets in the windows.
Bathrooms are made for those who need these things to be perfect: powerful showers, soft high-quality towels, soaps made with locally grown herbs, and decent toiletries. More surprisingly, there’s local pumice from volcanoes in the Puna and loofahs grown in the garden! And each room has fresh roses from the garden, too.
In the main house, there are 2 ground-floor Standard Rooms, both are accessed via the exterior gallery. Ensuites have showers and wooden decked floors. In a separate building near the main house, 2 newer Standard Rooms await. We're yet to see these personally, but their setting allows a more private stay.
The Suite is also on the ground-floor of the main house. It has a separate entrance from the hall, 2 bedrooms and a shared bathroom with a bath and overhead shower, as well as a private patio with 2 loungers and a small table. This is ideal for a family or friends. One room has a queensize bed, the other has a double or 2 single beds.
The biggest room, Superior Room, is on the first floor with a private balcony and loungers, and lovely views onto the gardens and mountains in the distance. It has windows to 3 directions, an extremely comfortable queensize bed with a niche behind your head filled with books and magazines, a desk, and a long wall of wardrobes and benches to park your belongings. The bathroom has an antique basin, a spacious bench and a huge mirror, and there’s a separate rainhead shower room.
The set menu for main meals changes daily: expect Italian recipes mixed with traditional Salteño ingredients. Everything is handmade, from the fresh pasta to the mango ice cream. Meals are eaten at separate tables (or all together if you prefer), and the food is superb.
Have a glass of wine with Fabrizio and Valentina before dinner, with a selection of cheeses and hams as picadas if you’re peckish. You might start with a risotto of quinoa with peppers, followed by fillet of beef from local farms, which will be succulent as butter, cooked the Italian way on a hot dish, and served with rocket salad with parmesan cheese. There’s also brasato, an Italian dish of beef slow-cooked with vegetables, or fish from Chile. Puddings include Amaretti ice cream, a pear tarte tatin, or a yummy pear and chocolate crumble.
Lunch is usually light and delicious - think salads, soups, fresh pasta, vegetable tarts and fresh fruit salads. There’s usually an asado (a traditional Argentinian barbecue) on Sunday lunchtimes in the outside quincho (covered eating area).
Breakfast has no fixed time so you can get up when you like. You get fresh juice (we had mandarin), croissants from the local bakery, homemade bread and jams, freshly baked cakes, eggs to order, plus goat's cheese from the local farm and ham. Cereals, tea and an excellent traditional cappuccino are also on offer.
Children are welcome and the owners have 2 of their own (they live in the house next door, but on-site). There are lots of toys for kids to use and dogs to play with. There's a pool and the grounds are great for romping around in, discovering wildlife (we saw some really cool moths!) and birding (burrowing owls put on a display for you as you drive in).
The Suite is made up of a double and twin, has a bathroom and a private patio, ideal for a large family party. Cots are available (free) in every room; the Superior Room can fit an extra bed for a small extra charge.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Smaller portions of adult meals can be made for children, and special requests are easily catered for if you tell the cook or Valentina in the morning
The swimming pool is fenced. Keep an eye out for bees in the garden or the very occasional (harmless) snake in the long grass