One of the great things about travel, on the ground and on the web, is discovering fantastic new places, experiences, and people. When all is said and done, human beings are discoverers. Well, the other day we discovered a little bit of wonderment all the way down there in Argentina, Hotel Entre Cielos in Mendoza.
For many reading this article, Argentina will only be a fabled mention from the movies, a bit of geography from a school lesson, a place where Gouchos ride herd on the world’s tastiest cattle, maybe the home of historic notables such as Juan and/or Eva Peron. However, like so many places you may never have seen in person, this country at the tip of South America bears treasures as rich as any storybook tale, any regional lore may contain – and a people and hospitality style of inestimable value – such places and hospitality as that of Entre Cielos (conceptual art above).
First we must transport you readers a bit to Argentina itself, then far West toward the legendary Andes, to the town of Mendoza. Situated in the foothills of the high Andes, a stone’s throw from Chile, Menoza’s 110,000 plus inhabitants enjoy a natural wonderland in one of the world’s most famous outdoor playgrounds. You see Mendoza is a stopover point for world class adventurers, hikers, climbers intent on scaling Aconcagua (image below), the highest peak in the Western hemisphere.
What was once the land of three ancient tribes; the Huarpes, the Puelches, and the Incas, is today the fourth largest municipality in Argentina. And you might be interested to know that the area around Mendoza is the largest wine producing area in all Latin America, and a key olive oil producing region too. Now, a cosmopolitan masterpiece teeming with Spanish and ancient culture, offers travelers so much, and hospitality masterpieces too, like Entre Cielos.
This hotel, home of the first Turkish spa experience in all Latin America, Hamam + Spa, offers an unforgettable experience, world class localized activities, facilities so complete as to challenge even the world’s finest resorts. All set in a place, which quite honestly, you probably never heard or dreamed of. Exquisite Marantal wines, to horseback riding through the vineyards, even a hot air balloon tour of some of God’s most enthralling scenery. If you don’t get the picture, I will help.
Basecamp for any adventure getaway, any luxury excursion of vacation, is the guestroom. As you can see in the image above, Entre Cielos offers modern refinement within the earthy atmosphere of natural bliss. Sharp, crisp, clean, invigorating, these are the terms that come to my mind.
Though a bit commercial, somewhat Hollywood-ish, the image below actually does convey just how places like this, stays like this bring value. The effect such experiences have on people, this is the golden ring all hoteliers, any travel and tourism business entity longs and strives for. Imagine yourself, immersed in luxury, while at the same time inhabiting such an ancient and ethereal place.
When you headed off on vacation to Paris, Bangkok, even Tibet in 2008 say, Mendoza was then selected as one of the top 10 historic destinations on earth. Whether it is the aforementioned high Andean adventure you seek, a wine tasting cavalcade, just being pampered, or exploring the wonderful parks and shops of Mendoza, this unexpected destination will be a surprise in more ways than one. Take for example this month’s Mendoza National Grape Harvest Festival (image below), Argentina, Mendoza in particular, is as colorful, as urban or remote, as you want it to be.
Focusing again on your accommodations, Hotel Entre Cielos came into being, interestingly, out of the vision and passion of several Swiss wine enthusiasts. These people’s desire and passion has translated into a hotel, the hamam+spa, two fine restaurants, and a wonderful holistic experience so enhanced by the area’s and wines – providing an unforgettable, holistic experience in a truly majestic setting.
Where the sky touches the Argentinian plains, this is where the guest will discover the hotel’s real value. Aside uncompromising service, expensive and luxurious accouterments, it’s the whole experience that defines this place on our little planet. Venture forth and ride the countryside, river raft some of the world’s most challenging rapids, not so car off, bruise your feet shopping all day – then return to the hotel to be cured, soothed, you get the idea. Remote, luxuriant travel.
For the body, the mind, there’s more to an experience than even the most dedicated attention to finery, there’s food. The two restaurants at the hotel offer best practices focused on serving the local produce and tradition, an impeccable presentation of not only International cuisines, but the finest of the finest beef in the world. For the meat lover, this is a culinary paradise.
The so called Beef Club & Wine House tantalizes guests with some of the world’s finest wines, most exquisite Argentine beef, prepared to perfection. Now did you ever imagine such things existed, really? Taking in all that this area, this hotel offers is a scope of investigation this or any travel article could encompass. No doubt it was this immense tapestry of “place” that enthralled those Swiss investors in the first place. One does not have to be a Latin America enthusiast, a researcher of Pre-Colombian art or history, to appreciate these Andean foothills, or at least fascinating undiscovered places.
I suppose any review of a hotel must include a bullet list of amenities, so to that end:
- Two restaurants
- A bar
- A wine store
- Cigar Lounge
- Hamam + Spa
- Park & Gardens
- BBQ area
- Outdoor pool
- Outdoor Jacuzzi
- Business Center
- Laundry and ironing service
- Full board and half board options
- Private drivers
- Private guides and tours
- and so much more
Enjoy your own personal trainer, take an adventure picnic, even enjoy Tango and Flamenco lessons/dancing, if there is an Argentinian, luxury, or outback aspect the hotel has overlooked, I could not find it. Learn to cook local beef gastronomical wonders, or play polo (yes play polo) – we cannot possibly list what Entre Cielos has to offer the wanting guest. Before I leave off, let me quote a package deal offered via the hotel’s website. Just in case you are in the market for the new and exciting.
Checking out the Wine, Dine & Spa package via this PDF, guests are picked up at the airport by private driver, given the short tour of Mendoza, then they stay at the hotel for two nights with full board. Touring six of the areas most famous vineyards, a two and a half hour relaxation treatment at the Hamam + Spa for just $2500. Now if that sounds like a lot, I just spent €3000 plus visiting Paris for three days, with no real frills save some culinary wonder. If you’ve been, you know what I mean about European capitals.
For more information about Mendoza, Argentina, the reader can visit the official tourism portal here. The site is in Spanish, but using Google Chrome one can translate effectively. To learn more about Entre Cielos, please visit the links provided or check out their Facebook and Twitter feeds. Alternatively you can call the hotel directly at: +54 261 498 33 77
We wish to thanks the hotel and the Scretaira De Turismo Mendoza for many of the images provided above. I leave you with an ancient wonder in the Mendoza province, Puneta Del Inca.