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Choosing somewhere to stay in and around Mendoza just got even more difficult with the arrival of The Vines Resort & Spa, smack bang on the vineyard route through Argentina’s finest wine region.
The Vines Resort & Spa was designed as a series of single storey stone walled buildings making for minimal impact on the beautiful views of vineyards and Andes beyond. There's another reason the owners chose to go with the low slung approach - with 1,500 acres to play with, space was at anything but a premium.
This sense of space is only enhanced by the floor to ceiling windows in the extremely luxurious 22 one- and two-bedroom villas, all decked out in earthy tones and with huge bathrooms, fireplaces and private terraces complete with shower, bath, fire pit and plunge pool from which to watch sunset over the Andes or vineyards.
All very civilised, we're sure you'll agree, but away from the villas things only get better, and particularly on the gastronomic front. Argentine superchef Francis Mallmann runs the show in the kitchens, although most of the action takes place outside, thanks to his Siete Fuegos or seven fires concept. Siete Fuegos showcases the various open flame cooking techniques for which Mallmann and Argentina are famous. Naturally beef features heavily (try the nine-hour slow-grilled rib eye), but Mallmann also works, to delicious effect, with other fresh produce so you can expect baked salt crusted salmon and even grilled nectarines.
This being wine country there is a cellar consisting of hundreds of local wines with which to compliment the food. Enjoy a tour of the Cava or wine cellar with the expert sommelier, or enjoy some of the finest vintages in the bar, alongside Argentinian craft beers, cocktails and the local liquor of choice, fernet.
The subterranean spa offers vinotherapy treatments using grape growing by-products and a wide range of other treatments from hot stones to massages as well as meditation. Alternatively guests can lounge in the covered outdoor jacuzzi or relax in the private garden. The spa team also arrange yoga sessions in the vineyards.
Slightly more energetic, but also in the vineyards, guests can go riding with local gauchos, or learn more about the distinctive Argentinian culture with tango or asado meat grilling classes.
Why we love it
Head to the Vines for the best that Argentina has to offer - wine, beef, and beefy gauchos - all in one spot.
Will, Original Traveller