When people think of wine country in Argentina, Cafayate is usually not the first town that comes to mind. After all, the country’s red wine is far more famous than its white. For those wine lovers who do make it to this laid-back town in the north, however, Viñas de Cafayate hotel awaits.
We used to feature another hotel in this region, one that was once part of the Starwood Luxury Collection, with a vinotherapy spa and a garden setting next to a well-known vineyard. From what we’ve heard from several readers and a correspondent, however, that place is now understaffed and short of funds, so until something more luxurious opens later, the best bet is Vinas de Cafayate, overlooking grape vines near the small city.
This hotel is not connected to a vineyard, but it’s easy biking distance to a few and the staffers can help arrange local tastings. Naturally they feature local wines in the restaurant as well.
The hotel maintains an organic garden to supply the kitchen with fresh vegetables. The cuisine served is regional, ranging from the famous Salta empanadas for appetizers to Argentine meat grilled to perfection. The wine cellar is prepared to hold custom tastings, and the local Torrontes varietal should not be missed.
The usual guest routine is to hike or play golf during the day, bike around the area, and sample local wine in the town square or at the wineries. At night, you can enjoy the stars, sit by the fireplace, or curl up with a book. (If you’re looking for discos, shopping, and cocktail lounges, you’ll have to wait until you get back to Salta.)
Rooms here are not luxurious and you will not be able to get the same level of service as from the city hotels a few hours down the road—or at Colomé in the desert for that matter. They are comfortable and have good views though. Until a well-funded hotel currently under construction debuts later, 22-room Viñas de Cafayate is the best option in this off-the-beaten-path vineyard area at the far end of a canyon.