When anybody mentions Argentina what comes to mind, will probably be the sultry Argentine tango, Malbec wine, and huge juicy steaks, and of course football. This vibrant colourful and incredibly diverse country bursts with life from the colourful streets of vibrant Buenos Aires to the remote wilderness of Patagonia. Located at the bottom of South America, Argentina is the second largest country in South America and the eighth largest in the world with it’s incredible Flora and Fauna, the urbane streets of Buenos Aires to the jungle by Iguaza Falls and the rugged terrain of Patagonia, Argentina travel offers a study in extremes.
So let Smith Hotels take you through this pulsating country.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
The birthplace of seductive dance moves (and the hand of God) is a homage to the great Continental capitals – Paris, Madrid and Rome have all contributed to this sexy city, and not only by sending over various ex-pats to settle. As well as the influx of French, Spanish and Italian people, Europe has made its mark on the food, fashion and elegant architecture of the Argentine capital. To see gauchos in their garb at work on the pampas, you’ll have to venture into rural parts, but you won’t have to go far to taste their fare – in this city, you’re never far from a juicy steak. Sprawling Buenos Aires on the banks of the River Plate is a heavyweight on the continent, with only São Paulo in Brazil rivalling its metropolitan credentials. For high fashion, hit Palermo Viejo; for a cutting edge, contemporary vibe, try Palermo Hollywood. See bohemian Buenos Aires in historic San Telmo, a grittier quarter famed for antiques and authentic restaurants. The well heeled will find their Buenos Aires barrio is Recoleta, filled with fine galleries, museums and parks.
Estancia la Bamba de Areco Buenos Aires Province, Argentina Smith Hotels (More Information & Booking)
Welcome to the Hotel Argentina: you can horse ride any time you like, and you may never want to leave. Estancia la Bamba de Areco's sprawling ranch grounds, first-class equestian heritage, and history-meets-style luxury are the sort of stuff South-American-adventure dreams are made of… throw in an inviting swimming pool, elaborate barbecue luncheons and a squad of staffers dressed like gauchos, and checking out starts to sound like a bit of a nightmare.
Faena Hotel Buenos Aires Argentina Smith Hotels (More Information & Booking)
A ruby-red riverfront palace, the Philippe Starck-designed Faena Hotel Buenos Aires occupies a converted granary with soaring ceilings and prime city views. Inside, the hotel is an art-inspired homage to Argentina, with one of the world’s best Malbec collections, a 1920s-inspired cabaret and, of course, tango lessons from local experts. Prep for a long night of dancing with a soak in steaming spa tubs and a dinner of steaks that set a new Argentinean standard.
Legado Mitico Buenos Aires, Argentina Smith Hotels (More Information & Booking)
Legado Mitico Buenos Aires, Argentina Smith Hotels (More Information & Booking)
Legado Mitico hotel on the tree-lined streets of a bustling Buenos Aires barrio pays homage to Argentina’s heroic heritage. Rich mahogany hues, rows of bookshelves and dark traditional tones make for a refined retreat where brushing up on local history by the fire is as strenuous as things get.
San Martin de los Andes, Argentina
Trek 1,000-year-old forests, spot local marsupials, ski untouched slopes, catch teeming trout or just enjoy the fine food and laid-back nightlife of the town itself; San Martin de Los Andes commands pole position in the middle of the renowned Seven Lakes area snaking down the Chilean border to bigger, brasher San Carlos de Bariloche. Established a little over 100 years ago on the site of the indigenous Puelches’ winter retreat, San Martin has been transformed of late by creature- and comfort-loving city folk from Buenos Aires, bringing just the right amount of porteño pretension to the thrills and spills of life in the wild.
Río Hermoso San Martin de los Andes, Argentina Smith Hotels (More Information & Booking)
A river runs through it at luxury lodge Rio Hermoso hotel, just outside San Martin de los Andes, a Patagonian playground of fir-studded mountains, startled stags and bottomless, bottle-blue lakes. Interiors of richly-hued local stones and timbers, striking tribal artefacts and all-white, super-size soft furnishings don’t even try to compete with the environmental pole dance outside.
This picturesque province in north-west Argentina is easy on the eye, with mountains, canyons and vineyards making up the vast landscape. The city itself lies in the foothills of the Andes, an old colonial stronghold with preserved Spanish architecture – there’s even a candy-pink cathedral. Pass through the Calchaqui Valley to the vertiginous vineyards of Cafayate, or head north to neighbouring Jujuy; just make sure you look out of the window, as the scenery changes from lush and green to red and dusty. The province spans desert in the Puna, home to a blue lagoon with exotic birds and bright white salt beds, with rivers, mountains and valleys forming the rest. This good-looking girl has been around since the Incas. Get acclimatised to the altitude and come check her out in person.
Finca Valentina Salta, Argentina Smith Hotels (More Information & Booking)
Petite and perfectly formed, Finca Valentina hotel is a rustic, refined ranch just outside Salta in the grape-strewn foothills of the northwestern Andes. Play pampered patrón as your eponymous hostess and her Andean staff saddle up the steeds and prepare the parilla. Or just enjoy the white-linened, warm-wooded interiors and chill out with a glass of fruity Argentine red.
Andes-edged Mendoza is t he desert region that could: its oenophile-luring wineries and verdant city are a testament to its tremendous irrigation system. A mere two-hour flight from Buenos Aires or Santiago, Mendoza attracts those leisurely sipping and munching their way through South America’s finest offerings, so you’re rarely far from your next glass of straight-from-the-source wine, or a sizzling asado (Argentinean barbecue). Mendoza’s city’s plazas and parks are grand and green and its streets improbably tree-lined. Parque General San Martin has a zoo, gardens, fountains and even a monument-topped peak to climb. Beyond the city, rustic fincas sit by horizon-skimming vineyards, and the photogenic heft of the Andes rises to the west, where hikers and mountaineers pursue trails that range from pretty to punishing.
Entre Cielos Mendoza, Argentina Smith Hotels (More Information & Booking)
Daringly modernist Euro-Argentinean resort Entre Cielos – dreamt up by a group of Swiss friends – clearly takes pride in its vast vineyards. Malbec tastings are frequent, rooms are named after wine grades, and dedicated oenophiles can even bathe in the robust red down in the cool, concrete spa. But, the hotel’s no one-drink pony – Katharina Restaurant’s haute cuisine and ravishing rural surroundings quench all appetites, and the Vineyard Loft is the most covetable cocoon we’ve laid eyes on yet.
Casa de Uco Mendoza, Argentina Smith Hotels (More Information & Booking)
We’ll raise a cheers to Casa de Uco wine resort’s full-wall panoramas any day: vines stretching improbably far, frosted Andean peaks – Mendoza’s majesty takes top billing here. The hotel’s man-made assets are equally impressive: eco-friendly industrial architecture puts a bold spin on the rural hideaway, high-calibre Malbec and its contemporaries are plentiful, and justified pride is taken in the estate-grown cuisine. Bold, playful and refined: Casa de Uco’s is a pleasing bouquet indeed.
Finca Adalgisa Argentina Smith Hotels (More Information & Booking)
In a small town on Mendoza’s wine route lies boutique hotel Finca Adalgisa, where the Furlotti-Moretti family has tended the Malbec vines for three generations. The result is a pretty, rustic stay in a restored, turn-of-the-century farmhouse. Fine diners book gourmet breaks here for tapas-themed cookery lessons, olive oil and wine tastings, and sizzling carne from the traditional asado (Argentinian barbecue). If you leave on the same belt notch as when you arrived, you’re doing something wrong…