Cavas Wine Lodge
You are in the middle of a 35-acre vineyard with panoramic views of the Andes. You have finished a day of wine tasting – remembering to spit, of course – in Mendoza’s vineyards and you have just paid a visit to the Cavas’ spa. The massage has put you in the zone: hop into your plunge pool, sip on a glass of Malbec – have a gulp if you like, there is plenty more.
rnThe clouds are poking over the snow-capped peaks. The air temperature drops, but the water is still nice and warm. Your frisky, futuristic, 70 square metre adobe bungalow hut – called a ‘vignette’ – is one of 14 on the property. After an al fresco shower, it’s time to head up to the dramatic white Spanish colonial-style house, where chef Sebastian Flores is cooking the beef to go with your bottle of Malbec-Cabernet Sauvignon blend.
rnThis is the way to sample Mendoza’s wine region. Hotel marketer Cecilia Diaz Chuit and her husband, vineyard expert Martin Rigal, have combined forces to create Cavas Wine Lodge, which opened in 2005. Now, with increasing exposure, they are not short of guests.
rnBook one of the five vignettes furthest from the main house (well in advance) for the best views. The Park Hyatt opened their new Mendoza branch in 2006, but Cavas Wine Lodge is the more authentic, although slightly wacky, choice. Rates vary from US$240 in the low season (3 May to 14 Sept) to US$350 in the high season (1 Jan to 2 May).