The "Vineyard Loft" is a truly unique room among the vines that would be perfect for honeymooners and wine-lovers alike.
While positioned near plenty of vineyards, Entre Cielos is a good half-hour drive from the restaurants and bars of Mendoza.
Entre Cielos, Mendoza, Argentina
The name Entre Cielos translates to "between heavens", because for lovers of fine wine that's exactly where this boutique hotel is set: between two of Argentina's most famous wine-producing regions, Lujan de Cuyo and Maipu. This is the home of the malbec grape, and you don't have to go too far to find some of it – Entre Cielos is set on its own boutique vineyard, with the snow-capped Andes Mountains rising from the horizon behind it. The hotel is about a half-hour drive from Mendoza airport, and is set on a quiet country road behind Lujan de Cuyo.
Unsurprisingly, given it is owned and managed by a group of Swiss investors, Entre Cielos is a slick, modern space, a low-rise building set on immaculately manicured grounds. Its bare concrete public spaces give way to a much warmer design in the rooms, with flourishes of colour and high-quality furnishings. While it's a true boutique hotel, there is still the choice of six different room styles, ranging from a master suite to a standard double room. There's also the Vineyard Loft, a separate room built on top of the vines, with a private bathtub on the balcony and a rooftop window to allow guests to look at the stars.
Star-gazing is clearly a popular pastime around these parts, if the professional-quality telescope provided in each room is anything to go by. Those private spaces also have a couple of lounge chairs from which to utilise views over the surrounding vineyards and mountains, as well as a desk, an iPod docking station, and a Nespresso coffee machine. There's also a modest-sized flatscreeen TV – although no one comes to Mendoza to watch TV.
For a hotel with a design so stark that it borders on being cold, the comfort factor here is high. The beds are comfy, and the lounge chairs in the rooms are perfect for curling up with a nice glass of red. Entre Cielos has a pool with views of the vines and the mountains, but the real drawcard is the Turkish-style hamam, the only one of its kind in South America and an obvious passion project for the European ownership team. Guests can take the full Turkish bathhouse treatment, from steam rooms to hot rocks to a swim in the pool, before relaxing with a cup of mint tea in the lounge.
Entre Cielos boasts its own fine-dining restaurant, Katharina, which serves seasonal, local Argentinian produce and manages to stand out in a region that takes its food very seriously. Dishes include the likes of grilled red beet carpaccio with poached egg and goat's parmesan, and deer ragu with herb gnocchi. This is Argentina, however, so you really want to try the steak, paired with a Winery Entre Cielos Gran Reserva malbec. In Mendoza itself, star chef Pablo del Rio's newest venture, Fuente y Fonda, serves up Argentinian home-style cuisine in an upmarket setting.
There's only one reason to venture outside the Entre Cielos grounds: wine. Lots, and lots of wine. Take your choice of tours in the three surrounding regions: Maipu, Lujan de Cuyo, and the up-and-coming Valle de Uco. Each has its drawcards, from the big names like Norton in Maipu to the boutique drops such as Bodegas Salentein and Domaine Bousquet in Valle de Uco. A tour typically includes visits to three or four wineries, generous tastings at each, and a three-course lunch.
In terms of a luxury, boutique experience in the middle of wine country, you could hope for little better. There's everything you need on the hotel's grounds, which is fortunate, as, without a car, travelling around the area can prove problematic. Better to just hang out in the hamam and then crack a bottle of red and take in the mountain views.
LAN Airlines flies daily from the east coast of Australia to Santiago, Chile, with connecting flights to Mendoza. The hotel can organise transfers for the 30-kilometre journey from the airport to Entre Cielos.
Entre Cielos, 1998 Guardia Vieja, Lujan de Cuyo, Argentina.
Our Rating: 4.5 out of 5
TripAdvisor Traveller Rating 4.5 out of 5
The writer was a guest of LAN Airlines and Chimu Adventures.