For lovers of the outdoors and all things wine, there really is no better place to visit than Mendoza. Mendoza is ideally located for wine production, sitting on the western side of Argentina at the foot of the Andes, its fertile soils, wide open plains and differing climates surrounding the city and the foothills of the Andes makes for spectacular wine. Mendoza is home to the world famous Malbec variety – a smooth, medium-full bodied dark red wine, perfectly matched with a heavy, Argentine-style meal of grilled red meat or a saucy pasta. The province produces over two thirds of Argentina’s wines in total, so even the most well-travelled wine lover will be spoiled for choice!
There are several different wine regions around Mendoza city – the capital of Mendoza Province. Each region is home to various wineries, styles of wines, and accommodation options. So to experience Mendoza to the fullest, where should you stay? After my third visit to the region this Autumn, I now feel like I understand Mendoza better than ever. Read on for my recommendations on where to stay in Mendoza:
Chacras de Coria – Where to Stay in Mendoza
Located about 14km south of Mendoza city is Chacras de Coria, another small town similar to Maipu, but more residential in nature. Its tree-lined streets are quiet and beautiful with small houses and local restaurants. While Chacras de Coria isn’t considered a wine region in itself, like Maipu, it’s a great base to explore the surrounding areas while still being close to local amenities and restaurants.
My Choice in Chacras de Coria is the boutique-style Lares de Chacras. The hotel was built with locally sourced stone and timber which give it a cozy and welcoming feel. There’s also a wine cellar, an excellent restaurant and a beautiful sunny courtyard with a pool – perfect for the hot, dry summer months.
Lujan de Cuyo – Where to Stay in Mendoza
Lujan de Cuyo is about 20km south of Mendoza and screams wine country. The area is home to some superb vineyards, with most hotels and wineries located outside of the town itself. The region is spread out over quite a distance following the ‘Route 15’ or ‘Ruta de Vino’ south. While Lujan de Cuyo isn’t the most centrally located, being quite a distance away from the vineyards of Maipu, the region itself is full of small and large vineyards to visit. Generally speaking, the wines of Lujan de Cuyo are considered higher quality than those in Maipu due to altitude – many of the vineyards are located at around 1000m of altitude. It’s also claimed that this is the best region for Malbec. Accommodations in the area are generally more luxurious and isolated than those in Maipu or Chacras de Coria.
I recommend staying at the Entre Cielos in Lujan de Cuyo. The hotel combines modern, luxurious rooms with breathtaking surroundings of flowing vineyards and mountainous terrain. Run by a group of Swiss friends, the hotel is home to their vineyard as well as a luxurious spa.
Read more >> Boutique South America Wineries
Uco Valley – Where to Stay in Mendoza
Located around 100km to the south of Mendoza City, the Uco Valley is now the premier location for Mendoza’s best wines. The higher altitudes and mountainous terrain work to create micro-climates, stimulating a more sophisticated selection of wines. Many of the big wine producers of Mendoza are moving out to the Uco Valley to take advantage of this favorable climate, opening up vineyards to their most exclusive and expensive wines. While the area’s remote location is favorable for the growth of vines, it is a fair distance away from the other wine producing regions of Maipu and Lujan de Cuyo meaning that it’s quite a stretch to base yourself here and explore other areas. However, for serious wine lovers, the Uco Valley is a must visit destination.
My Choice in the Uco Valley is the Vines Resort & Spa. This is an incredible wine resort made up of one and two-bedroom private villas with views over vines to the Andes. The vineyard is made up of private vineyards which produce small batches owned by individuals. Anyone can produce their own wine alongside resident experts! It’s also home to renowned Argentine chef Francis Malmann’s ‘Siete Fuegos’ restaurant based on open fire cooking – an Argentine fare at it’s best!
Read more >> Essential Mendoza Wine Tour
Maipu – Where to Stay in Mendoza
Located around 18km southwest of Mendoza City is Maipu, a small town characterized by leafy streets, flat, sprawling terrain and an immense number of wineries. This is one of the closer wine regions to the capital, and for this reason, is more centrally located to experience the different wineries surrounding the city. It’s also a favorite with tourists taking advantage of the flat terrain exploring the region by bike.
For me, Maipu is a great mix of small-town and wide open space of grape vines and olive trees, with the sensational backdrop of the snow-capped Andes. Visitors have access to a range of local restaurants and hotels, as well as many excellent choices of vineyards big and small. Maipu has excellent choices of accommodation from quaint hotels and posadas, to excellent personal wine lodges allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of the region. The wine lodges let you really immerse yourself in the beauty of the area.
My Top Pick in Maipu is the excellent Club Tapiz Wine Lodge! Built in 1890, but recently renovated, there is plenty of character and history. It is surrounded by 14 hectares of vineyards and olive trees at an excellent price.
Read more >> Wine Tours in Mendoza, Argentina
Mendoza City – Where to Stay in Mendoza
For those who want to be close to restaurants and the usual amenities you find in a city, stay in Mendoza City. The city is characterized by beautiful, leafy streets and plazas making it a charming town. While for me, staying in Mendoza city you miss out on the natural beauty of the region. Nonetheless, a good place to base yourself is near Plaza Independencia – the city’s central plaza.
My Choice in Mendoza City is The Park Hyatt. This old style hotel been newly renovated and sits right in the square. With rooms that face the city or over to the Andes, you won’t be disappointed.
Overall Recommendations for a trip to Mendoza
My recommendation? If you have the time, I recommend a mix. Base yourself in the region of Maipu to be close to innumerable wineries throughout the regions surrounding Mendoza City. At night, stay at a wine lodge, and immerse yourself in the natural surroundings which Mendoza is famous for. Then, spend a few days out at the Uco Valley experiencing the premier wines of the region in absolute seclusion and immersion. For more information, check out our Recommended Hotels in Mendoza!