Ruta Nacional Nº 12 Km. 1640, Puerto Iguazú (3370), Misiones
There is more to an Iguazu (or Iguassu) vacation than visiting the impressive falls. At the Iguazú Grand Resort Spa & Casino guests can experience it all. The hotel offers luxurious accommodations along with a well–regarded spa, casino, shows, and easy access to the falls, indigenous villages, and the missions. Although it doesn't look out at the falls themselves, this is the most refined operation in the area.
Arriving via VIP pickup or by taxi and entering the palatial pillared Carrara marble lobby is to enter a world of luxury inside a region of mass tourism. Iguazu Falls is the major draw, but there is more to experience for guests who stay at the Iguazú Grand Resort, including a spa and casino.
After spending a day at Iguazu Falls, return to the Grand Hotel's Paradise Spa for one of their therapies based on chocolate, known as "Gods' food." Select one of the treatments using only natural products or relax with a private yoga session. Besides the Paradise Spa, the hotel offers a variety of on–site activities including three swimming pools in a beautiful garden setting with waterfalls. Artworks from local artists are displayed throughout the hotel.
All meals can be served en suite, but dining at the hotel's El Jardin restaurant offers first–class service and an international menu with many items grown in the hotel's organic vegetable garden. Unfortunately, many guests find the cuisine uninspiring and opt to head to town instead. The poolside Argentine BBQ is a better bet when offered.
There are gardens to stroll, three illuminated clay tennis courts with instruction available, and the hotel's 18–hole par 72 golf course is only 10 minutes away. There are even nightly tango lessons for anyone who didn't get a spin in Buenos Aires.
Every accommodation exhibits plush elegance and guests are universally surprised by how large even the lowest–level rooms are. Still, an upgrade to one of the multi–room accommodations doesn't require a lot of extra pesos and the five–room Presidential Suite is the best Iguazu has to offer. Beside a traditional welcome cocktail, expect fresh flowers, fruit, and wine to be waiting in whichever room you choose, along with the traditional bathrobes and slippers.
Connected to the hotel by an elegant Greco–Roman rotunda with a fountain is the casino and theater. Before heading to the casino with its complete complement of gaming tables and slot machine plus a VIP room, take in one of the nightly shows. The hotel has its own musical group that offers a variety of spectacles and entertainment, including a weekly folkloric and tango show in a cabaret setting.
To help guests enjoy all that the Iguazu area has to offer, the Grand Hotel staff will organize two–country trips to Iguazu Falls: evening boat rides to where Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina meet. This trip includes a stop at a beach in Paraguay to watch a Guarani folkloric show; eco–tourism adventures that include bird watching, trekking and canopy tours; adventurous days of repelling and bicycling; and cultural trips to Jesuit Missions and indigenous villages.
While this hotel can't match the striking falls view available from the Sheraton, it also doesn't see the huge crowds that one does and this member of the Leading Hotels of the World is a superior choice in most other respects.
Review by Sandra Scott, all photos courtesy of Iguazú Grand Resort Spa & Casino.
Web Site: www.iguazugrand.com
Total Number of Rooms: 108
Published rates: $313 to $1,871