Chile 1124, Mendoza
Argentina's best urban hotel outside Buenos Aires continually hosts a who's who of the wine industry. Despite having only the Cavas Wine Lodge outside of town as competition, the well–trained staff and polished facilities at the Park Hyatt Mendoza are hard to fault.
Facing the city's Plaza Indepencia and next to a performance hall, the hotel's historic white facade rises up in all its 19th century Spanish Colonial glory, with plenty of cornices and columns. This is as far as it goes though: inside the building was gutted and revamped, planting it firmly in the 21st century.
At the top of the stairs, a large porch with umbrellas is a prime spot for drinks, a meal, and people watching. The bright and open lobby inside rises the height of the original building, with colorful leather furniture atop a dramatic oval area rug. A a mezzanine walkway overhead leads to a plush jazz and piano bar with live music in the evenings.
The contemporary Bistro M restaurant consistently ranks among the top restaurants in the region. It's unflinchingly bold and contemporary, with granite floors, striking original paintings, and an open show kitchen. Known for its beef and its striking desserts, Bistro M also gets attention for its two–story glassed in "wine library." The collection makes it a staple on Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence list and a full–time sommelier helps diners navigate the best from the nearby wineries.
The rectangular outdoor swimming pool is heated and used even in the coolest months. The spa employs a strange mix of Thai masseuses and vinotherapy, complemented by the wine–oriented products guests find in their baths. The men's and women&apso;s locker rooms have their own whirlpool, sauns, and steam bath.
Staffers professionally field requests for winery tours, adventure tours, biking, and skiing. A staffed business center is on hand and wi–fi runs throughout the hotel for a fee.
None of the accommodations are in the orginal building, but are in a new U–shaped, 6–floor building added to the original structure. Even the standards are ample, hosting oversized loveseats and ottomans, built with two entrances to the bath. The décor is sleek and uncluttered. White duvets and high–end sheets cover king or two double beds with an array of pillows. Curvy glass desks come with ergonomic chairs. Amenities are in line with expectations, including well–stocked minibars, speakerphones, fluffy robes, and electronic safes. All room classes have large marble baths with tubs and separate shower stalls–the latter armed with both rain and handheld showerheads. Park suites are three times larger, equipped with more expensive furniture, stereos, and and a full living room with lounging and dining space. Some rooms face the distant Andes, but the view is not so great that it should be a determination when booking. If money is no object or you need extra space for entertaining clients, the Governor's Suite and Presidential Suite add double and quadruple the space of the Park Suites–and are price accordingly.
The popular casino on site is quite the social center and is definitely not for those who are sensitive to smoke. High rollers get a little relief in a less–crowded VIP area.
Pressings and shoeshines are complimentary and English proficiency here is the best outside of the capital. Given the monopoly position the Park Hyatt Mendoza has at the high end of the scale, the facilities and the staff both outperform at every turn.
Review by Tim Leffel, photos courtesy of Park Hyatt Mendoza.
Web Site: www.mendoza.park.hyatt.com
Total Number of Rooms: 186
Published rates: $1,000 to $6,190 BB