Arroyo Las Cañas, Tigre River Delta
The lovely La Becasina is a study in contrasts. Though it's close to a major city—the hotel is located on the Tigre river delta, about 45 minutes north of Buenos Aires—the lodge feels wonderfully remote, perhaps because it's only accessible by an hour–long boat ride deep into the forest. And while the hotel operates according to an all-inclusive structure that provides meals and a twice–daily open bar, you won't find any crowded buffet lines or rowdy spring breakers here.
La Becasina is the very picture of sophistication—attracting mostly couples to its 15 private cabins—with an expert barman and waitstaff that serve multiple courses to guests seated at intimate tables for two. It's all about leisure and luxury here, so you don't have to worry about checking out of your room after breakfast: most guests spend the whole weekend at the lodge, checking in on Saturday morning and staying through early evening on Sunday.
After reading about La Becasina's laid-back schedule and all-inclusive program, we were prepared for a true getaway. The weekend began at 9:30 sharp on a Saturday morning as we boarded a sleek motorboat at a river dock in Tigre. The first half of the trip was like any boat ride that tourists take on the delta: we passed colorful vacation homes and small hotels, kids fishing, old men kayaking. But as we turned off the main waterway and onto a smaller canal, the vegetation grew increasingly thick and lush, and manmade structures became fewer and further between.
When we arrived at La Becasina, a row of uniformed staff members were awaiting us on the elevated dock. Climbing the steps into the wooden complex—consisting of the main lodge, pool and outfoor bar, living areas, and guest cabins connected by catwalks—felt like stepping into a luxury treehouse. Our suitcases were whisked away and we were escorted to an airy private cabin surrounded only by trees and water. The cabins are simple but luxurious; there's no television, unsurprisingly, but an oversized bathtub lined with windows opening into the woods, a king-sized bed topped with elegant linens, and a private terrace facing the water where we could recline on white chaise lounges and drink tea. The mosquito nets surrounding the terrace are both practical and pretty - they're necessary, along with mosquito repellant, at sunset, but they also create an impossibly romantic atmosphere as rays of late afternoon sunshine filter through the trees.
There's nothing to do at La Becasina—and that's precisely the point. Guests sunbathe around the swimming pool, hike through the woods, or borrow a canoe or kayak for a paddle on the river. But most are here to relax and the fabulous English-speaking staff make that easy. Before both lunch and dinner, guests are welcome to the indoor and outdoor bars for happy hour and hors d'oeuvres. An easygoing bartender mixes up caiprinhas and strawberry daiquiris and mojitos while another server delivers platters of fine cheese, salami and olives to each couple. Meals are extravagant affairs. Lunch is usually served al fresco. Dinner is in the more formal dining room, consisting of contemporary Argentinian cuisine and a range of local wines followed by homemade dessert and strong coffee.
On the initial boat ride to the hotel, the atmosphere was quiet and serious. But after two full days at La Becasina, as we step back onto the boat, every one of the guests looks suntanned and rejuvenated; there's a lot of laughter, business cards exchanged, and lively conversation in several languages. Someone said “this place is a marriage saver.” I'm not an expert on that topic but I have to admit that I just had one of the most relaxing weekends of my life. So married or otherwise, I'd venture that La Becasina is, at the very least, a sanity saver.
Web Address: www.labecasina.com
Total Number of Rooms: 15
Published rates: 2 days/1 night double occupancy $330 all-inclusive with boat transfers
Review and photos by Bridget Gleeson