Chile 1124, Mendoza, Argentina
The best option for travelers looking for full-service accommodation on the doorstep of Argentina's most famous wine region is not resting on its laurels.
Look closely at the regal façade of the Park Hyatt Mendoza and you'll see the words "Plaza Hotel "etched into the stone. The Plaza Hotel opened on the site, facing Mendoza's central Plaza Independencia, in 1926 and was in business until 1998. Subsequent renovations refurbished the original areas and added vast new spaces to become the Park Hyatt Mendoza, opened in 2001.
Inside the hotel, the sense of history slowly gives way to a thoroughly modern, international hotel aesthetic. The airy, modern, and spacious lobby is home to a changing collection of art, which gives a bit of local flair. Staff members all speak excellent English and two of the three concierges are Clef d'Or.
Eighty-five percent of the hotel's 186 rooms are City View rooms, Park View rooms, or Andes View rooms. These rooms are 387 square feet in size and City View and Andes View rooms face outward toward the lovely city plaza or the dramatic mountains.
There are also 12 Park Deluxe rooms (430 square feet), Park Suites (1,100 square feet), a Governor Suite (1,400 square feet), and a Presidential Suite (1,600 square feet). That largest one includes a master bathroom with an elevated jetted tub, a full dining room and dining table, a service kitchen, a Bang & Olufsen sound system, and modern works from artists including Pardo and Roberto Azzori.
Some of the finishings in my Andes View room were showing signs of wear (pock-marked wood paneling, banged-up doors on the mini-bar) and the beds in all rooms are lightly lower than average and very simply dressed. In this day and age of fluffy comforters and dozens of pillow options, the beds at the Park Hyatt seemed almost Japanese in their minimalism. But rest assured, the beds are plush and comfortable nonetheless.
Every room at the Park Hyatt Mendoza has a bathtub along with a very complete range of amenities including cotton balls, Q-tips, a toothbrush and toothpaste, a mini shaving kit, and excellent bath and body products. Those are made with anti-oxidant grape seed extract (this is wine country, after all).
Touches I did not expect include a Smart TV with Netflix, a different type of homemade cookie brought to the room each afternoon, and cleaning staff that serviced my room while I was at breakfast. Speaking of breakfast, it's a vast buffet affair (with local sparkling wine!) including all the usual suspects like eggs to order, smoked trout, homemade baked goods, and a wide-range of fresh juices.
The hotel gym, open 24 hours a day, is stocked with Life Fitness machines including step machines and treadmills plus free weights, balance balls, and kettlebells. Or head to the heated outdoor pool which is large enough for laps.
The very spacious Kaua Club & Spa is open from 8 am to 9 pm with nine large treatment rooms where a complete range of massages, facials, wraps, and treatment packages are offered. Some treatments incorporate anti-oxidant grape seed extract. His and hers changing rooms include a sauna and steam room in each and all hotel guests are free to use the sauna and steam rooms during their stay.
The hotel has two restaurants and a bar, but a brand new partnership with a local wine shop called Sol y Vino will see the creation of something Mendoza really needs: a focused, well-curated, and elegant wine bar. In the coming months, an event space above one of the lobby restaurants will be transformed and begin serving a long list of local wines by the glass along with simple plates. The goal is for this new space to open by the end of 2019. Patrons (the bar will be open to guests and non-guests) can also buy a bottle of wine to take away.
Once the new wine bar is open, the hotel's existing Uvas bar will completely reimagine its cocktail menu with the help of the creator of Florería Atlántico, the celebrated speakeasy in Buenos Aires.
In addition, the Park Hyatt is ramping up its schedule of food and wine events including more private dinners with high-end winemakers and chefs. A recent event included a visiting chef who is currently number 19 on the latest list of Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants.
The longest version of this hotel's name has "casino" it it because yes, there's a gambling hall in the basement level if you want to toss around some dollars.
There are many wine lodges we have profiled in the Mendoza area that are excellent, but if you want to be in a city rather than isolated out at a vineyard, Park Hyatt Mendoza has been the top urban choice since the day it opened.
Review by Karen Catchpole, photos by Eric Mohl.
Web Site: www.hyatt.com
Total Number of Rooms: 186
Published rates: $219 to $1,300 double including breakfast