Even the most adventurous and seasoned travelers need to take a truly relaxing vacation every once in a while. And what better place is there to unwind than in Mendoza — Argentinian wine country and foodie heaven. However, even in Mendoza, the stress of planning outings, making reservations, and navigating the vast expanse of country can overshadow what is supposed to be a vacation and make it feel like work.
I wanted to find a hotel that I could whole-heartedly recommend to my readers who are planning a trip to Mendoza. I searched for somewhere that offers guests the opportunity to slow down and relax while still being able to enjoy the endless wine, great food, and beautiful vistas that makes Mendoza such a wonderful place to visit. I contacted Entre Cielos, a five star hotel in Luján de Cuyo, and they kindly invited me to stay for a night to see if it met my expectations.
Entre Cielos was the perfect escape I was looking for, a piece of paradise in the wine country. I spent the day relaxing by the pool, visiting the spa, walking around the vineyard, and enjoying a traditional asado (cook out) with the other hotel guests. At Entre Cielos I was truly “Viviendo la Vida,” the hotel’s mission statement that means “Living the Life.”
Entre Cielos is located in Luján de Cuyo, about 30 minutes from the city of Mendoza. It is perfectly situated for visiting the many nearby wineries while still being close enough to Mendoza to go to a restaurant and explore the city. Though the hotel is accessible by taxi, many guests choose to rent a car in order to explore the wine country independently.
Creating Entre Cielos was a dream shared by a group of friends from Switzerland. In 2009, they found the perfect property with its unbeatable view of the Andes Mountains and got to work. They began in 2010 by building the hamam, the first authentic Turkish bath in Latin America. Then they built the hotel the following year and saw all their dreams come into fruition by July 2011.
Designed by a Mendocinan architect, the hotel’s most prominent features are the use of concrete to create smooth, modern lines and the addition of textiles which give an aire of femininity. The owners also wanted to bring in as much nature as possible; floor to ceiling windows allow guests to feel as though they are inside and outside at the same time.
Nestled between a cherry tree farm and a winery, the property itself is beautiful. Palm trees, seasonal flowers, and a variety of cacti are impeccably maintained; plus, over 120 olive trees line the Malbec vineyard, making it the perfect place for an early morning stroll. Instead of a standard hotel gym, there is a 1.6 km fitness loop around the vineyard with five workout zones where guests can exercise. Yoga is also offered on Friday and Saturday mornings in the Zen Garden.
Entre Cielos also maintains a beautiful swimming pool and jacuzzi. Lying at the pool, I enjoyed watching the birds dart from tree to tree, the view of the Andes Mountains in the background. Between the pool, the gardens, and the vineyards, I could have enjoyed being outside all day.
I quickly discovered that I had a problem: no matter where I was in the hotel, I was so content that I didn’t want to move. When I was by the pool, I didn’t want to go inside, but then once back in my room, I didn’t want to leave. A great problem to have, to be sure.
I stayed in the Duplex Suite — ultra modern, yet comfortable and cozy. The living room on the first floor was great for lounging about and the pool-facing front porch was the perfect shady reading spot. Though downstairs impressed me, upstairs took my breath away. The bedroom included a reading area, a gigantic plush bed with premium sheets, and a bathtub with a view of the mountains. Even the bathroom was incredible, complete with the largest shower I’ve ever seen.
Although Entre Cielos hits all the high notes perfectly (spa, pool, restaurant), where they impressed me the most was in all the little details. When I first arrived to my room, I was greeted with fresh flowers, a bottle of Malbec, a handwritten note, classical music, and the coldest AC I’ve felt in Argentina. What a welcome! Then at night, I loved the turndown service, complete with cookies and someone thoughtfully closing all the shades.
Each of the sixteen rooms at Entre Cielos was named after an aroma of Malbec, such as canela (cinnamon), almendras (almonds), and rosas blancas (white roses), and that theme is carried throughout the rooms. There’s even a scent bottle with the room’s signature fragrance, a lovely touch I’ve not seen elsewhere.
While all the rooms at Entre Cielos are incredible, the “Limited Edition” Loft Suite wins the prize for being the most unique. This futuristic pod appears to float on top of the vineyard. It has a private outdoor jacuzzi and windows above the bed that allow you to see the stars, making it the perfect romantic retreat.
The Spa + Hamam
One of the reasons I chose to stay at Entre Cielos was because of their hamam (Turkish bath), a place devoted to relaxing the mind, body, and soul. If you’ve never been to a Turkish bath, this is your chance. The staff at Entre Cielos does a great job of explaining the process and leading guests through the circuit. Each guest is given a pestemal (cotton towel), a kese (silk glove used to exfoliate), a bowl, flip-flops, and a robe. Guests can choose to wear a swimsuit under the pestemal or not.
I was treated to the Hamam Classic Circuit that includes six stages and lasts about 90-100 minutes. The first stage was 10 minutes in a steam room. At first, I struggled to calm my thoughts; however, by the end of the 10 minutes, most of my worries were steamed away. After that, I was led to stage 2, where I was instructed to use the kese and water to exfoliate my skin. Although I was a bit skeptical about exfoliating with water, I was surprised how well the kese worked. After five minutes of vigorous scrubbing, my skin felt tingly and smooth. After rinsing off, I got to enter the warm water pool, my favorite of all the stages. Floating in the pool I was finally able to completely free my mind and let go of everything.
Then the cycle repeated with some slight variations. By this time, I knew more what to expect and felt like a Turkish bath pro. For the fourth stage, I went to another steam room, though this one was hotter and filled with the intense, calming scent of lavender. The fifth stage was another exfoliating room using olive soap and the sixth and final stage was to lay on a warm, flat stone. At the end of the circuit, I was given a bathrobe and taken to the Relaxing Area, which included tea, fruit juice, snacks, and an area to recline and rest.
This was one of my favorite experiences in Mendoza; so incredibly relaxing, the epitome of what vacation should be. In addition to the Hamam Classic Circuit, there are other services offered such as full spa days, a variety of massages, and even grape-based treatments. The services at the Spa + Hamam are available to outside guests, so be sure to check out their website for full descriptions of all their services.
1998, Guardia Vieja
Luján de Cuyo, Argentina
Tel: +54 261 524 48 90
Tel: +54 261 498 33 77
Rebecca’s International Kitchen was not financially compensated for this post. We received complimentary accommodation at Entre Cielos for review purposes. The opinions are completely our own based on our experience.