The laid-back city of San Rafael, in the south of the province of Mendoza, is the main tourist hub of the Cuyo region. Its principal attraction is its authenticity, as it hasn’t been overdeveloped, and the center, laced with leafy streets, is still peppered with buildings in the Spanish Colonial style from days gone by. Further afield, there are numerous family-owned bodegas and olive oil factories that welcome travelers, and the Cañón del Atuel and Valle Hermoso are natural hotspots well worth a visit. Here is our pick of the best hotels San Rafael has to offer. And they’re all bookable via Culture Trip.
Once they’ve scented this luxury accommodation in the heart of the San Rafael wine region, oenophiles can’t get enough of it – and Algodon’s celebrated winery is unsurpassed as the perfect place to appreciate the grape. The authentic wooden lodges are your opportunity to embrace the leisurely lifestyle of traditional Argentine ranches, or estancias, and there’s no risk of missing the sunset with your favorite bottle on your private wraparound patio that overlooks the estate’s vineyard. On a more active note, you are in the perfect place for a round of golf or a horseback ride through sweeping scenery.
Book here for a traditional apartment or hotel room, all done out with bright modern touches. Patios del Mediterráneo is situated in the center of San Rafael, just two blocks from the main square and supermarket. You won’t be penalized if you’re traveling alone, as there are rooms for one. By contrast, the biggest apartment can sleep a group of six. With handy parking just 165ft (50m) from the property, it’s ideal if you have rented a car to explore the region. You can also just take it easy, enjoying a dip in the outdoor pool and taking in the view.
This luxury apartment block has been designed to delight even the fussiest guest. Each modern unit is meticulously finished with sleek black lines, big-city-stylish furniture, artwork and box-fresh linen. You might hunker down and whip up a feast in the contemporary kitchen – basic condiments including salt, oil and vinegar are supplied, and there’s a local supermarket within walking distance for the main ingredients. Drivers will sleep deep, safe in the knowledge that their wheels are secure in the private parking garage.
The imposing Tower Inn & Suites was the first 10-story hotel to stake its claim on the city, and it rolls out everything an urban oasis requires – not least a casino and spa. The sexy, sophisticated rooms are definitely geared toward grown-ups. If you’re feeling experimental, book a table at the Sud Restaurant, which specializes in regional Cuyo cuisine, and slurp the best hand-picked wines of the area. Or if you fancy a cocktail, head to the large rooftop terrace, where you’ll find an outdoor pool, hot tub and a bar – a great perch to settle on, in time for the celebrated Argentine sunsets.
It translates as the Divine Sloth, and La Divina Pereza certainly isn’t going to make any demands on you. It’s a funky cabin complex that presents a taste of modern Argentina. With a heavy focus on artisan and organic food, the place serves up a hearty lunchtime and evening menu based on Mendoza cuisine, and there’s an on-site organic bakery to satisfy those mid-morning munchies. If you need to work off all those carbs, you’ll find an outdoor pool and a heated indoor counterpart with a hydraulic circuit for relaxation. There’s even a well-appointed spa if you feel you deserve a facial or back massage. And you do.
This perfectly positioned, supremely elegant San Rafael hideaway is the obvious option for outward-bound types keen to tackle the surrounding thrilling canyons and valleys. The ambience is wonderfully remote. Each roomy cabin is set up for easy self-catering, and rooms have some fine views. With the Cañon del Atuel and Valle Grande winking at you from your private patio, you are nicely set up for trekking – or content yourself with gazing from a distance – on nearby walks, in the outdoor pool and along the Atuel River, pure catnip for nature lovers.
La Vita è Bella – life is beautiful, in Italian – certainly lives up to its name, delivering the best of both worlds. The traditional cabins are just five minutes away from San Rafael’s city center, in a beautiful residential area blessed with large grounds and a kid-friendly pool. In your well-equipped accommodation, you won’t lack anything you have at home – there’s also access to an outdoor grill, and when the sun gets too strong, the handy hammocks on your terrace offer respite. Kick back and bask in the sounds of nature.
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