Read more from this trip – Christmas in Argentina:
- American Airlines Admirals Club LaGuardia Airport LGA
- American Airlines First Class LGA-DFW
- American Airlines Flagship Lounge DFW
- American Airlines Premium Economy Class DFW-EZE
- Park Hyatt Buenos Aires
- Park Hyatt Mendoza
- Casa De Uco Vineyards & Wine Resort
- American Airlines Admirals Club Guarulhos International Airport GRU
- LATAM VIP Lounge Guarulhos International Airport GRU
- American Airlines Business Class GRU-JFK
- Dates of hotel stay: 2 nights – December 29- December 31, 2019
- Where: Uco Valley, Argentina (Southwest of Mendoza)
- Paid stay / points: Paid
I’ve always wanted to stay on a vineyard so instead of spending 4-night in Mendoza I reduced my stay at the Park Hyatt Mendoza to 2-nights and starting looking for more unique options. I stumbled upon Casa De Uco Vineyards & Wine Resort while researching hotel properties located on a vineyard. I immediately fell in love with the modern aesthetic of the property and the stunning landscapes that surround it.
Casa De Uco only has 7 rooms, 9 suites and 3 vineyard villas. While the hotel is small, the estate is huge spanning across 790 acres. Its bordered by the majestic Andes Mountains, expansive vineyards and a lake. Rooms are on the expensive side and start at $459 per night.
Casa De Uco is located in the Uco Valley, which is about an hours drive Southwest of Mendoza. I debated on whether to rent a car, but ultimately decided to book a private transfer through the hotel. The cost of the transfer from the Park Hyatt Mendoza to Casa De Uco is AR$3975 ($70 USD). The return service to the Governor Francisco Gabrielli International Airport (MDZ) is AR$4372 ($77 USD).
Lobby / Check-in
Access to the resort is controlled by a manned guard gate. The Uco Valley is incredibly safe so I think the guard gate is more a function of exclusivity rather than security. After checking my drivers credentials the guard raised the gate and we drove down a long driveway, which led to the entrance of the hotel.
Upon arriving at the entrance I was overwhelmed with excitement. A check-in associate came out to the car to assist with my luggage. When I entered the main hotel building there was another check-in associate who welcomed me and offered me a glass of sparkling wine. Now that’s service!
The check-in desk is perhaps the least impressive part of the hotel. Really the only decoration in the lobby area was a small wooden Christmas tree. After handing over my credit card and passport the check-in associate informed me that I’d received a complementary upgrade from base Cordón del Plata room to the Laguna Suite.
The Laguna Suite features a large king sized bed with Egyptian cotton linens. Reading lamps are on either side of the bed.
In the center of the bedroom side tables you’ll find both European Type C (see left) and USA Type B (see right) power ports.
A 42″ flat screen television is opposite the bed. I had the opportunity to watch one of my favorite TV shows, Law & Order: SVU while overlooking the Andes Mountains and vineyards. I was in heaven. It’s a little known fact that giraffes love Mariska Hargitay.
The room features a separate living area. There’s a couch that can comfortably seat two large giraffes. To the right of the couch you’ll find a Nespresso machine and ceramic glassware. A wooden round table sits in front of the couch on top of an animal hide rug. This is where you’ll find a complementary bottle of wine from the vineyard and Alfajor sweet treats.
Everything in the refrigerated minibar is complementary and refreshed daily. Options include Coke, Coke Zero, Fanta, Sprite and still and sparkling water.
The closet has extra blanks and pillows as well as an in-room safe. Below the safe is a hairdryer. Giraffes take pride in styling the hair on top of their ossicles and a quality hairdryer is essential.
There’s plenty of general closet space for both hung and folded clothing.
One of my favorite parts of the room is the private balcony with 180 degree panoramic views. The balcony has two chairs with a side table and a candle.
I would come out and sit on the balcony at night watching the sun set over the Andes Mountains. As you can see from the picture below the sunsets are stunning.
The bathroom in the Laguna Suite is far from standard. A separate bathtub is located in the bedroom area overlooking the beautiful scenery. Imagine retreating back to your room after a long hike in the Andes Mountains and coming here for a a nice soak while sipping on a glass of Malbec. It’s just magical.
The bathroom has a medium sized walk-in shower with excellent water pressure.
Full-sized bath products made from organic olive and mate herb create a spa-like shower experience.
The bathroom features a single sink. I would have liked to see a double sink, but it’s manageable with two people.
The common areas of Casa De Uco are really special. On the first floor you’ll find the living room complete with a wood-fire chimney. The supple leather couches are a great place to catch-up with friends and enjoy the lovely scenery.
On the second floor there’s a small nook with a glass work desk overlooking the vineyards. The desk is accented by a standing tripod studio lamp.
One of my favorite spaces in the hotel is located to the left of the wine bar. A lounger big enough for two faces floor-to-ceiling windows with a view of the Andes Mountains. If you spot some wildlife in the distance you can take a closer look using the telescope.
If you prefer a group setting head to the lounge adjacent to the wine bar. The gallery wall features nautically themed photos.
Fancy a game of pool? Head to the Game Room and grab a cue. This is perhaps the most scenic game of pool you’ll every play.
Opposite the pool table is a small seating area. You can use this space for a game of chess, to watch a movie or as the people did shortly before my arrival to enjoy a bottle of wine.
You’re free to explore Case De Uco’s 790 acre property on foot and I highly recommend taking a leisurely stroll through the vineyards. However, if you want to cover all of the property hop on one of the Giant mountain bikes and pedal your way to the edge of the resort.
If horseback riding is more your style you can pre-reserve one of the resort’s beautiful white horses to explore the property. Both the bikes and horses are available free of charge.
Pro tip: Ride your horse to the mid-vineyard dining area for an all fresco lunch. Start with the squash and carrot soup and order the bone-in milanesa for your main.
Some friendly duck friends reside in the pond just outside of the main hotel building. If you’re lucky you’ll catch a view of some other wildlife including alpacas, condors, guanacos, llamas and viscachas.
Fitness Center, Pool and Spa
Casa De Uco’s spa offers a variety of aromatherapy and vinotherapy treatments. The spa is is equipped with a cedar wood sauna, aroma steam room, wet sauna, deep soaking hydrotherapy baths, treatment rooms, interior and exterior relaxation areas, a fitness center, and Hamman style room. The fitness center is small and just contains a few pieces of cardio equipment, but with so many other ways to get exercise I’m not marking off many points for that. I got an hour aromatherapy deep tissue massage, which was divine.
Outside of the spa area you’ll find an infinity pool and jacuzzi. There’s only four sun loungers, which weren’t occupied when I wanted to use them, but on my day of departure a group of five British tourists were dismayed by the lack of seating.
Food and Beverage
The cuisine served at Casa De Uco is made with produce from their seasonal organic garden. During summer they grow cabbage, carrots, cucumber, peppers, potatoes, squash and tomatoes. During the winter they grow broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, garlic, onion, radish and spinach.
The main dining area features floor to ceiling windows. One thing to note is that this area isn’t air conditioned. A large industrial fan does an excellent job at keeping the room cool and despite the lack of AC I never felt hot while dining.
If you’re traveling with a group there’s a separate dining area with seating for twelve.
The lunch / dinner menu at Casa de Uco is fairly limited. You can view the complete menu here. It was fine for a two-night stay, but if I were staying for a week I’d probably want to venture out and have dinner at one of the nearby vineyards. If there’s one area for improvement at the resort it would be the food. I think the resort has so much potential with the abundance of organic ingredients grown in their garden, but they’re just not living up to it.
I tried the aragula salad with almonds, figs, goat cheese and roasted squash, which was delicious. My friend had the country-raised grilled chicken with carrot and gremolata. The chicken was a bit on the dry side.
Breakfast is served daily and is included in your room rate. There’s a variety of breads, nuts, and pastries. Divina Olive Oil is available if you so choose.
The cereal options are fairy limited, but some nice muesli is available. The real winner of the show is the fresh fruit sourced directly from their organic garden. The cherries are phenomenal.
There’s also a selection of natural yogurt and oranges or if you’re feeling indulgent grab one of the cookies or brownies.
You can also choose to order food of the menu. I ordered some avocado toast. The tomatoes were insanely fresh, but it lacked flavor.
After spending time in Mendoza drinking a lot of Malbec you may fancy a cocktail for a change. Spirits are more than an afterthought at Casa De Uco. The cocktail list is curated by Renato Giovannon, a celebrated bartender and owner of the voted best bar in Latin America, Floreria Atlántico.
I signed up for an hour long cocktail making class. The bartender showed me how to make four different cocktails including his famous Malbec Vodka Martini.
First Class Giraffe Approved
Casa De Uco Vineyards & Wine Resort is one of the nicest resort properties I’ve ever stayed at. The service is phenomenal, the rooms are well appointed and have super comfortable beds and the views are priceless. The only area for improvement is the food, but I think that’s something that can easily be sorted out and with so many excellent options outside of the resort it’s not an issue.
I normally don’t spend this much for a resort stay, but in this case I think it’s well worth the splurge.If you’re considering a trip to the Mendoza region, Casa De Uco Vineyards & Wine Resort should be at the top of your list.