Posted on | March 28, 2011 | 3 Comments
The map showing wineries, campsites and hotels was on my lap as we trundled into the Valle de Uco, about 80km south of Mendoza in Western Argentina, in our less-than-spacious campervan. It was the day before Thanksgiving and I was on the lookout for a special place to stay to celebrate the occasion.
By the time we made it to the Salentein winery in the afternoon, we’d missed the last tour of the day but the restaurant was still open. We lingered over a late lunch, Murph and I sampling some of the wine and BigB and CAM lampooning our wine-tasting technique with their 7UPs:
“Ah yes, a hint of lemon on the nose, I think”, says one.
“And a definite spritz on the tongue”, says the other.
Such witty children.
I was very reluctant to leave such charming surroundings for a municipal campsite with cold showers.
On the way out the road forks. The right-hand fork takes you back to the main road. The left-hand fork, unsigned, leads you to the Posada, or guesthouse on the sprawling vineyard grounds.
“Let’s just go have a look”, I said.
Murph, reluctantly, turned the wheel to the left.
After verifying that there was accommodation available, I did not discuss the cost of the rooms with my husband. I knew he’d never agree.
Our spacious, two-bedroom apartment was in the small building furthest from the reception desk – about a 1-minute walk in carefully manicured grounds. With a large master bedroom, a slightly smaller bedroom for the boys with twin beds, kitchen, bathroom and dining area, the apartment felt palatial compared to the campervan. The decor is modern, stylish and sparse. The ambiance is quiet and restful.
There are no more than five buildings which make up the Posada, including the reception desk and the restaurant. The other buildings contain rooms of varying sizes, comfortable common seating areas and a function room. All of the buildings look east over vines. The main road is barely visible and there is a good-sized swimming pool on the property. When full, there is accommodation at the Posada for 40 guests.
The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily from a set menu. We slept late and scavenged breakfast supplies from our campervan. We skipped lunch but the gourmet dinner with paired Salentein wines was a gastronomic delight. The friendly and helpful staff offered to arrange a private vineyard tour, horse-riding and really, ‘just let us know what you need’ service.
Eventually, though, it was time for us to leave this luxurious bubble and return to the campervan. I had to admit the cost of this little break to my husband.
“A-ha. Per night.”
“Consider it my belated 40th birthday gift”
I went to pay up, just a little nervous that we hadn’t been asked to sign for any meals or wine since we’d arrived.
“No. That’s the total including everything”, the manager smiled at my query about the bill.
I climbed back into the car a little shocked.
“$400 a night was a steal”, I said.
Murph didn’t look convinced.
I handed him the bill showing an $800 total.
“That includes all the meals and all the wine. The price was for room and full board.”
“Crap. We should have got up for breakfast”.
“And maybe helped ourselves to more of the wine that was left in the room”.
“That’s OK”, he said with a grin, “I put the bottles we hadn’t opened into my backpack”.
Information on traveling to Argentina with kids.