Mendoza made me fall deeper into love with Argentina. While Mendoza is really in a desert, a system of artificial irrigation and cultivation over the last five centuries has turned this eastern Argentine town into a remarkable blend of restaurants, vineyards, and tree-lined streets that capture the rich culture of Buenos Aires without the crowds. I visit a lot of places and some I like more than others—Mendoza is definitely a place I can see myself coming back to, over and over. In the very heart of city, in true Park Hyatt fashion, stands the Park Hyatt Mendoza on the site of the former Plaza Hotel. Although I would have enjoyed Mendoza even had I been in a hostel, three nights at the Park Hyatt made a great visit an extremely comfortable and relaxing one.
With an impressive façade that resembles a European palace, the Park Hyatt is nestled the center of the city, adjacent to the Plaza Independencia. With white columns and marble floors, the grand lobby, though sporting a modern furniture, harkens back to days of old. Distant sounds of bells and whistles from the connected casino blend with soft piano music playing in the background.
My room overlooked the south side of the city and warm lighted streamed in through the wooden blinds, giving the room a very comfortable glow. The room was smaller than other Park Hyatt hotels I have stayed at, but plenty big enough me. The design of the bathroom was well-thought out and featured a tub and rain shower in addition to red wine and white wine shampoo.
I ate at Grill Q, one of the hotel’s restaurants, two nights in a row. In a city filled with wonderful restaurants that may seem like a curious choice, but the restaurant is both convenient and tasty—not to mention reasonable. For dinner I enjoyed bread with a delicious assortment of toppings, a glass of local Malbec along with a bottle of sparkling water, a fresh green salad, and a remarkable cut of steak from the grill with roasted potatoes on the side. Homemade ice cream rounded out the meal. The price for all of this? Under $50.
The second night my appetite was not as great, but I enjoyed a tremendous meal of locro and rack of lamb–all for about $35.
Bistro M Restaurant, where breakfast is typically served each morning buffet-style, was under restoration so breakfast was offered in the adjacent lobby lounge, Las Terrazas de la Plaza. Despite the limited space, a generous spread of breakfast items was available including some of the best scrambled eggs I can recall—I love fluffy, buttery eggs and these were perfect.
Although I kept busy during my stay, I made time to use the second floor Kaua Club and Spa and to go swimming in the pool’s heated outdoor pool. Note I said heated—although it is was a brisk winter the day the water was very warm—not even an initial shock when jumping in! An outdoor jacuzzi would have been nice, but there was a hot tub in the locker room. The fitness center also had a tranquil “relaxation room” where any guest—not just those getting spa treatments—could enjoy a complimentary hot or cold beverage and relax on recliner chairs. The adjacent fitness room had late-model equipment all of which was in working order.
The pool sits at the far end of the hotel’s center courtyard and is situated next to a the vines, and indoor/outdoor bar located adjacent to Grill Q.
A little hidden secret that I discovered at the Park Hyatt Seoul earlier this year is that most Park Hyatt hotels (all those with DVD players in guest room, which is most of them) offer a complimentary DVD library. Some, like you will read about in my upcoming Park Hyatt Zurich review have huge libraries.
The Park Hyatt Mendoza had a small selection of DVDs, though certainly more than enough to find an interesting movie. Though I had seen it before, I chose Babel because I enjoy watching movies I like a second time (or in the case of A Few Good Men or Inception five or six times) to see what I missed during my first run. You sign for the movie and a 50 peso hold is placed on your room until you return the DVD. Watch that on your bill—despite having returned the DVD the night before, at check-out the charge was still there buried between my other charges. I am sure it was not deliberate, but it was a bit sloppy, so be sure to double check your final bill.
A note on the room price: another reason why I love this hotel is because of the reasonable room rates. Granted, like the Park Hyatt Dubai I was there during low season, but the room was under $200/night. That is a tremendous deal for what you get in return (as is most of what you can buy in Argentina).
Having come from a week of roughing it in Bolivia, it was great to return to such a pampering, friendly, and comfortable hotel. It seems the Park Hyatt chain is on a role—I just cannot fault them and my stay at the Park Hyatt Mendoza marked another chapter in my book of excellent Hyatt stays.