Mendoza, Argentina

Every time I land in MDZ via EZE I think, “How lucky am I to have stumbled upon this Napa Valley of the south?!” There are so many amazing things to share about Mendoza that it’s impossible to know where to start, but I’ll begin with the story of how I even found myself in this picturesque paradise.

Last year as I tipped into the thick of what was luckily a relatively short divorce process, Ion our jumped off the emotional rollercoaster and onto a LATAM flight headed straight for Buenos Aires to join my girlfriends on our annual 10-day international adventure. The first three days of our trip included an exploration of Buenos Aires where we enjoyed the vibrant energy of the San Telmo Feria (market), a stunningly delicious dinner at Don Julio and a tango performance fit for overzealous tourists.

Tip: Don Julio is an absolute must! Besides the fact that they prepare some of the best cuts of Argentinean beef you’ll ever taste, they are also incredibly generous with their guests even as they wait in the long queue to be seated. They’re so generous in fact, that you could very well fill up on delightful tapas, bread and drinks gratis if you’re not careful.

Next, we jetted off to Iguazu Falls where we marveled at one of the most captivating waterfalls you’ll ever witness in life. On our way to the national park, I thought, “How can you spend all day looking at a waterfall?” Well, when you’re in the presence of such beauty and power all created by Mother Nature herself, it’s easy to fathom as you get lost in the nuzzle of serenity.

And then finally we made our way to Mendoza. As we boarded our plane from Iguazu to Mendoza our hearts fluttered, and our eyes bulged at all the gorgeousness we were witnessing. “OOOOOH!!!! All the hot guys are in Mendoza. This is gonna be good” I bantered with my friend sitting on the opposite side of the exit row. We were joking, but we were so right in ways I couldn’t even begin to imagine.

My relationship with Mendoza officially began the morning I decided to stay back while my friends went on their second consecutive wine tour of the region. We were staying at a humble hotel just off of Astirídes – Mendoza’s main street for dining and festivities – during this part of the trip and their day away would be my opportunity to do some 5-star luxuriating – more in line with my brand of luxury travel. As I searched for things to do and places to go, I discovered Park Hyatt Mendoza and unbeknownst to me, my life changed in that very moment. “OOOOH I know where I’m going tomorrow!” I screamed over to the second bedroom that my friends were sharing, “I’m going to Park Hyatt! Ah and I might even get a massage while I’m there.”

The next day, the ladies walked over to the hotel with me to make sure I found my way. I’m horrible with directions. They were happy to escort me after a near-death experience in our hotel room. The hotel allocated gas stoves to each suite for guests’ convenience, but as soon as we used ours to prepare the morning tea we noticed a dangerous leak seeping. Our heads were spinning, we felt sick and on the way to the Park Hyatt we discussed what to do about it.  Once we arrived we were wowed and in my mind, this was the answer! It was the most grandiose impression we’d experienced so far, by far and we were ripely ready to indulge. We walked in and in true Dançoise style I spread my arms to exclaim, “I’m hoooooooome!”

The entrance is a vision with wide-spanning spaces, columns that line the halls to greet you and a staff attentive staff that is indulgently friendly. (Continue)

Mendoza is the quaintest little village of 2 million charming people you’ll ever meet. With over 1,000 vineyards, hot springs, and its looming volcano – Tupungato – you would swear that there should be a little more bustle to this city, but the relaxed culture of the Mendocinans makes it all possible. This is where I rediscovered the meaning of humanity.

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