Auberge du Vin, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, Tupungato
What We Love
- Grapevines everywhere; the hotel is situated in its own vineyard
- Indoor/outdoor heated pool with striking mountain views
- Free WiFi throughout the hotel
- Shuttle service to Cerro Catedral ski center
What To Know
- Located in the Tupungato Winelands, a development that’s part country club, part vineyard and includes a golf course and two polo fields
- For an extra fee, a personal shopper can prestock your guestroom’s kitchen
- Free WiFi
- Golf Course
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Situated at the base of the Andes in Argentina’s wine country, this boutique hotel lures guests with its stunning location in the shadow of Mount Tupungato and the Cordon el Plata range. The 29 guestrooms are decorated in earth tones, with such mod cons as flat-screen TVs, free WiFi and kitchens with stainless steel appliances. They have comfy sitting areas marked by large picture windows with vineyard views. Go for a dip in the heated pool, which has views of the surrounding mountains, or unwind with a massage at the spa. Breakfast, lunch and dinner menus built around local ingredients are served at the Epic restaurant, where a sommelier is on hand to recommend pairings from the hotel’s huge wine cellar. End the day with a glass of Malbec by a firepit on the auberge’s Grand Terrasse.
In the Area
There’s a long list of activities to keep visitors here busy. The Epic restaurant offers cooking classes and wine tastings, and can provide a lunch to go for guests to take out into the vineyards for a picnic. Polo, anyone? Tupungato Winelands features two fields, with opportunities for both novices and experts to play. Auberge guests also have access to Argentina’s first golf course and can swing by the boutique winery’s tasting room afterward to sip the Malbec and Pinot Noir produced here. During the winter months the hotel runs a shuttle to Cerro Catedral, one of the country’s top ski destinations.
How to Get There
We visited this small (twenty something room) hotel for a wine tour with friends. My opinions are mixed, and each reader might prioritize different things, so here we go:
Setting: built right in the middle of a vineyard, with a view to the mountains, next to two polo fields that no one seems to use, and some empty horse studs, it's heaven for those wanting to escape from it all. However, the view depends on the room, some of them look to the parking lot and others have fantastic views of the vineyard and/or the Andes. Make sure to rent a car or hire a driver to move around, the place is isolated.
Building: The building itself is modern and boasts a central courtyard with a sitting area and inside-out pool (water way to cold to use either inside or outside in May) and a small gym. There is a terrace also with some lounge chairs and a big parrilla grill that no one uses either. On the ground level, you can also find the Epic restaurant (more on this later), a private dining section and the small reception and bar.
Rooms: Some rooms are hard to understand. Ours, for example, had no wardrobe (we left our suitcases unpacked for lack of space), no safety deposit box, not even a folding thing to place the suitcases on other than the floor. And at the same time, lots of space was dedicated to a kitchenette, without a food market in miles. And there was a desk, but no table to eat the meals you could theoretically prepare in the room. Incomprehensible. The silence outside is almost absolute and one would think ideal for sleeping, but there are all sorts of noises inside the room, from the restaurant and bar downstairs, to the heating system, even when turned off. So in the end, that supernatural silence cannot be enjoyed at all. Towels and linen are new and of good quality. Everything else is basic to average. The TV is oddly set right in between the bed and the fireplace, completely blocking its view.
Epic restaurant: don't get misguided by some of the minimalistic food portions shown in their website and the Internet. The chef has apparently changed, and the new one is less of an artist and more of a cook, and that is good. Some of the food is remarkable, while other dishes are okay. Service is very, very slow, so don't despair. Oddly enough, at the "Auberge du Vin", the wine list is short, unimaginative and expensive. The bar is another oddity, where a glass of wine costs under 4 dollars, and a shot of single malt will around 50% of the nightly room cost. Yes, you read it right. One shot, half your nightly rate.
Breakfast: served at the Epic, great patisserie, fresh made eggs to order, and bad coffee, expresso offered at a charge. Eggs are organic but orange juice is out of a bottle, believe it or not.
Service is very kind, both at the restaurant and the front desk. However, no one will come offer you a drink or food even when sitting for hours at the courtyard.
Overall, an average hotel sold as boutique, with many overlooked details that, if worked on, could make it so much better.
We visited Argentina’s wine country, Mendoza, this past November and stayed three nights at Auberge du Vin in Tupungato. We had much more than an amazing time. The place is as good as its website describes it and much more. Grape vines right outside our room balcony, with the backdrop of snow covered Andes mountains! But even more impressive was their hospitality standard...it permeates throughout their entire team. Starting with the owner, Eddie, who went out of his way to free up a room for us even when we were late in making our reservation during the busy season. Florencia, the onsite manager, and Belen, her assistant, arranged some fabulous outings for us. Pablo is the friendliest guy at the bar, breakfast scene is fantastic and so welcoming, and the menu choices are fancy and aplenty. When the self-serve laundry room was busy, Florencia offered that one of the housekeepers will do it for us at no cost! The maid promptly took care of it, delivering nicely separated and folded clothes to our room.
They arranged our excursions with Monica, a local tour guide, who was promptly waiting to receive us at the airport and accompanied us on our winery tours. If you visit Mendoza, ask for her by name. We enjoyed her company so much, we asked her to join us for our winery lunch. She really knows the region and tells you all sorts of stories.
And then they arranged our 4WD excursion to the mountains with Adrian, another fabulous local tour guide. You’ll have to see it to believe it. He took us to his personal hide spot almost 9,000 feet up the mountains, got a wood fire pit going and made the best of the best Argentinian steak for us. And it wasn’t just an outdoor casual Asado. Up there he set up a gourmet dining table, tablecloth and all, with real china, silverware and wine glasses. Homemade empanadas made by his grandmother, Caprese salad, pasta, freshly baked bread, olive oil and vinegar, local Malbec wine...you name it and he had it. If we knew all this, we would have definitely asked him to bring his wife along...would have been a perfect outing for two couples. He also takes you to the mountains for horse riding tours, unfortunately we didn’t have time. Again, ask for him by name. You don’t want to miss his outing.
Without a doubt, Mendoza turned out to be the highlight of our Argentina trip, thanks to the Auberge du Vin staff.
My husband and I were guests at this hotel for a few days. It’s about 1-1.5 hrs away from Mendoza city center/airport depending on traffic. The hotel is beautiful and modern, the scenery and grounds are amazing, the food and drinks are superb. The staff is incredibly helpful as well.
Four things I want to mention...
1) One waitress, Diana, at the in-house restaurant was especially great. She was able to get us some off-the-menu trout ravioli for dinner one night which was so good!
2) The pool area is beautiful but there are only about 5 lounge chairs. The other seating is couch style. Not sure how busy the hotel gets in peak season but it seems as though you could easily wind up with no place to hang out! Hopefully they have some additional chairs in storage somewhere.
3) Room 202 (I think) second floor facing the back of the property has the most incredible views if you can get it! Rooms on floor 1 face the vines which also seemed neat.
4) The hotel arranged a driver, Jorge (or George he’s cool with either) who was absolutely fantastic. He lived in the US for some time and is really connected/knowledgeable with the wineries in the area. I’m attaching his contact info to this review in case anyone would like it!