House of Jasmines
What We Love
- Vast distances in northern Argentina make many estancias too remote for a short hop, but Jasmines is just 15 minutes from Salta
- In a country where red meat rules, the restaurant dishes up some inventive and fresh alternatives that are still South American classics
- No door handle or scatter cushion has been overlooked in this truly stylish estancia; you’ll want to take everything home
- The hacienda is chic but informal; relaxed guests laze about the lounges and terraces as if at home
- The pool, like the spa, is an understated but utterly charming place to kill an afternoon with a bottle of Malbec
What To Know
- Bathrooms have been recently renovated in June 2012
- If you want the full estancia experience — asados, daily horse riding and stable life — this is not it
- Not in the heart of Salta; the drive is 15 to 25 minutes, and many Salta taxi drivers aren’t familiar with the property
- Service is genuinely friendly but patchy; if you’re in a cottage or out by the pool, expect a wait for food
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
It’s the opener to every great hotel story: a tree-lined drive (in this case giant eucalyptus), with just a glimpse of a whitewashed estancia among pampas grasses at the end. The scent of jasmine fills the air, while noisy caracara birds make their namesake squawks. Not so long ago, guests would have been met inside with an impressive (or hilarious) portrait of actor Robert Duvall, who bought the ranch after marrying an Argentine tango dancer. But today the hacienda belongs to a French family who sprinkled the place with chic accessories: striped alpaca throws strewn across raw linen sofas, local handmade cotton dolls in mahogany frames, and northern Argentina’s distinctive, colorful wool hats hung from hooks on adobe walls.
Standard Rooms are in the farmhouse, while the suites are housed in rustic cottages dotted about the grounds. The Provençal-looking spa is farthest from the main building, but that just means it’s a peaceful walk back down the drive. The spa is low-key: a handful of all-white treatment rooms rather than a cluster of pools and heat experiences. But this adds to the hushed charm; take a book and lose an afternoon on a chaise longue after a massage. When you want to swim, the lawn-rimmed outdoor pool is up by the house; guests are fed and watered poolside by discreet staff members in gaucho-esque gear.
Food is Jasmines’ real pull, though, and the place is as popular with Argentines as with American and European travelers. It has earned Relais & Chateaux status, and no meal is a disappointment. Breakfast, which is served in the sunny glasshouse, changes each morning because it’s all handmade; perhaps alfajor biscuits, hot pan de queso or a crusty loaf. Dinner is at La Table, a top restaurant in its own right that serves delicate French takes on Argentine carnivore dishes: lemon chicken roasted whole in a clay pot, or spit-roasted pig with herbs from the garden. Live musicians accompany dinner — but thankfully it’s more Spanish guitar than raucous tango.
How to Get There
Thank you Robert Duvall ! (He owned this place before he sold it in 2007). I'm a native "porteño" living in USA for almost 40 years. A 2 hour flight from Buenos Aires. Rental car is a must so you can drive to adjacent province of Jujuy and enjoy Purmamarca. We spent three days and two nights. The staff was super friendly and helpful. We stayed in a suite across the main "estancia". The home made meals prepared to perfection with their own farm grown produce, eggs, herbs,.. were superb. We spent half day downtown Salta City. You can tell the contrast between Europe (Buenos Aires) and the Inca indigenous civilization that dominated the northwest before the Spaniards colonized South America.
At the house we enjoyed the 2 hr horseback riding up the hill and riding the bike within the property. I personally enjoyed my 90 minute massage @ the Spa (thank you Rocio) and the many laps at the pool.
We stayed 4 nights at the House of Jasmines in September. We were in the hotel for all of our stay, bar one day when we hired a car for a day trip. We chose this hotel over others, for the location, stunning pictures, the promise of “tasty cuisine that show cases produce from the garden” and because it belongs to the Relais & Chateaux family.
We had high expectations of the hotel but overall we were really disappointed.
Initial impressions were that it’s a lovely place, in a wonderful setting. We were given a warm welcome with a glass of wine on arrival and invited to sit and relax in one of the plentiful and cosy private spaces around the house.
We were shown to our junior suite, which is detached from the house. It was comfortable but nothing special. The toiletries provided were basic; for example there was only a large overhead shower in the bathroom but no thought to providing a shower cap.
We were looking forward to the promise of good food but it was only average and expensive. 200-500% more than other high end places we had eaten at Salta city. The dinner menu changes only twice a year & by the fourth night we were struggling to find something new to eat. Despite the menu stating some dishes came from the chefs garden the wasn’t much evidence of this. (Granted it was spring but there were things in the garden, despite it looking very neglected).
The staff were nice and friendly when you could find them but the service was really poor and simply not Relais & Chateaux standard. I think this is a reflection of the management rather than the wait staff & concierge themselves. Our experience of R&C service is, as a standard, staff to do a sweep of the hotel, collecting dirty cups, open umbrellas at the poolside on a sunny day & tidy towels left by guests, ask guests who are sitting in the house if they require anything to drink/eat and finally meet & greet as you enter the restaurant. This didn’t happen.
Some of the things we encountered: coffee cups/wine glasses on the terrace hours after people had finished, abandoned towels at the poolside, having to knock on the kitchen door to get service, sitting for 20 minutes at breakfast before wait staff appeared. On our last day the buffet wasn’t laid out. I couldn’t find the wait staff. I headed to reception where the manager waved us back to the restaurant with the promise that we should sit down and someone would turn up. She did all this from behind the computer desk, through a glass partition. Breakfast was brought to our table, there was no choice, and no follow up to see if we needed anything else - more tea, coffee etc.
The cosy places to sit and relax are lovely but completely spoilt by the music which is set on a replay loop.
I wouldn’t stay here again. I’d look at the other three options of boutique hotels about 200m round the corner. Half the price, better service reviews but without the Relais & Chateaux logo.
After traveling through the Andes for a week, we were ready for a few quiet pampering days. It turned out to be a little disappointing. We had stayed at Relais & Chateau hotels before and had high expectations. Room small. Fortunately a large terrace so that we could sit comfortably. Although the hotel was not fully booked at all, we were not offered an upgrade. Breakfast standard. Dinner was okay but not exceptional. Service pool: we arrived in the afternoon and wanted to go swimming. No towels. To the reception for towels (a short walk). The other day all used towels were still at the pool. Nobody comes to the pool to ask if you want something to drink. By the way: the pool chairs need an upgrade! We were told at the reception that on the day of our departure we could stay longer in the room because the hotel was not full anyway. On the day of departure (we flew at 4 pm) we were ordered to leave the room at 11 am. The person at the reception who promised us that we could stay longer was of course no longer present. All in all we found the service for this type of hotel not very good and therefore the hotel to expensive.