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
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.
Our first trip to Argentina, and we came came Salta after a few days in Buenos Aires.
We stayed at House of Jasmines for three nights, Comments:
1. Food OUTSTANDING wonderful meals, the Lama (first time ever) was splendid. We also enjoyed the special ASADA night. Wine list is nice.
Breakfast normal buffet fair.
2. Rooms quaint and comfortable, nicely furnished but small.
3. Internet service in rooms not good. Had to ask for reset 2 times per day.
4. Staff is extremely nice and very helpful. Small staff in number, but service was generally good and always friendly.
Would come back if we ever come to this area again.
We spent two nights at this Relais and Château property that is a short drive from the Salta airport in a country-like setting just outside of Salta. There’s a lovely long eucalyptus tree lined driveway that brings you to the main house of the estancia. The ambience is perfect and you immediately get the sense of being in a very special, well cared for 100 year old northern Argentina estancia.
We were welcomed with a glass of wine and enjoyed it on the covered terrace outside the restaurant. The views from the main house and our suite in another building down a path are spectacular with the mountains in the background and horses in the fields in the foreground. The pool area looked nice but we didn’t use it. We had coffee/tea on our terrace with the beautiful view each morning. Service was excellent throughout the estancia and everyone was very friendly.
The House of Jasmines restaurant, La Table, has a traditional Argentinian parrilla for grilling and a clay oven. For lunch one day we had a freshly made gazpacho and Mollejas (grilled sweetbreads) for starters followed by grilled Pacu and Salmon. This is the first time I have had Pacu, a local white fish. It was wonderful. We requested some unsweetened iced tea and our server brought us a pitcher of tea made with some wonderful fresh herbs blended in. Very different and very good.
One evening there was a wine tasting followed by a brief traditional dance show. The dancers wore traditional northern Argentina outfits (see photo). It was lovely. That evening dinner was an Asado, an Argentinian BBQ. The big pieces of meat like ribs and goat were grilled outdoors on racks for hours over a wood fire. The more delicate meats and sausages were grilled inside the restaurant over the parrilla. Another evening we enjoyed empanadas, Grilled Cabrito (baby goat) and Llama. Another great meal. And of course we had some wonderful Argentinian wine throughout our stay. Service at all meals was excellent. All of the food was very good. There was a very nice breakfast buffet and eggs to order.
House of Jasmines is a short drive from the city of Salta itself but that is what we were looking for in order to enjoy a real estancia feel with the beauty of the surrounding mountains.