The most fabulous wine hotels in South America

After trekking through the Amazon Rainforest and drying out in the Atacama Desert, travellers to South America might be due a break. You could go to a metropolitan city like Buenos Aires or Santiago to let loose, but perhaps something a little more relaxing is called for. How about a serene stay backgrounded by rolling countryside? For this you could opt for a vineyard estate in the foothills of the Andes or a temperate island retreat off the coast of Brazil. Either way, South America’s best wine hotels are bound to give you the relaxing time you’re looking for, complemented by the very best local wines. Choose from our list of top wine hotels covering a number of the most beautiful countries in South America below.

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Photo: The Vines Resort & Spa

1. The Vines Resort & Spa - Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina

Starting as we mean to go on, the class act of The Vines Resort & Spa is set to impress wine connoisseurs and amateurs alike. Located at the base of the Andes in West Argentina where a number of boutique wineries have formed a village, The Vines Resort & Spa operates a number of luxury villas. There are Wine Camp experiences for guests to immerse themselves in the world of wine, on terroir discovery sessions, sensory tastings and more. Beyond wine, guests can try out the pool and spa or trot through the Uco Valley on horse rides led by local gauchos before stretching out upon the estate’s 1,500 acres for group yoga sessions. To cap off the perfect day? A seven-course fire-cooking experience from celebrity chef Francis Mallmann at on-site restaurant Siete Fuegos. Read our guide to the very best of gay Argentina to see what else is in store in the nation.

Photo: The Vines Resort & Spa

Photo: The Vines Resort & Spa

2. Entre Cielos - Mendoza, Argentina

Another top choice in Mendoza’s Uco Valley is Entre Cielos, bringing modern minimalism to proceedings, a 20-minute drive from Mendoza City. The futuristic Suite Loft, standing high at the centre of the estate is the hotel’s most lavish offering (complete with its own terrace and jacuzzi), but the low-slung main build is just as enticing, all the closer to the spa, pool and a choice of two restaurants – barbeque eatery Mas Brasas or upscale fusion Katharina, both serving some of the best red wine Argentina has to offer, including the estate’s exclusive Marantal Malbec.

Aside from the usual luxury facilities including spa and hammam, a playful selling point of Entre Cielos is the 1.6-kilometre Vita Parcours outdoor fitness course, helping to make workouts fun in the Argentine sun. Alternative activities include hot-air balloon rides and mountain climbing in the area.

Photo: Casa de Uco Vineyards & Wine Resort

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Casa de Uco Vineyards & Wine Resort is a luxury lodging also benefitting from magnificent Andes backdrops and fine Uco Valley views upon 790 acres

3. Casa de Uco Vineyards & Wine Resort - Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina

Our third mention in the Argentina wine country known for its Malbec is Casa de Uco Vineyards & Wine Resort, a luxury lodging also benefitting from magnificent Andes backdrops and fine Uco Valley views upon 790 acres. The architecture of Case de Uco is inspired by the landscape, allowing the space to fit seamlessly in with its surrounds, across its Wine Bar & Lounge, game room and fire-centred living room. Also on-site is the award-winning restaurant, outdoor dining spaces, spa and wine cellar, holding some of the best wine in Argentina. Heading home after a weekend of horse riding, cycling and lazing by the lagoon, guests of Casa de Uco can consider investing in their own private vineyard (The Vines has a similar offering), buying a small acreage of professionally managed land and having a say in the production of your very own wine blend.

Photo: Casa de Uco Vineyards & Wine Resort

Photo: Casa de Uco Vineyards & Wine Resort

4. Cavas Wine Lodge - Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina

Sample more of the best wines of Argentina at Cavas Wine Lodge, our final but very worthy fourth mention in Mendoza. Detail is everything at the Spanish colonial-style Cavas Wine Lodge, whether in a smattering of rose petals, a batch of warm cookies or a candlelit jacuzzi experience, it’ll be hard not to be seduced. Attuned to the needs of celebrities, staff at Cavas Wine Lodge can be as hands-on as you’d like, always discreet and respectful of their guests’ privacy. The 55-acre estate is a sun-kissed dream in any season, allowing for on-foot exploration through the vineyards or a picnic paired with a bottle of the red wine Argentina is famous for. Otherwise, the on-site restaurant’s seasonal à la carte menu is available for you to sample Argentinian produce at its best.

Cavas Wine Lodge will also exceed expectations in terms of sustainability, using natural fertilizer and re-used water to feed its gardens and vineyards and solar panels to cut unclean energy consumption in half.

Photo: Cavas Wine Lodge, Luján de Cuyo

Photo: Cavas Wine Lodge, Luján de Cuyo

5. Grace Hotel Cafayate - Salta, Argentina

About 1,000 kilometres north of Mendoza lies Cafayate, another of the best Argentina wine regions, this time found amongst the red rocks of the Calchaquí Valleys in Salta province. Grace Hotel Cafayate is a top accommodation choice in the area, especially for sports lovers as the property sits on a 1,360-acre secluded estate featuring an 18-hole golf course, equestrian stables, polo field and full-service spa. Head to town to learn the ins and outs of winemaking at the Museo de la Vid y el Vino, or see Grace Hotel compete with its wine bar and wine tasting room, added on to an open kitchen, terrace and pool area. Just like the charming estate, the on-site restaurant keeps with regional traditions, serving authentic Andean cuisine, including top-quality steaks and casual bites such as empanadas, tamales and humitas.

Learn more of the best Argentina food across the country with our guide.

Photo: Grace Hotel Cafayate

6. Hotel Casa Real de Viña Santa Rita - Santiago, Chile

From the capital of Santiago, travellers on wine tours of Chile have a number of options, but, Maipo, the wine region surrounding Santiago, is perhaps the most convenient place to start. Lucky for us lazy travellers, the Alto Maipo wine valley has a whole host of great hotels to provide us with comfy accommodation, including Hotel Casa Real de Viña Santa Rita backdropped by grand mountains. Unlike other options, Casa Real is old school in its provisions, keeping things classy yet understated inside a well-kept 19th-century estate. What the hotel lacks in futuristic amenities it more than makes up for by way of attentive hospitality, handling day trip bookings out to Santa Rita’s historic Cal y Canto wine cellars and other regional attractions. Alternatively, make your own way around the estate’s 40-acre park, adjacent neo-Gothic chapel and neighbouring wineries (such as Antiyal, Carmen and Pérez Cruz).

After exhausting the wonders of Maipo, discover more of the best wine regions Chile has to offer by heading west to Casablanca or San Antonio or south towards Cachapoal, Colchagua or Maule. Those heading north may miss the more developed wine regions of Chile but can still have an impressive time of it in Aconcagua, Limarí or Elqui.

Chile | Photo: Micael Saez

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This remote retreat exemplifies international luxury, dreamed up by Norwegian-Uruguayan billionaire, Alexander Vik, in an effort to put Colchagua on the map

7. Vik Chile - Millahue, San Vicente de Taguatagua, Chile

Commonly named among the best countries to visit in South America, Chile has a lot more to offer in the way of boutique accommodations. Take for example Vik Chile, over in the vineyard-laden Colchagua Valley. This remote retreat exemplifies international luxury, dreamed up by Norwegian-Uruguayan billionaire, Alexander Vik, in an effort to put Colchagua on the map. And succeed he did, thanks to design input from local and Japanese artists and antique commissions for each suite. Alongside the living gallery, Vik Chile offers an all-inclusive meal service with a daily buffet breakfast, lunch and three-course dinner paired with some of the best wine in Chile from Vik’s own winery. As well as complimentary tours and tastings, daily activities include horse riding, trekking, biking and even paintballing, followed by an unwinding session at the vinotherapy spa or a swim in the mountain-view pool.

Discover how to stay busy in the nation with our guide to gay Chile.

Photo: Casa de Uco Vineyards & Wine Resort

8. Estancia VIK José Ignacio - Maldonado, Uruguay

Topping lists of the safest countries in South America, Uruguay is a brilliant introduction to the continent, with world-class vino to boot. When it comes to the nation’s wine hotels, the Spanish colonial-style Estancia VIK José Ignacio is considered one of the best, from the same billionaire mind that made Vik Chile. Like its Chilean counterpart, Uruguay’s Estancia VIK José Ignacio showcases a deep appreciation for art across the hotel, complemented by hillside views over Lake José Ignacio and the Atlantic Ocean. At 4,000 acres, the wild grounds are ideal for scenic hikes and horse rides, taking you from tennis court to beach and back to the pool, spa or gym, possibly via the estate’s packed wine cellar.

9. Narbona Wine Lodge - Carmelo, Uruguay

Level up your Instagram content with a stay at the five-star Narbona Wine Lodge, a classic boutique lodging with original flair. There are only five rooms at Narbona, but they are spread across 123 acres of land, allowing for a tranquil getaway on the shores of the Rio de la Plata. Tannat is the wine variety of choice here in the Carmelo region and Narbona has about 15 hectares dedicated to this type, alongside pinot noir, petit verdot and viognier y shiraz. The farm here has a long history of producing premium wines, with fruit jams, olive oil and cheese on the side! When exploring the property, make sure to take a look inside the cheese maturing chamber and sample a glass of red at the century-old wooden bar within the tri-lounge restaurant.

Uruguay | Photo: Tima Miroshnichenko

10. Pipas Terroir Pousada - Bento Gonçalves, Brazil

Bored of the Spanish speaking countries in South America? Perhaps some time in Brazil is in order to brush up on our Portuguese. This we can do in the stunning surrounds of Bento Gonçalves, an old Italian enclave based hillside overlooking the Jaguari River. Pipas Terroir Pousada, a family-run guesthouse in the valley can introduce you to the region, allowing for balcony breakfasts and wine barrel chalet experiences out in nature. At the Pipas Terroir Pousada wine bar you’ll learn why the region is known as the wine capital of Brazil, extending your knowledge with a trip to Miolo Winery. Then, choose between the hot tub or the fireplace for cosy evenings on the five-acre grounds. Felicidade!

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Photo: The Vines Resort & Spa

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