Where to stay in Salta: options for all budgets
comment 6 Written by on April 16, 2010 – 2:29 pm

el-bordo

I’ve been up north in Salta for the past week, partly for work, partly to accompany visiting family. It was certainly a diverse trip in terms of accommodation, spanning everything from one night’s couchsurfing in a lovely family house in an outlying suburb to a night in an ultra sophisticated boutique hotel in the city centre. Here follows a very basic round-up and some tips if anyone is heading that way.

The Capricho

I booked my parents in here and they can’t stop raving about it. With just three rooms, it feels like your own place. Little details made the difference – homemade cake and designer teas on check-in; a huge homemade breakfast (including homemade yogurt and scones); and little tealights carefully scattered around the patio at nightfall. This is a lovely, lovely little place and excellent value. 

El Bordo de Las Lanzas

60km north of Salta, I stayed in the middle of sugar cane plantations in this wonderful, historic estancia. This was the birthplace of independence hero Guemes (not in the same house, but another on the grounds) and I was bowled over by the warm, non-pretentious welcome I received from one of his descendants. The house itself is brimming with antiques and solid, wood furniture, including cow-hide rockers on the veranda, and there’s plenty of opportunity for horse-riding across the farmland with the resident gaucho. You really do feel like you visiting a family home here, not a hotel. I also came across return visitors (a 30-something couple from the UK), which is always a good sign.

La Vieja Posada

In Cafayate, I stayed in this simple, but very sweet, neoclassical villa with a large internal courtyard. We paid 600 pesos (less than 100 quid) between six of us for three simple, comfortable and very warm rooms. That’s insanely good value. Plus it has a central location to boot. Coffee at breakfast was cheap and earthy, but at this price it’s hard to criticise anything.

Legado Mitico

This one is in Salta City; there is one in BA too. The style is ‘sober sophistication’. Imagine a drawing room in a classic old mansion. There are two libraries where you expect to see someone recline in a leather chair, pull out a weighty novel and light a pipe. I love a hotel with good reading space and here I was tempted to stay inside all day, despite the sunshine. That must be a good sign. One of my colleagues at Time Out Perfect Places described it is a “contrived”. I suppose it is contrived in as much as it is all very carefully designed: ie it is not someone’s home, it is 100% a boutique hotel. Rooms are spacious with sink-in beds and a whirlpool bath. The breakfast spread wasn’t wildly exciting and the coffee could be improved, but I’m sure they’d make you a decent one from the espresso machine if you asked. I should have done so myself. Service was polite, professional and non-intrusive. This is a good place for a quiet getaway, if you want to keep yourself to yourself.

Estancia Colomé

This is said to be one of the best hotels in Argentina, but I’m not wholly convinced. With views across the mountains and the vineyard, it is certainly a stunning location  and I would love to have a nightcap the little ‘Gaucho Bar’, but it was somewhat lacking personality, the rooms don’t have that blow-you-away factor, and the staff were not very welcoming considering the detour you need to take to get there. I didn’t stay there though. Maybe that made the difference. Or maybe we were unlucky. We did, however, get told off (repeatedly) for not pre-booking the visit to the James Struck museum. The website was not 100% clear on this and it’s also hard to predict an arrival time when you are on a roadtrip. They might need to rethink either their policy or their website. The museum was incredible though and very memorable. Is it worth the hour-long detour over a jolting unpaved road? I’m still debating that.

The Nameless Hotel

In Salta, I also stayed at a really cheap hostel, the sort where you turn on the bathroom tap and water starts leaking all over the floor. It’s name was not worth remembering, but for the price (100 pesos for a double room) I knew what I was getting myself in. The receptionist was very friendly but she was 12 years old. That’s not a joke. She really was. She did the full check-in, brought us towels and asked when we’d be back that night. I didn’t seen an adult until the next day. Should I call someone about that?

Anyway, that is my round up of first-impressions of some hotels in Salta. It’s quite a mixed bag.

Interestingly, everywhere my parents stayed in Argentina, they have been asked to leave a review on Tripadvisor. I once got a note on my pillow in a new hotel in Rosario asking me to leave a review on Tripadvisor.

Please don’t let this be a new tradition replacing chocolates.

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6 Responses to “Where to stay in Salta: options for all budgets”

  1. Help! How do you turn off the pan pipes on the Vieja Posada site?

    By Matt on Apr 16, 2010 | Reply
  2. Hahaha. Did I not mention that this plays constantly in your room? That’s why it’s so cheap.

    Why oh, why do hotels insist on giving their websites a soundtrack? There is nothing more annoying. Nothing. Panpipes, Sounds of the Forest, Enya classics, Ibiza chill-out. Hate them all.

    Following Perfect Places, I have a whole ‘Best of the Argentinian Hotel Industry’ repertoire in my head. Want me to sing them to you sometime?

    By Vicky Baker on Apr 16, 2010 | Reply
  3. I like the look of the place, though. And I need a place in Cafayate for next month. But will pick your brains via email rather than spamming your comments stream.

    The TripAdvisor thing is a pet hate of mine; I don’t really know why. Perhaps it’s because I don’t see why I should play a role in the hotel’s PR operation.

    By Matt on Apr 16, 2010 | Reply
  4. Sure. Vieja Posada is a nice place to lay your hat for a night or two. Simple rooms, but lovely old building and well-kept. I can give you more details over a cortado any day.

    I have never left a review on Tripadvisor, perhaps because it feels like working in my free time.

    By Vicky Baker on Apr 16, 2010 | Reply
  5. Very nice to read about Salta, thanks! How was the couchsurfing experience? I once left a trip advisor review for a place in Porto, Portugal. I simply felt compelled to do it because I had such an amazing time there. The desire to give back to my hosts was so strong.

    Asking guests to write TA reviews is backward and ruins the sanctity of that website.

  6. Couchsurfing was excellent, but although I met my host originally through the site, we have met up many time since so it was actually more like staying with an old friend.
    Similar to you, I think my folks will leave Tripadvisor reviews (for the first time) only for the places they really loved. A couple of the hotels asked them to only after they had already praised the place highly. It was a sort of “Well, if you did really like it, please give us a review”. I understand this – especially for the little or new places. TA makes a real difference to a place’s bookings. But is a site to be relied on? That’s another question…

    By Vicky Baker on Apr 16, 2010 | Reply

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