This Relais & Chateaux hotel is in the heart of the Pampas yet just 120kms from Buenos Aires, so is easy to reach from the capital. It is an historic estancia now transformed into an elegant hotel but retaining something of the feeling of a private home. You approach along a tree-lined avenue which leads to the main courtyard. Around this are arranged the house, cottage, stables, dining room and former inn.
There are 11 rooms and suites, each named after a well known polo horse and all equipped with free wifi, iPod dock, safe and are air conditioned for your optimum comfort. Each room has its own bathroom with a bath and shower. Bathrobes and slippers are provided. Period features such as parquet floors and antique furniture add character and TVs and phones are eschewed as unnecessary distractions.
The pulperai is the oldest of the buildings dating back to the 18th century and was for some time used as a inn for local gauchos. Now it is retreat where guests can catch up on some reading and relax over a cup of tea or glass of wine. You can enjoy a taste of the gaucho lifestyle with an asado (barbecue) and mate tasting, a herb tea that is plays a central role in gaucho culture. You can also watch displays of horsemanship, music and folk dancing.
Horse riding, carriage rides, mountain biking and games of Argentinian bowls are all good ways to pass the time. In addition La Bamba de Areco hosts the eponymous polo team and guests are welcome to watch practice sessions and games during the playing season. The town of San Antonio de Areco is just 13kms away and, with its colonial architecture, church, museum and silversmith workshops, is worth a visit. Back at the hotel there are lots of quiet spots where you can relax and an outdoor swimming pool for refreshing exercise.
Open: La Bamba de Areco is open all year.
Location: The hotel is located 13kms from San Antonio de Areco and 120km from Buenos Aires. Jorge Newbery domestic airport is about an hour's drive away and the international airport is just over a two hour drive from the hotel.
Rooms: There are 11 rooms and suites, each named after a champion polo horse. All are en-suite and air conditioned and have views of the gardens, courtyard, pampas or polo fields. The hotel has deliberately not put TVs or phones in the rooms, so as not to disturb the peaceful nature of the location. There are twin and queen pampa rooms each with 21sqm of space, twin and king colonial rooms (30sqm). The cottage suite occupies 38sqm and the colonial suite is 43sqm and can sleep up to four people if required.
Activities: Horse riding, trips in horse drawn carriages, hiking, mountain biking and fishing. There are facilities for Argentinian bowls. The international La Bamba de Areco polo team is based at the hotel guests can watch games and practice sessions during the playing season. It's just a 15 minute drive to San Antonio de Areco, one of the oldest towns in the country, to get a flavour of local life and find out more about gaucho culture at the Ricardo Guiraldes Gaucho Museum.
Facilities: There is an outdoor swimming pool in the grounds and deck with sun loungers and parasols. Snack and drinks are served poolside. The hotel has a small treatment room for massages. The hotel has parking and provides a laundry service. There is a dining room and an outdoor dining area (details below). Drinks are provided by staff and there’s an honesty bar system. The library has a collection of reference books and board games, and there's a lounge.
Dining: Meals are served in various locations of the hotel, indoor and outside. The continental breakfast is served in the renovated and now air conditioned pulperia and includes with eggs cooked to order. The hotel specialises in the traditional asado, a barbecue, with grilled meat accompanied by salads served around a large dining table in a purpose-built quincho, a covered area designed for al fresco eating. Dinner is a three course meal. Wine is served with meals.
Children: Children aged 12 years and over are welcome.
Health: This is not a malarial area.
Communication: There is free Wi-Fi internet access in certain public areas. Mobile phone coverage is limited and should not be relied upon.
Notes: La Bamba has been a member of the Relais & Chateaux collection since 2016.
Tango in Buenos Aires, the stark wilderness of Patagonia, bucolic scenes in the Lake District and gauchos of The Pampas plus the very best hotels.