Chrissy's Collection: House of Jasmines, Salta, Argentina
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What is Chrissy’s Collection?With her lengthy travel background, Chrissy has years of experience assessing accommodation with quality and customer satisfaction firmly in mind. She was also a hands-on Director of an upmarket Kensington apartment-hotel for five years.
As our own Silver Travel Advisor we are delighted that Chrissy brings her experience and eye for stylish detail when she reviews Boutique and Country house hotels. Chrissy’s Collection are her personal recommendations of hotels with something extra that makes them stand out from the rest: discreet and exceptional levels of personal service; stylish, contemporary and comfortable interiors where relaxation is key; smaller, quirky or character properties; luxury hotels with super spa facilities, exquisite dining or amazing locations. In short, very special places.
Over 100 years old, the House of Jasmines is a typical country house estate (estancia) with a few smaller houses in lush grounds surrounded by fields with horses at the bottom of the lower Andes - the perfect image most people would have of this area of Argentina. Two of the smaller houses can be rented out and another is used as a spa and treatment centre. There are six bedrooms in the main house, a breakfast room, several small lounge/seating areas and a large timber framed dining room which has recently been added. There is also a heated outdoor pool. And that’s it. Very intimate.
Until recently the house was owned by Robert Duvall the American actor and about six years ago was turned into an upmarket hotel catering for a small number of guests with the emphasis on simplicity and relaxation - for example no TVs in the bedrooms. For us the rustic charm of the hotel was perfect and exactly what we needed as an antidote to city living and a hectic lifestyle, but the simplicity may not suit those looking for more upmarket comforts normally found in hotels in this price range, for example our bedroom was very simple and quite small, with no chairs or seating area, no a/c and the bathroom quite basic. But that is all part of the rustic charm of this hotel.
The communal areas of the hotel are rustic, but stylish, and authentically furnished with locally woven tapestries and works of art. The wonderful outdoor terraces are covered in Jasmine and complete with day beds to encourage guests to relax and relax again. The spa and treatment centre was about five minutes walk across the grounds and the treatments, surprisingly, offered very good value with excellent therapists in a very calming atmosphere.
The staff, particularly in the dining room, were young and friendly and although the service was a little haphazard on a few occasions their winning smiles and eagerness to please more than made up for any tardiness, but generally in this area you should expect laid back service. What’s the rush, you are on holiday. The food was good, though, like most inland areas of Argentina the emphasis was on meat, meat and a bit more meat and as a non-meat eater this was a bit of a challenge at times. The hotel did their best though to offer me alternatives, which was much appreciated. My husband , however, who sometimes gets short shrift at home on the meat front, was in seventh heaven, particularly with the excellent local red wines, which we both enjoyed with gusto!
On our last night at the House of Jasmines there was a power cut over the whole of Salta just as we were about to order our meal. Candles were placed throughout the hotel and in this magical setting the hotel provided complimentary plates of cheeses, meats and breads together with wine which was a very memorable end to our stay at this lovely, relaxing Argentinian estancia.
House of Jasmines
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