November 17-20, 2017
Room Rate: $118 USD/night
Any winelover’s visit to Argentina isn’t quite complete without a stop in Mendoza, Argentina’s wine region. “Why Argentina?” my old boss once asked me when I told her I wanted to make plans to go. “Because I’ve never met a glass of Malbec i didn’t like”. So we went.
From Iguazu, we flew over to Mendoza (with a quick stopover in Salta), and landed at about 4 in the afternoon. We decided to stay in downtown Mendoza for our trip to the region, and as a SPG enthusiast, I opted to stay at the Sheraton Mendoza.
Neighborhood: Downtown Mendoza
Make a Green Choice: Yes
Bar and Restaurant On-Property: Yes
Room Rate Range: $100 – $200 USD/night
Downtown Mendoza is located about 20 minutes away from the airport by car. The building is a very 1980’s looking building, and the “Sheraton” signs don’t stand out too much (at least not to us), so be on the lookout if your driver doesn’t know exactly where it is.
The main entrance leads into the lobby (but not before walking through a tour desk and a few retail counters (run independently from the hotel). Be sure to walk into the main entrance – in the same building is a casino, and while you can access the hotel through the casino entrance (not particularly nice, as one might expect), you might just find yourself in the wrong place if you’re not paying attention.
The lobby was wonderfully welcoming (especially after 4 hours in transit), and we approached the front desk to check in. Our desk agent was remarkably friendly, and apologized for the lengthy check in process – he was able to upgrade our room, but they were checking on it to make sure it was ready for us. As we were chatting, he asked what our plans were for our visit, and I mentioned that we were hoping to make reservations at some vineyards. He was happy to help but mentioned we needed to call right away, as most of them would be closing soon. After about 20 minutes, he had set us up with a driver for the day, as well as reservations at a three vineyards. Fantastic service.
Once our room was ready, we made our way up to the 10th floor. The suite was located towards the end of the hallway, quietly tucked away at the back of the hotel.
The main door opened up to the living room and dining table, with the bedroom and bathroom in the next room.
The living room was your standard sitting area with a couch (was it missing some of its back cushions? It felt a little weird when I leaned back on it), coffee table, overstuffed chair, and wall-mounted flat screen TV.
The dining area had a table and a mini bar area right behind it. We were tickled to find some welcome chocolates left out for us, which we ate as soon as we settled into the room (they were delicious, by the way).
The living room also had a closet, which had the safe inside and tons of storage space, but not much else.
The king sized bed was, naturally, the crowning piece of the room. The pillows were too soft for my liking – they sunk down too much when you laid on it. Another small disappointment was the lack of modrn upgrades to the side tables – a hard to reach plug located behind the bedside table, and definitely no USB ports to be found. Would have loved to see this!
The room had its own overstuffed chair, TV, and desk. Worth pointing out was the international outlet installed at the desk – perfect for those who forget their converters.
The hallway to the bathroom was lined with closets. The living room definitely didn’t need a closet, because there was a ton of storage space here – drawers, shelves, and hangers. An extra blanket was away onto the top shelf.
The bathroom was wonderfully large, and thoughtfully designed. The main part of the room was mostly empty space, with the sink on one side. There was plenty of counter space (easy for two people to share), and no shortage of toiletries. I loved the two towel racks built into the vanity – there are never enough towel rods or hooks to hang used towels in bathrooms! The one thing lacking was a trash bin – which I later found in the toilet room.
On one side of the sink area was the bathtub, separated from the bedroom by frosted glass. Above the tub was a towel rack, which proved to be useful when I needed to wash and dry an outfit I stained on the trip.
The toilet and shower were on the adjacent wall, separated into their own rooms by fogged glass doors and walls. The toilet room had the (well) toilet bidet, and aforementioned bathroom trash bin.
The shower room was pretty bare, with only the shower head, the knob, a safety bar, soap holder. No real space to hold the abundance of toiletries that was on the counter, so it was a bit of a puzzle game balancing the bottles on the solitary soap holder.
One nice (thoughtful) feature was that the shower area was built about an inch or two lower than the floor – this meant that the water never flooded to the rest of the bathroom while the shower was in use. Another bonus – the water pressure was great! I always have fairly low standards of hotel showers (especially when traveling abroad, especially when in smaller cities), but I found the water pressure to be quite good here.
Once you got past the casino, tour desk, and retail counters (kind of odd, I’ll admit), the hotel had the aesthetic of your standard Sheraton. Some of the furnishings felt a little it older than some more modern looking properties within the Sheraton brand, but the property looked clean and well maintained. It is by no means the nicest Sheraton I’ve stayed at, but the service kind of made up for its shortcomings.
Most Sheraton lounges serve up a small continental breakfast with one or two hot items, but this lounge takes it to another level. The lounge is located on the top floor (accessed with your room key), and in the mornings, the restaurant space next to the lounge is utilized to serve breakfast. (At night, you’ll find the restaurant space operating as Mirador, which opens at 4 PM.)
As you walk out of the elevators, you are immediately greeted by the spread – a mix of cheese and cold cuts, sliced fruit, juice, cereal, and easily the most extensive dessert spread I’ve seen at a breakfast buffet.
Seriously, let’s talk about the pastries here – they are not kidding about their sweets! Ten year old me is trilled. Not to be missed for any visitor to Argentina are alfajores. While you can find these in other Spanish-speaking country, there are different styles to this treat. The Argentinian alfajore is typically two round cookies filled with dulce de leche in the middle. Fun fact – these days, Argentina is the world’s largest consumer of alfajores.
The counter in the back held some bread and spreads, plus hot items – potatoes, ham and croissant sandwiches, tomatoes, sausages, bacon, and eggs. None of the items were particularly remarkable, but having more than one hot option was nice.
Instead of dining in the smaller lounge area, guests dine in the restaurant space, which had plenty of seating (and natural light!). Wait staff were on hand to offer water and coffee.
During the day, the upstairs area is transformed – the lounge area limited to one side, the restaurant fully operational on the other.
During the day, the spread is much more meager – a few pastries, some fruit, coffee, tea, and sodas. There were a few tables and chairs set up in the lounge. Try snagging a seat by the window to enjoy a view of the city.
A sign is prominently displayed on the soda and food tables, stating that food and drink from the lounge must be consumed here and cannot be taken to your room. I observed one guest miss the sign (hard to tell if it was on purpose) and the lounge attendant stopped him to inform him of the lounge rules.
At night, the lounge offered more pastries – cookies, mouses, and tarts, plus a charcuterie and cheeses. (The chocolate cookies were great by the way.)
On the first floor is Devas, the lobby bar. We found ourselves starving as we checked in and in between prime time mealtime, so we settled on grabbing a casual bite here.
We were served bread to start, followed by our fried calamari appetizer. I’m not sure what they were breaded in (something sandy in texture), but it was not terrible. It certainly wasn’t the bed calamari I’ve had, but it could have been worse.
Brian and I each ordered the same papardelle pasta, but opted for different sauces – he had a bolognese sauce, which I had a vodka sauce. I actually really enjoyed my meal (I’ll admit i was starving, so not sure how valid my opinion was), but Brian said he preferred his pasta dish back at the Sheraton Melia Hotel in Iguazu (can’t say I agreed).
The Sheraton Mendoza is located in downtown Mendoza, about a 15 minute walk from the Plaza Independencia square, and a 20 minute walk from Avenida Sarmiento, where you’ll find a street bustling with plenty of restaurants. It’s not too far, but not particularly close either. Fifteen to 20 minutes doesn’t sound like a long walk, but Downtown Mendoza isn’t very large, so all things considered, it is a bit out of the way. Even so, it is just a quick 5 minute cab ride to where all the action is, so it’s not terribly inconvenient.
If you’re in the market to go winery hopping, wineries range from 20 minutes away (Maipu), 30 minutes away (Lujan de Cuyo) to an hour or so away (Uco Valley).
We had a pretty wonderful stay at the Sheraton. The staff was incredibly helpful, and the suite upgrade was quite possibly sweetened the deal and made our stay just a little bit more special. I do wish it was located a little bit closer to the restaurants and nightlife. However, given the price, it’s really tough to complain.
Hotel Appearance: 8/10 – A little dated in some areas, but spruced up where it needed to be. The casino and random retail counters in the front did kind of detract from the ambiance.
Room: 9/10 – I mean, we had a lovely suite. Would had liked to see some upgrades (more outlets by the bed, fluffier pillows), but having all that extra space was nice.
Staff: 9/10 – Really helpful and accommodating.
Location: 6/10 – Out of the way from the nightlife Downtown Mendoza has to offer
On-Site Amenities & Hospitality Services: 7/10 – We didn’t get to check out the spa during our stay, but there is one available. While there’s no concierge, there is a tour desk, but it’s not associated with the hotel. Not sure how high a casino ranks for most in terms of “Amenities”, but… it’s there.
Overall Rating: 39/50 (78%) ★★★★★