Where It Takes Two to Tango
Destination Wedding: Argentina
Is it any wonder that Argentina is the most visited country in South America? It’s where the tango was born and Malbec is king. Argentinean steaks are as world-renowned as their burgeoning Buenos Aires fashion scene. And don’t get the locals started on their beloved rough-and-tumble Boca Junior futbol team.
With its mix of first-class sophistication and rugged outdoorsy environs, if you’re a couple seeking a one-stop shop for all your highbrow and low-key needs, there’s no better place to consider for your destination wedding or honeymoon than Argentina.
(Just remember that tourists can’t marry legally in Argentina. You or your betrothed have to be an Argentine or a permanent resident for a wedding to be recognized. Still, this little detail shouldn’t stop you from having a stateside civil ceremony, then a symbolic wedding in this far-flung locale. Your guests just may thank you for getting them to make this trip.)
Read on for a select group of locales from the four corners of the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world.
FOR THE CHIC COUPLE
Buenos Aires, the capital, is often called “the Paris of South America.” To prove this point, you’ll have to stay at least once at the esteemed Alvear Palace Hotel with its blend of elegant Empire, Louis XV and Louis XVI décor.
For couples seeking a traditional wedding atmosphere, this hotel delivers with available banquet rooms and a first-rate catering facility. Or, host a smaller reception-style dinner at the renowned La Bourgogne restaurant on-site. The chef, Jean Paul Bondoux, brings a bit of French cuisine to Buenos Aires with dishes like “pheasant cooked two ways.” Just make sure to serve famous Argentinean wines with the meal.
FOR THE GOURMAND COUPLE
Speaking of Argentina’s vino, no property quite celebrates an appreciation of fine wine like Cavas Wine Lodge, the first luxury lodge at the foot of the Andes Mountain range. Set in the famous Mendoza wine region, this lodge, with just 10 rooms, is situated on a 35-acre, ecologically-minded vineyard.
Visit this retreat for a honeymoon or book the whole property for a small destination wedding. An organic farm that grows fruits and vegetables used in all their menus is on-site as well as a spa that features, of course, signature wine therapy treatments. When you can pull yourself from the lodge, there are more than 900 other Mendoza wineries in these foothills of the Andes. More than enough a mere 90-minute flight from Buenos Aires!
FOR THE ROMANTIC COUPLE
Visit Argentina and you learn the term “estancia” pretty quickly. Similar to a ranch in the U.S., the country is filled with these estates situated on large sprawling cattle or sheep-herding properties. There are working estancias, of course, but plenty have been transformed into guest lodgings.
One of the best: El Colibri, Estancia de Charme in the mountainous Cordoba region of the country. Rent the retreat for a properly romantic small destination wedding. There are three suites, four junior suites and two deluxe when you request the “maison privada.” Guests will be charmed by the 420-acre grounds that include a garden, two polo fields, horses to ride, a pool, spa and gym.
FOR THE SPORTY COUPLE
With just 15 rooms, it is hard to pass up this special retreat in the province of Neuquen in the famed Patagonia region of Argentina. Las Balsas Gourmet Hotel & Spa, located on the northern shore of the Nahuel Huapi Lake, offers year-round activities for the couple seeking to get away from it all in the great outdoors.
From October to April (which is considered the Spring and Summer seasons in the Southern Hemisphere), guests can sail, canoe, kayak, fly-fish and do pretty much any kind of water sport at this picturesque lakefront property. Seeking colder climes? Visit from July to September when Las Balsas touts the Cerro Bayo ski center with more than 250 skiable acres—and no crowds.
FOR THE DARING COUPLE
If you’ve ever promised your betrothed that you’d go to the ends of the Earth to please him or her, then consider Los Cauquenes Resort & Spa. It is situated at the shore of Argentina’s Beagle Channel, a strait at the extreme southern tip of the continent—one of the only three ways for early explorers to navigate by water from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans.
Set in the Tierra del Fuego island chain, Los Cauquens offers 54 rooms with unobstructed views of the snowy Andes. Activities at this one-of-a-kind resort are limited, to be frank. Even in spring and summer, it is chilly—but this is nothing compared to the subzero temps you’ll experience if you wanted the challenge of visiting in winter. Still, you can sign up to mountain bike, sea kayak, visit a penguin colony or take a visit to Antarctica. It doesn’t get more exotic than this.
FOR THE COSMOPOLITAN COUPLE
Of course, if Buenos Aires’ cool factor is more your taste than Antarctic temperatures, then book your destination wedding or honeymoon at the Faena Hotel + Universe, a Philippe Starck design in the Puerto Madero section of the city. There’s a lot to check out when it comes to its quirky décor, from unicorn wall art to gold velvet curtains.
For your fashionable wedding, you can choose from a vast 3,600 square-foot ballroom to seat 220 to a more manageable 463-foot cellar to host 16. With its 126 rooms, there is no shortage of space in this immense property set in a former grain silo (its name isn’t a “universe” for nothing).