Cachi, Salta and Jujuy, Argentina
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Estancia Colomé is a beautiful estancia and wine estate in northwest Argentina, set amongst the highest vineyards in the world. Enjoy sipping some of Argentina's world-famous wines, surrounded by beautiful rolling scenery.
Colomé is a remote estancia reached by a spectacular drive from Salta through cactus-studded canyons, cloud forest and multi-colored mountains. Originally a nineteenth-century bodega and now owned by Swiss entrepreneur and winemaker Donald Hess, the estancia is set at nearly 8,000 feet above sea level.
The accommodation consists of nine inviting and beautifully appointed suites, each with breathtaking views over the surrounding Andean foothills and surrounding vineyards - the highest in the world. The wines produced here are award-winning, and the accompanying food is excellent, most of which has been produced bio-dynamically on the estate.
In fact, the property is very eco-friendly as all electricity is generated by hydroelectric power. Colomé also features its own museum with an exclusive collection of artwork by the acclaimed light and space artist, James Turrell. There is a delightful terrace and cosy living room where can relax and unwind after a day exploring the natural delights of the Calchaqui valley. Activities at Colomé include tennis, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking and there is a stunning pool, set amongst the vines. Alternatively why not tour the surrounding area by car and soak up the stunning landscapes in and around Salta.
Finding a location to house five decades of artistic work from one of the 20th century's great talents can't have been an easy task. But for millionaire wine-maker and art collector Donald Hess, an Andean valley in Argentina seemed the perfect backdrop for the hugh light installations of US artist James Turrell. Hess has opened The James Turrell Museum, with interiors designed by the artists, in the grounds of Estancia Colomé, his hotel and vineyard near Salta.
Colomé is a true destination hotel. This 9-suite boutique property is set on the highest wine estate in the world in the Argentinian Andes. To reach it my journey began in Buenos Aires, from where I took a two-and-a-half-hour flight to Salta, in the Jujuy province, near the Bolivian border. Next, I went on the drive of my life, a five-hour road journey to Estancia Colomé, just under 8,000ft up in the foothills.
But it's not only the remoteness that makes Colomé a draw - it's owned by the multibillionaire art collector Donald Hess and his wife, Ursula. And it has a very special USP: a contemporary art museum - the highest in the world - featuring light installations, drawings and prints by James Turrell.
Hess has turned an 1831 bodega and surrounding 25 acres of vines, planted in 1854, into a highly successful wine estate with a five-star hotel to complement it. The outlook over the Andes is spectacular.
You may be light years away from civilization but that doesn't stop you sinking into comfortable leather armchairs that wouldn't look out of place in the swankiest hotel in New York. The two master suites are vast, each with a large private veranda. The seven junior suites are smaller but have the same attention to detail and are set around a cloistered courtyard. There are no TVs, DVDs or CD players in rooms; this is a place of rest.
Mark Beken (Staff)
It's hard to think of a hotel that has such a breathtaking setting. Up amongst the highest vineyards in the world, you can look across the valley to the snow-capped Andes and reflect on how lucky you are. True, it takes a bit of effort to get there - it's around 5 hours on a twisting but spellbinding route through the mountains, but definitely worth it. I loved the swimming pool, and the beautifully maintained gardens, and although I don't ride, it's also a great place to take a horse trek. I loved the estate wine here, a deep Malbec/Cabernet Sauvignon, and was impressed by the biodynamic methods they use for the vines, far stricter than organic methods. Colome is an utter gem, and a beautiful place to spend a few nights.
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Cachi, Salta and Jujuy, Argentina
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