Estancia El Colibri
At a Glance
The estancia is situated in a rural area of gently rolling pampas, great for riding, relaxing, and easy hikes.
Go riding in the morning, have a picnic lunch on the river and then head to the spa in the afternoon
Wonderful convivial atmosphere - with just nine rooms - you'll be sharing stories with fellow guests in no time
A place to kick back, unwind and soak up the rural atmosphere
As well as the horses, there are excellent opportunities to go birdwatching, hiking or mountain biking
Seasonal and locally sourced products dominate the gastronomic experience
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
Cordoba is a year round destination, however spring and autumn (October/November and March/April) are most pleasant. It can be hot and humid in the peak summer months of January and February. Winter is usually pretty mild. January, February, July and Easter are the peak vacation periods for Argentina’s schools. In May, Estancia El Colibri closes.
Call us on 858 345 1763 to start planning your vacation to Estancia El Colibri or take a look at our itineraries to Argentina
Estancia El Colibri is a luxury family-run Relais & Chateaux property set in beautiful countryside in Argentina's Cordoba region, and is an excellent horse riding and polo destination with first class service, wonderful hospitality and top-notch cuisine.
El Colibri is a Spanish colonial-style Relais & Chateaux manor house with obvious European design-influences, adorned with exquisite antiques, ornate tiled floors and painted ceilings. Set amidst 420 acres of prime Argentinean grassland, the property is a paradise for lovers of horses and those who enjoy a refined hotel stay, providing excellent service.
Just nine guest rooms and suites encourages an intimate atmosphere where guests can completely relax and unwind. Rooms are adorned with sophisticated, rich furnishings and plush fabrics which add to the opulent feel. Modern amenities are at your fingerstips and include bluetooth speakers, flatscreeen televisions with DVD players and complimentary WiFi. Bathrooms feature enormous tubs to soak in after an active day out on the estancia. You'll also be impressed by the stunning, elegant living room and bar with its high ceilings, sparkling chandeliers and cosy fireplace with views to the gardens and surrounding hills.
El Colibri offers a number of included activities such as horseback riding on the vast pampas, biking, hiking, gentle walks and farm experiences from feeding sheep to collecting fresh vegetables. Polo lessons and golf can be arranged. Guests are also given the chance to learn how to prepare an authentic asado, the traditional Argentine barbecue; or you can simply let the talented chef do the work for you resulting in creative and mouth-watering cuisine.
Explore the vast gaucho lands on horseback, play polo (all abilities welcomed) or indulge in a variety of spa treatments whilst staying at this fabulous estancia surrounded by stunning panoramic views. The accommodating and attentive staff pay attention to every detail and will help to make your stay unforgettable.
El Colibri features two Deluxe Rooms, four Junior Suites and three Suites. All are finely styled with elegant furniture, open fireplaces and hand-made flower details adorning the walls, curtains and bathroom tiles. Each room is equipped with satellite television, DVD, internet connection and mini-bar. The Junior Suites have their own balcony and the Suites have a separate living room.
The Fenestraz family, who own and run El Colibri, have their own children and happily welcome guests with children at the estancia. Specific activities can be organized such as cooking classes, tree top adventure trails, survival courses, treasure hunts, bird watching and horse riding lessons.
Facilities at Estancia Colibri include a spa, sauna, Turkish bath, heated outdoor pool, 10km of contained trails for walking, horse riding or mountain biking, 2 polo fields, saddlery, polo ponies and Criollo horses for horseback riding and bowling green.
The extensive list of activities on offer at the estancia includes riding, polo lessons, mountain biking, walking, trekking, bird watching and participation in farm works, dove and pigeon shooting, fishing, go-cart racing, golf, and cultural day trips to see the Jesuit churches. There is also a swimming pool in the garden and a spa.
Jules Maury (Staff)
Driving up to the beautiful Estancia which is the home of the Fenestraz family and the inspiration of Raouls beloved father Don Andre you cannot but laugh at the incongruous bright red 1959 Ford truck gleaming by the banks of flowers surrounding the hacienda. The gracious rooms and suites, each with their distinctive fabrics, tiles, antiques and family artifacts, overlook spectacular views across miles of uninterrupted field to the mountains in the distance. Riding out with the gauchos on their land each day helped understand the vastness of this estate which comprises of their Polo Club, the polo fields and stables and ponies and the land leaving down to the river. The farm with the goats, cows you can milk and hens where you collect eggs, is run by their gauchos and their amazing Huerta (herb and Potager garden) is the source of some of the freshest ingredients we had served with our breakfast, lunches and dinners. An impromptu lunch there one day feasting what we picked was a real treat. Dinners were a mix of fine dining and one night a wonderful Asado, the Argentinian word for a barbeque, serving every conceivable meat I could imagine freshly grilled from the fire. A beautiful pool, grounds with endless views, breath taking sunsets, a meandering river and a sky full of a million stars is the setting for this wonderful property.
Set on 420 acres of pampas along the Santa Catalina River (a ninety-minute flight from Santiago, Chile), the nine-room boutique hotel is more palatial than pastoral. Light flamenco guitar music and the scent of wild Chilean rosa mosqueta waft through the air. In the dining room, antique accents, like a 120-year-old wood-framed mirror once owned by Argentine president Marcelo T. de Alvear and a floor crafted from century-old wooden railroad ties, complement new hand-carved wooden chairs. In the suites, iron-and-crystal candlesticks and potpourri-filled vases decorate vintage nightstands and vanities, and plush 400-thread-count linen sheets from Peru adorn the beds. The walls and the soaring ceilings were painted by hand with delicate floral designs that echo the patterns on the curtains, which are made of rich velvet imported from Paris.
In fact, there's more than a little bit of France within these walls; husband-and-wife owners Raoul and Stéphanie Fenestraz are French. And it's no wonder they're also the perfect hosts: Raoul's parents, André and Raymonde Fenestraz, own three hotels in the French Alps, including Courchevel's legendary Les Airelles.
Raoul, a polo enthusiast who plays all over Argentina with his own team, has cut two polo fields at El Colibrí; he urges amateurs to take a lesson and join the local professionals. The horse between your legs is 80 percent of your game, he says. Even a not-so-good player with a very good horse — and all our horses are experts — can contribute and play. For those not willing to brave the sport of kings, there's plenty to fill the days, whether it's exploring the property's six miles of hiking and horseback-riding trails, being pampered in the intimate spa or touring the nearby historical Jesuit sites. And unlike at the area's older estancias, visitors who choose to hole up in their rooms at El Colibrí can revel in the modern amenities, like Wi-Fi access and DirecTV, and good water pressure in the oversized bathrooms.
Even guests who retreat here to escape the spotlight make their way to dinner. The charismatic executive chef, Gustavo Quieto, prepares food that's grown on the estancia's own land, and he steps out of the kitchen to describe every dish: sautéed doves (often shot by the diners themselves); pacu, a freshwater fish in the piranha family; and, of course, Argentine barbecue. The hotel won't reveal the names of its diverse clientele (as an NFL linebacker pointed out, Here it's about soccer or polo; no one cares about football!), but secrets are often revealed personally, since everyone ends the day beside the fireplace in the grand living room, sharing stories over glasses of Malbec from the hotel's 2,000-bottle collection. We really did create El Colibrí for us, for our kids, for our grandkids, Raoul says. It's our interpretation of ideal Argentine living, and we hope that people will come to enjoy it as much as we do.
Sarah Lee (Staff)
Being a keen horse rider I was blown away by Argentina and in particular Estancia El Colibri. The owners, Raoul and Stephanie Fenestraz, are absolutely charming and I felt that they really go that extra mile in terms the décor, food, wine, level of service, comfort, activities on offer and the overall experience. Guests are welcomed with open arms. I was traveling with a beginner rider and I was so impressed that they could really tailor the excursions to fit all horse riding abilities whether you have worn jodphurs since a child to never having sat on a horse before. One of my most memorable rides was through spectacular scenery to the Jesuit Church of Santa Catarina crossing beautiful streams and enjoying a fabulous Argentine 'asado' on the way prepared by the gauchos on the banks of the river.
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Location & directions
Estancia El Colibri is located in the heart of Argentina, in Santa Catalina, north of Córdoba, Argentina's second-largest city. Surrounded by open countryside, valleys, woodlands, farmland and polo fields.
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- Award-winning tour operator