Memories of Argentina
Kelly MacDonald, Manager of Industry Relations
Travel is in my blood. It is not something I simply do for my career but it is a lifelong passion. Exploring new destinations, sampling the local cuisine and meeting new friends is highly addictive. If you are like me, you are also dreaming about packing your bags for the next adventure. I look forward to traveling again soon but in the meantime let me relive with you a past experience that holds great memories.
I was fortunate to travel with one of our Incentive clients to Argentina last May. We developed a split program that would visit both the bustling Cosmopolitan capital of Buenos Aires and the highly regarded wine region of Mendoza. With direct flights on Air Canada from Toronto to Buenos Aires, it was a very easy trip to South America. The fact that there was no time difference between Atlantic Canada and Argentina was a bonus and really helped with the long flight. No jet leg!
We spent the first few days at the iconic Faena hotel. Designed by former fashion designer Alan Faena, this hotel is stunning with rich, deep reds and an incredibly “happening” lobby bar called The Library. It not only served up unlimited libations and delicious Argentinian fare but also featured highly talented local, nightly entertainment. The hotel also boasts one of the city’s best Tango nightclubs that we were able to book exclusively for our group’s farewell dinner. Other highlights of Buenos Aires included a visit to Recoleta Cemetery (resting place of Eva Peron), tango lessons in La Boca and enjoying a dinner complete with famous Argentinian beef!
After three days exploring Buenos Aires, the group took a short 90-minute flight to Mendoza on Aerolineas, which offers many departures throughout the day. Our home in Mendoza was the Park Hyatt, located close to great restaurants and across the street from Plaza Independencia, a landscaped square and lively hangout featuring shade trees, a fountain and local vendors. Highlights of Mendoza included an exclusive tour and dinner at Trapiche winery and a visit to Norton winery where the group participated in an event titled “Winemaker for a Day”. The guests were able to pick their own grapes, squish the grapes with their bare feet, learn to mix their own wine and even create a personalized bottle that would be later delivered to their rooms. As a personal fan of Malbecs from this region, it was a bucket-list worthy experience to visit both Trapiche and Norton and these vineyards did not disappoint!
We were able to pack quite a bit into our six–night program, allowing our participants to get a real taste of both the urban and rural Argentinian culture. The program whet my appetite for this stunning and energetic country and I know I don’t speak for myself when I say I can’t wait to go back when the travel industry safely opens up again!