Mendoza  has abundant accommodations, including a growing number of quality hostels, but the area’s popularity occasionally puts pressure on available resources in all categories.
Reservations are essential for March’s Fiesta de la Vendimia and advisable for Semana Santa and other long weekends—including mid-September’s Chilean patriotic holidays (since the 2002 Argentine devaluation, Chileans have swarmed Mendoza at every opportunity). Tourist offices at the bus terminal and downtown are helpful in locating accommodations.
Hostel Puertas del Sol (Espejo 751, tel. 0351/425-7983, www.hostelpuertasdelsol.com.ar , US$9 pp dorm, US$21–35 d) is a slightly cramped but well-located garden hostel that also organizes abundant excursions.
Occupying a large rehabbed house on Plaza Independencia, congenial Hostel Independencia (Mitre 1237, tel. 0261/423-1806, www.hostelindependencia.com.ar , US$10 pp dor m, US$25 d) has cramped sleeping quarters—the dorms average eight beds to a room—but it has great common areas, including a wine bar, and offers some unique excursions.
For many years, the Savigliano Hostel (Pedro Palacios 944, tel. 0261/423-7746, www.savigliano.com.ar , US$8–10 pp dorm, US$23–29 s or d with private bath, breakfast included) was the top budget choice; it’s still the best near the bus terminal, at least, but better-located hostels have usurped much of its clientele. It’s easily accessible by the pedestrian tunnel beneath Avenida Videla.
Traditionally popular with climbers and trekkers, just off Plaza Independencia, the HI-affiliated 34-bed Hostel Campo Base (Avenida Mitre 946, tel./fax 0261/429-0707, www.hostelcampobase.com.ar , US$10–11 pp dorm, US$29–31 s or d) is popular enough that reservations are advisable all year. Most rooms are dorms, but there are a couple of doubles with private baths. There’s also a bar as well as Wednesday- and Saturday-night asados.
Another HI affiliate, now under Campo Base ownership, the capacious Hostel Internacional Mendoza (Avenida España 343, tel./fax 0261/424-0018 or 0261/424-8432, www.hostelmendoza.net , US$10–11 pp dorm, US$29–32 s or d, with breakfast) has kitchen facilities, a restaurant, and the El Carajo bar with occasional live music. It also picks up guests at the bus terminal and arranges excursions in and around town.
Don’t expect to get to sleep early at Hostel Mendoza Inn (Arístides Villanueva 470, tel. 0261/420-2486, www.mendozahostel.com , US$10–12 pp dorm, US$29–32 s or d)—that’s not why people visit Mendoza’s burgeoning restaurant and nightlife district. The building is an enormous family house with sprawling gardens, a small pool, and a variety of rooms that range from quadruples to more spacious rooms with private bath.
Friendly Hotel Zamora (Perú 1156, tel. 0261/425-7537, www.hotelzamora.netfirms.com , US$22 s, US$32 d) has no luxuries, and some of the singles are small, but all rooms have private baths, and rates include cable TV and parking. Pancho, the resident Old English sheepdog, provides entertainment.
Austere but otherwise outstanding in its range, the well-kept and well-placed City Hotel (General Paz 95, tel. 0261/425-1343, http://cityhotelmendoza.tripod.com , US$24 s, US$36 d, with private bath, breakfast, and a/c) is friendly and helpful.
On a placid downtown cul-de-sac, Hotel Milena (Pasaje Babilonia 17, tel. 0261/420-2490, www.milenahotel.com.ar , US$34 s, US$44 d, with breakfast) has smallish but well-maintained rooms and parking.
Down the block from the Mendoza Inn, the Damajuana Hostel (Arístides Villanueva 282, tel./fax 0261/425-5858, www.damajuanahostel.com.ar , US$16 pp dorm, US$45 d) has mostly dorms. Its common areas include spacious gardens, a large pool, and a bar-restaurant that’s worth considering even for nonguests. Like Mendoza Inn, it’s best for nightlifers.
The glisteningly modernized, conveniently central Hotel Puerta del Sol (Garibaldi 82, tel. 0261/420-4820, www.hotelpuertadelsol.com.ar , US$46–50 s, US$59–65 d) is overtaking some of the more established downtown hotels and offers breakfast, cable TV, and similar amenities.
The three-star Hotel Carollo (25 de Mayo 1184, tel. 0261/423-5666 or 0261/423-5667, www.hotelcarollo.com , US$58 s, US$65 d, with breakfast and free airport transfers) is a remodeled business-oriented building.
Despite a misleadingly modern facade, the Carollo’s adjacent and slightly more expensive sister, Hotel Princess (25 de Mayo 1168, tel./fax 0261/423-5669, www.hotelprincess.com.ar , US$65 s, US$74 d), is not dramatically better.
Rooms at the immaculate, highly recommended Hotel Provincial (Belgrano 1259, tel. 0261/425-8284, www.hotelprovincialmza.com , US$50 s, US$67 d) are an excellent value in its price range, and for a government-run place it’s surprising cheerful and efficient. Electronic amenities include Wi-Fi, magnetic locks, and strongboxes, and there are also a pool with a Jacuzzi as well as a sauna.
Dating from the 1940s, Grand Hotel Balbi (Avenida Las Heras 340, tel. 0261/423-3500, www.hotelbalbi.com.ar , US$66 s, US$79 d) may be a four-star anachronism, but it’s still good value, with a spacious lobby and other common areas, plus a modest swimming pool and contemporary amenities such as Wi-Fi. Some rooms have Jacuzzis.
From its formal furnishings, B&B Plaza Italia (Montevideo 685, tel. 0261/423-4219, www.plazaitalia.net , US$90 s or d) looks like an idealized museum of upper-middle-class domesticity from the 1920s. The reality, though, is a gracious but informal reception by outgoing hosts who have created an oasis of tranquility in what can be a bustling downtown.
Arguably Mendoza’s best when it opened for the 1978 World Cup, Hotel Huentala (Primitivo de la Reta 1007, tel. 0261/420-0766, www.huentala.com , from US$120 s or d with buffet breakfast) has reinvented itself as a boutique hotel under the Sheraton umbrella, but that’s been a gradual process. With 81 rooms, it’s a little large for a boutique, but the accommodations are up to snuff, with a minimalist decor, and there are nice touches like a subterranean wine bar in the model of a traditional cellar. Some of the common areas, though, have lagged behind, and the facade—due for a makeover in the near future—still suffers from a kitschy pseudo-Islamic style.
Also a World Cup legacy, the high-rise Hotel Aconcagua (San Lorenzo 545, tel. 0261/520-0500, www.hotelaconcagua.com , US$86–143 s or d) has undergone a major restoration that has left its uniformly midsized rooms in primo condition; the common areas, including a pool, restaurant, and relandscaped grounds, are equally appealing. The higher prices correspond to a handful of suites.
Only the facade remains of the landmark Hotel Plaza, which has been gutted, partially demolished, and replaced by a multistory five-star structure that nevertheless has managed to blend into a traditional neighborhood as the new Park Hyatt Mendoza (Chile 1124, tel. 0261/441-1234, www.mendoza.park.hyatt.com , $193–441 s or d). Once again Mendoza’s prestige hotel, it has a restaurant, a café, a spa, a wine bar, a casino, a sports bar, and frequent events and entertainment.
New in early 2009, the Diplomatic Park Suites (Belgrano 1041, tel. 0261/405-1900, US$236–300) is a 19-story structure that, with its Francophile decor, seemingly aspires to emulate Buenos Aires’s venerable Alvear Palace—in fact, it even boasts a branch of the Alvear Palace’s La Bourgogne restaurant. In reality, in the global economic crisis, the upper five floors are unlikely to be ready for several more years, but some of the finished floors are thematic wine floors sponsored by the likes of Catena Zapata and Zuccardi. Rates vary according to city view (cheaper) and mountain view (dearer), and for corner rooms (dearer yet). The presidential suite goes for more than US$3,600 per night.
New in late 2008, the Sheraton Mendoza (Primitivo de la Reta 989, tel. 0261/441-5500, www.sheraton.com.ar , US$205–381 s or d) is a 17-story 180-room high-rise integrated into the new casino.