In Mendoza, the groundbreaking Argentine winemaker Susana Balbo has introduced her inaugural hotel, marking a new venture in the world of hospitality. Susana Balbo is a household name in Argentina, notably recognized as the first woman in the country to earn a degree in enology in 1981. Her pioneering work with the native white grape, Torrontés, earned her the title of the Queen of Torrontés.
Over the years, Balbo has made significant contributions to viticulture, established a highly successful winery, engaged in politics with a term in the Argentine National Congress, and chaired the W20 Summit as the first Latin American woman—a role in an advisory board to the Group of Twenty economic forum.
In collaboration with her daughter, Ana Lovaglio Balbo, the duo has unveiled a boutique hotel with a focus on wellness—marking the inception of their hospitality enterprise. Nestled in the verdant Mendoza suburb of Chacras de Coria, SB Winemaker’s House & Spa Suites finds its home within the family’s former residence. Diverging from other upscale wine resorts in the region, this hotel doesn’t boast an on-site vineyard or views of the Andes; instead, it offers something unique: intimate access to one of Argentina’s prominent winemaking families in an art-filled, soulful environment.
The Spanish-style property features beamed ceilings, arched windows, and a collection of paintings and photographs from the family’s private trove, including works by Latin American luminaries such as Julio Le Parc and Sebastião Salgado. Guests can savor chef Flavia Amad Di Leo’s parrilla classics on the terrace facing the pool, indulging in dishes like bife de chorizo con provoleta or sirloin with grilled cheese.
While Argentina’s carnivorous delights may tempt you to pair your meal with Malbec, staying in the house crafted by Balbo makes developing a taste for her refined Torrontés almost inevitable. Credited with refining and popularizing Argentina’s most beloved white grape, Balbo offers guests a chance to enjoy a bottle or explore creative Torrontés-forward cocktails designed by mixologist Flavia Arroyo.
Spread across the property are seven standalone guest rooms, each equipped with spa-style luxuries, including steam rooms, saunas, and private gardens boasting heated lounge chairs and firepits. Wellness butlers are at your service, arranging welcome massages and drawing baths in suites’ deep stone tubs—oval-shaped, echoing the concrete fermentation vats in Balbo’s winery, just a short half-hour journey from the hotel.
For the adventurous, the hotel can organize seaplane excursions to the wilds of Patagonia or the aqueous landscapes of the Iberá Wetlands, providing a transformative perspective of these wonders. As for the future, Ana and Susana envision a mountain lodge in the Mendozan landscape—a testament to their ongoing commitment to redefining the hospitality experience.