I’m going to begin this post the same way I end it- by imploring you to put Iguazu Falls on your wish list. Words won’t begin to describe it so I’ll just share a video:
I asked before we went to Iguazu Falls whether we should stay at the Melia and the consensus was that the hotel’s location was worth the exorbitant (for families over 3) cost. In the end we decided not to stay at the Melia but did have lunch on property so I could see what the fuss was about.
My Non-Review Review of the Melia Iguazu Falls
If you are looking for nuts and bolts room info, check TripAdvisor. That’s not how I roll. What I wanted to know- and what I’m guessing you want to know- is whether the Melia is worth the extra money. In order to answer that question we need to answer two others:
How Much Extra Money?
This depends greatly on the size of your family. If you have three or fewer in your party, it’s not so much. However, if you’re four or more the costs go up- as in double- because you’ll need two rooms. They even define an “adult” as age six or higher!
Let’s compare that to our experience at the new Falls Iguazu Hotel and Spa. Using our friend TripAdvisor I found the highly rated property for just $110 a night. Even better, the room slept four, included breakfast, and they even threw in a one way airport transfer. To be fair, we did spend $30/day on taxis so need to factor that in to the equation.
I highly recommend the Falls Iguazu Hotel and Spa. It was a ten minute drive to the falls, the rooms- being new- were well maintained and large, and the setting was quiet and tranquil but still modern enough to have a decent pool cafe and a grownup-friendly lounge for an after-falls glass of Malbec.
Oh, and did I mention that massages were $36 for 45 minutes? Not only did Deal Dad and I each get one, we even bought Deal Kid a leg massage after our nine miles at the Falls got to him. The spa equaled most you see at a four star in the states and included an indoor Roman bath that I didn’t expect to find that far out in the wild.
What do you get?
Well, the main thing you get is this:
I won’t deny that’s pretty great. However, what you also get is this:
Cute, right? Well, not so cute when this guy and one of his friends dives for your lunch not once, but twice in the same meal! Deal Girl decided her memoir title will be “A monkey stole my mustard”. Catchy, dontcha think?
I never thought of monkeys being like pigeons or seagulls, but they got that disruptive. There must have been a dozen hanging on the Melia’s balconies- not just the restaurant. In the two hours we were there they stole food- not just from us-broke dishes, chased guests from balconies, and just created havoc.
Many of you mentioned the joy of your morning coffee while enjoying the falls, but I’m not sure how much joy I’d get sipping java while a monkey relieves himself next to you. We saw monkeys poop on balconies, too!
The Falls Experience
The other main benefit I heard about the Melia was the ability to visit the parks before the crowds descended. I equate that to on-site vs. off-site at Disney. If you have a napping toddler, I see the benefit. Otherwise you can employ basic theme park strategy to avoid the crowds. By asking the staff where the tour groups went and at what time we avoided the throngs of bus tourists.
I think it is safe to say you can have an uncrowded Falls experience without the Melia!
To Sum Up: Is The Melia Iguazu Falls worth it?
It’s so not my style to fail to come to a definite conclusion, but my firm answer is maybe. If you are a couple or have just one kid under 6 and very limited time to see the falls, the scale leans towards yes. Otherwise? I just don’t see it. With a bit of strategy you’ll still have an amazing Iguazu Falls Experience. You can use the savings at the spa- and still have some left over.
If you’ve stayed at the Melia and have room intel, please share. Also if you have another Iguazu hotel suggestion, please share that, too. You’ll help those who come after you.
The one thing I want you to leave this post with is a desire to visit Iguazu Falls. While I obsessed over which of the Iguazu Falls Hotels to choose, once we got there I realized it was more important just that we were there. Iguazu is a pain to get to as it requires a flight from Buenos Aires and there isn’t anything to do there besides the falls, but it doesn’t matter. JUST GO.