Went the first time with a friend and upon arrival, were told that none of the activities would be available. Also, reception had no idea about any of the activities, couldn't explain anything about the different room types and generally lacked any notion of service or customer service. I would say they were downright rude. We took a horseback tour (cabalgata) that was astonishingly beautiful, but the guide explained basically nothing. The views, however, were worth it. The massages were fine, but we waited in the cold for 15 minutes for them to show and in the end, they were extremely light touch despite having told them that we prefer a more "intense" massage. The sauna is outdated, but we enjoyed it nonetheless. The shower in our room was abysmal. You can choose between burning lava hot and Chilean glacier cold. Or you can do like we did and try to take your shower in the 3 seconds in between when there is a brief moment when the temperature reaches a somewhat acceptable range. Our last activity was to be "canopy" (zip-lines across the forest), but at the last second, the guide announced in front of the whole group and all of the employees that I weigh too much to participate and that the manager had taken a look at me and asked him to tell me that I was simply too fat and would likely break the lines. He then later told my friend that was all ridiculous and that it would have been fine but that the manager had made the decision "for other reasons" (maybe because I'd complained about the front desk staff and the poor service?), but didn't want to tell me himself. Also, the food throughout was an interesting combination of "not-really-what-we-ordered" and "not-really-cooked-appropriately", but still somehow quite tasty.
A few weeks later my brother and sister in law came into town and begged me to take them there to this place because they'd seen our pictures on facebook. I begrudgingly agreed. Not surprisingly, again, on arrival, we were made to feel like idiots for having even come. No rafting and no horse rides (even though I had reserved both). Finally, after a string of dirty looks and phone calls, they relented and said they could provide both but that I was really "putting them out". My brother and sister-in-law said the rafting was terrific and that the guides were top-notch. We didn't even try the canopy tour this time (for obvious reasons), and there were several hiccups with the horse tour, so we ended up taking the walking tour. Of course, at the last second, we were told there would be no English-speaking guide, so I would have to translate for all of the English speakers (there was, of course, no please and thank you). Finally, showers were still tragically bad, the food was, hilariously, not one time over two trips, successfully brought to our table as we ordered and we hardly got ANY sleep as a large dog barked outside our cabin basically all night long. Last but not least, at the end, when we were checking out, a guy named Jaime treated us so badly (insulting me, telling me "I know how to do math" when I suggested we use google for the currency conversion), that it really had my blood boiling. A devastatingly bad end to an awful second trip to this place.
My frank opinion is that Cascada de las Animas has the best "product" in terms of views, location, range of activities and facilities (the cabins are lovely minus the terrible showers) hands down. The customer service, however, is SO BAD that by the end we simply expected to pay high prices to be treated badly. The answer is ALWAYS "no" unless you push really hard, and then it's inevitably a begrudged "fine, just this once". But, all in all, we went to take in the beautiful mountains, wildlife and flora. And those things were, I have to say, breathtaking. So it might even be worth going and suffering through one of the worst customer service experiences of your life, but just be prepared and don't back down when they are rude, unkind and pushy.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Cascada de las Animas is a full service eco-tourism resort located in a natural paradise of over 3700 hectares of rugged mountains and valleys, rivers, springs and waterfalls. Only 60 kilometers from Santiago Chile, you will find a wide assortment of delightful cabins, rooms, hostel accommodations, a full service restaurant, swimming pool and more, all located in a park-like setting. Guided horseback riding, whitewater rafting, trekking, wine tasting excursions and other activities are available year-round. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Cascada De Las Animas Hotel San Alfonso
- Cascada De Las Animas Chile/San Alfonso