Ski Portillo is a simply beautiful place to be. The ambiance of the mountains and the lake is beyond gorgeous. The hotel is very nice - we stayed in the Inca Lodge - which is more like a hostel. My father, husband and I wanted desperately to travel to Portillo in August, but wanted to keep the price under control. In effort to save money, we agreed to stay in the Inca Lodge. The Inca Lodge reminded me of a college dorm, but with much smaller rooms. It was exactly what we were told it was - this is not a negative review! The rooms had 4 beds (bunks) and small closet area with shelves. Very limited space - but this was expected. Bathrooms are communal - and while they aren't awful - you most definitely would want to wear flip flops in the shower. There were about 5 shower stalls, 4 toilets and a large sink area. To our surprise there was a maid service daily - beds were made (not sure if sheets were changed, but doubtful). Fresh towel each day - didn't expect that! When staying in the Inca Lodge, you eat meals in the cafeteria. This was fine - 3 meals a day plus "tea time" - which includes rolls, snack and coffee/tea. We had a great time - but please do be aware that the Inca Lodge is bare bones. Cleanliness is not top notch. It is a place to rest your head and shower - literally. We were fine with this, but I wanted to write this review because I couldn't find any before we left!
The food was good - nothing fancy. Breakfast always had rolls, cereal, yogurt, eggs to order, fruit, coffee, tea and orange juice. Lunch and Dinner were similar- 2 options of meat/fish - usually pork, beef or fish. Rice, Pasta, Veggies - always some type of cold salad as well. By the end of the week, we had had enough of it! But again, not complaining - it was good and it was exactly what we paid for. The staff we always friendly and helpful. They arranged a day out of bounds/back country for my Dad and Husband and were so helpful with that process. The skiing was excellent slopes well maintained. The large living room on the 2nd floor of the hotel was a great place to relax - and had good wireless internet reception. Also - throughout the day (not all day) the coffee/tea bar was open and this was a nice treat!
We did eat in the restaurant where hotel guests eat, one night. It was good. A bit warm in there - and a little bit crowded. To be honest, while it was nice, I would not have wanted to eat there 3 meals a day. The cafeteria where we ate was much more laid back and casual. No "seating times" etc in the cafeteria. You can pay for an upgrade to the dining room if you stay in the Inca Lodge. The next option up was the Octagon Lodge. Next time, we would stay there. It has a more "motel like" setting - private bathroom and larger rooms.
I see in other reviews "if you didn't ski, there wasn't much to do". This is reasonably true. This resort is really for skiers. Otherwise, reading, relaxing, swimming, fitness room are available. The resort is all by itself, there is not anything nearby. We like that dynamic - but I know some people prefer more options of entertainment.
Speaking of entertainment - there were movies, fashion show (by Patagonia), pro skiers spoke (Chris Davenport) etc - in the evenings. That was neat because it gave us something to do outside of our tiny Inca Lodge room.
The bar was neat - small, but cozy and we enjoyed many glasses of wine there. Everything is Al la Cart and added to your bill - paid on the last day! Be careful! :)
THere is a very friendly vibe here - people interact, socialize and it seemed like many visitors were return visitors - already knew staff (who seem to come back year after year) and recalled other travelers from past visits. That was nice to see. Family friendly - many children running around. The hotel is simple, unique - perhaps for the price, people expect more - but I can see that Portillo is putting forth an effort to keep things the way they were...simple, friendly and cozy.
Overall we had a great time at Ski Portillo. I would recommend this resort to others - keeping in mind that if you pay the rate to stay in the hotel, it is a simple, rustic place. The value of the location is what you pay for. The Inca Lodge "does the job" - but be ready for a hostel environment and don't expect anything more. The Octagon Lodge would be my choice if we return.
Above ratings are for the Inca Lodge. Staying on the Mt. side offers a great view - but you will hea...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.