Before I launch into all my complaints let me say how grateful I am to have the opportunity to travel and view amazing sights such as Iguazu Falls.
Now let me say this is the most horrible hotel I have ever set foot in. I could not escape fast enough. I would have paid anything to get out of there. Do not let the glamorous website fool you; it is nothing like the website. First, it is just off the highway and half of it is under construction, so it looks like a cheap roadside motel. The energy inside is downright scary. Totally dead and deserted. The guy who works the front desk basically looks terrified any time you approach. It is totally understaffed. The front desk guy was basically the only one there, so he was the reception and bell boy, which meant he did not show me or explain anything. He just basically tossed my bag in my room and ran back down to resume answering phones. I tried to ask him if they have people they can call in to do massage and he cut me short with a firm NO and kept walking up to my room with my bag. I also called reception from pool phone after reading about some restaurants in guide book and on trip advisor to have him make a reservation. The restaurant I wanted to go to specifically said to make reservations. I called reception to request they make a reservation for me and he said to call later from my room. Instead of calling for me or making note to call later when restaurant opened, he wanted to run up more phone calls?
The hotel is totally run down. I was under the impression from trip advisor that it was a new hotel. The bright red carpets are dirty and tattered and the walls have tons of black scuff marks and chipped paint. The hallway carpets are also dirty and warn and my room stank of stale cigarette smoke. So much so that when I came back from pool the house keeper was spraying the most dreadful air freshener in my room.
Let's get to the most important issue: THE HOTEL IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION!!!!! and it is VERY noisy. I booked a 3 day weekend in Iguazu through a tour company in BA. I have never booked a group tour before and now I know why. I specifically told my booking agent that I wanted the first flight out of BA in the morning so I could spend the day relaxing by pool. I had read on trip advisor that there was construction at the hotel and that is was "not a problem". LIES! I seriously think the three positive reviews on trip advisor were written by the hotel. I specifically asked my booking agent about the construction and he got back to me saying it was not a problem. it is! You are staying in a half finished hotel and that is what it feels like. The construction is evident even I the lobby, but the worst is the pool.
After my arrival I quickly put on my swim suit and headed to the pool for my wonderful long day of reading and relaxing by pool. First the pool area is so much more cheap looking than the photos on website. I tried to make the best of it and settled into one of the cheap plastic chaise lounges and ordered a snack. There is no nice view from pool. Just a cheap playground and some areas where the construction guys are working. The music at pool is blaring! So loud there was no relaxing or reading to be had. I suppose they cranked it up to try and drown out the construction noise, which did not work. The construction is basically right over the pool, so you are basically lounging in a construction zone complete with power tools.
It was at this point that I realized I had to move hotels immediately. I literally ran to reception to have them call my tour Booker to move me. I a telling you I would have paid $1000US dollars to move to Panoramic hotel immediately. The people at front desk are totally incompetent and have no business in the hospitality industry. Their English is not good if that is an issue for you. I speak enough Spanish to get by with the basics.
They also milk you for every penny. They charge for wi-fi (panoramic hotel does not). I paid for one hour of wi-fi and then wanted to change it to full day of wi-fi and instead of applying the one hour fee to the all day fee they charged me full day fee on top of the one hour. I tried to have them make most of my calls to tour operator from front desk so I would not have to pay to call from my room, but I was so desperate that I did go back to my room to make more phone calls. When I brought it up to them at check out, saying I needed to make calls due to construction, they still charged me. You would think they could comp those small amounts to compensate for construction. I basically called the Panoramic hotel myself to see if there was room, gave them my credit card, told them to send a car immediately and that I would work it out with the tour operator later as it was already around 2:30 and my day of relaxation was slipping away.
I was thankfully able relocate to the Panoramic Hotel, which was the other hotel I was mainly considering. What a mistake to book the Tourbillon instead. I usually go for top of the line hotels and was considering booking the Hotel das Cataratas which is on The Brazilian side inside the park. If I had it to do over I would book the Hotel das Cataratas and not book a tour of Brazilian falls as they are literally outside your door step. This whole experience really reinforced the necessity to book the best when in super touristy areas. Don't get me wrong, I don't mean you need to stay only at Four Seasons or Oberoi. I have had wonderful stays in smaller boutique lodgings in places like Bali, Thailand and Guatemala. It's a matter of attention to detail and a nice caring staff. If you are used to Four Seasons or Oberoi I would say the only hotel for you is Hotel das Cataratas. I normally go all out and this time I told myself I was already spending a month I BA and the side trip to Iguazu did not have to be top of the line. Mistake.
I was VERY happy to relocate to Panoramic Hotel. The view is magnificent and pool area is amazing. It is not anywhere near the level of an Oberoi, Four Season's or Penninsula, but compared to Hotel Tourbillon it is paradise!
The only good thing about Tourbillon is the adorable and sweet pool boy with 2 different colored eyes.
If you are interested in my opinion on Panoramic you can view that review.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Tourbillon Hotel is located on National Route 12, KM 4,5, 5 minutes from downtown Puerto Iguazu and only 15 minutes from the Falls and Iguazu International Airport. Services: swimming pool, solarium and Jacuzzi, Pool Snack Bar, Lobby Bar, Restaurant with à la carte menu and buffet, Play room, Internet center, Wi-Fi, Laundry, Free Parking, Tours & Transfers. The Hotel has 28 comfortable rooms, 24 Triple Garden and 4 Suite Junior with view to the garden or pool. Services: Air conditioning cold-hot, Telephone, Internet WI-FI, jacuzzy, hair dryer, cable TV with 32 "LCD, Minibar, Room Service, Safe Box, laundry, and private balcony with table and chairs. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Priceline and Otel so you can book your Gran Hotel Tourbillon reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.