It's hard to know where to start with this place, so I'll just list the reasons why it's so awful
1. Rude, arrogant and obnoxious receptionist (the guy in the afternoon). I think he believed he was being funny, but he managed to insult the English, Chileans and Americans within 5 minutes with his "hilarious" comments. And his answers to simple questions were just plain rude.
2. Ridiculous payment system: You have to prepay the entire stay otherwise you don't get the key to the room. We arrived late (8.30pm), after a really long day's drive and just wanted to get a room to sleep in. The hotel had been recommended in an old Time Out we had so we thought we'd give it a go. So we paid for the 2 nights, despite the obnoxious receptionist. Terrible mistake.
3. Completely un-soundproofed rooms: You can hear absolutely everything that happens in the next door room. We were in 223 and from 222 we heard the occupants' late night phone conversations word for word ("Vimos dos gatitos!!!!!!!!!!"), toilet flushing and amorous encounters (they must have been on honeymoon). From 224, we heard the tv, despite it being obviously on low volume.
4. The hotel is falling apart. The pool hasn't been maintained and, as such, you can pick bits of cement from the bottom of it. The decking around the pool is warped, rotting and a death trap. The rooms were probably stylish when the hotel first opened, but after 8 or 9 years of zero maintenance were looking tired at best, totally miserable at worst. The carpets were dirty, the bathroom tiles grey. Nasty. The grounds of the hotel are nice, but lacking maintenance as well- the private jetty is chained off and looks like it might collapse.
5. Bariloche itself is a complete dump. I was expecting something like Puerto Varas in Chile (I'm English but have lived in Chile for several years and love the Chilean Lakes Region), but no...Bariloche looks like something a demented Swiss toy maker dreamed up and then vomited onto a hillside. Over-developed and extremely ugly, I will gladly never return. The scenery is lovely, but it's spoilt by the city. Villa La Angostura and San Martin de los Andes are beautiful and much, much better places to stay and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
Overall, I would recommend staying at Penon del Lago if you want to have a terrible holiday, feel like you've been ripped and want to have something to moan about.
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