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“Great hotel for lovers of modern design” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Design Suites Calafate

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Design Suites Calafate
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Calle 598 Numero 190 | Playa Lago Argentino, El Calafate, Argentina   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #44 of 71 Hotels in El Calafate
Amersfoort, The Netherlands
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Great hotel for lovers of modern design”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2012

We choose Design Suites for our stay in El Calafate. Wunderfull place, fantastic view on the lake and mounans, just a bid outside the centreof the city. Excellent service in the hotel. Good and free shuttle to centre.

Hotel is some years old. They need now to pick up on maintenance, as well in- as outside, this is the only little minus.

  • Stayed January 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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587 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (57)
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Lafayette, California
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2012

n December 2011 we were in a group of 30 people visiting Argentina. We stayed in all 4 Design Suites properties and had inferior experiences in all of them. Our group had 16 rooms for 14 nights + as some people arrived early and others extended their stays. Without exception the staffs were not helpful and never did anything to show they appreciated our business. The Califate hotel is only good if you have a car. We did not. The hotel is located far out of town. There is a shuttle bus but it only operates in the evenings and then it only runs once an hour. While we were there, it never had enough room for all of the guests who wanted to go into town no matter what time. Yes it is on the lake but only half the rooms face the lake. The rest look out on a desolate are totally littered with plastic bags from the nearby dump. When we were there is was hot. It wasn't until the second day after a very hot night that we learned they had portable air conditioners....but to use one the window has to be left open because the hose from the unit isn't fitted properly to the window. The staff belongs in a special category of employees who seem not to be aware that they work in a service industry as they do not know the meaning of the word service.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DesignSuitesBUE, Director Comercial at Design Suites Calafate, responded to this review, February 9, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your comments.
We want to express our most sincere apologies for the mentioned disadvantages and regret that you have a bad impression of our hotel.
I hope to meet you again shortly and hopefully receive only Positives next time!!!

Regards,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Top Contributor
261 reviews 261 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 83 cities Reviews in 83 cities
119 helpful votes 119 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2012

I usually book my hotels last minute and I was worried as I heard that El Calafete was scarce in hotel choices. I really lucked out on both price and location; I tell u this hotel is the place to be in town! Perched on top of the town it overlooks the lake and mountains. My room was quite nice, it could use a clock but then again folks come here to forget about everything and get lost in the most breath taking nature views found on the planet. Half the hotel appears to be made of glass giving guest great views. There at nightly shuttle bus that offer late night rides into town. The staff was quite friendly and the property has magnificent unobstructed views. The one downfall I had was with the food quality, I like my food and I found the dinner to be mediocre, you should take advantage of free shuttle and wander into town and eat at one the establishments such as La Tablita. The staff called me a taxi one day and I ended having him take me up to see the most gorgeous spots on the planet, the glaciers which is about an hour ride out of town. Trust me this place rocks!

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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DesignSuitesBUE, Director Comercial at Design Suites Calafate, responded to this review, February 2, 2012
Dear Guest,

Many thanks for your kind comments!
It's a great satisfaction to know that you could enjoy your stay and see some details that we differentiate ourselves and surprise guests.
At Design Suites we work very hard to achieve excellence, hence all suggestions help us to improve our aim.

We look forward to welcoming you among our guests in the near future.

Sincerly yours,
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Sydney
Top Contributor
97 reviews 97 reviews
45 hotel reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
88 helpful votes 88 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2012

The hotel is located on the outskirts of town, but with a commanding view of the lake and mountains. It is hard to find, and, if driving, get directions at the police post at the entrance to the town (assuming you are coming from the airport or the north). We called the hotel for directions and got lost, eventually asking another hotel for help.

The approach to the hotel (past the rubbish dump) and along bumpy and dusty roads isn't great. When you finally see the hotel it is a relief.

For us, the relief was short lived. No one helped us with luggage, or even opened the door for us (arriving or leaving). Next there was the usual discussion over the rate booked. Make sure you print out everything because they don't believe anything you tell them without evidence.

The room itself was great. Clean and spacious. The big problem is that there was no air conditioning. The windows don't open far and the heat in the room was stifling.

The meal at the restaurant was good, but expensive. Breakfast was average.

We used laundry and paid about 3x what we paid elsewhere in South America (including high end city hotels). They charge 50% more for same day laundry.

I wouldn't stay here again. There must be better options in El Calafate.

You pay a huge premium for the words "design" and "suites", and the view from the rooms.

If you decide to stay here, choose a lakeview room. Otherwise your money is wasted.

  • Stayed January 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DesignSuitesBUE, Director Comercial at Design Suites Calafate, responded to this review, January 16, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to write your comments about your experience at our hotel.

We want to express our most sincere apologies for the mentioned disadvantages and regret that you have a bad impression of our hotel.

At Design Suites we work very hard to achieve excellence, hence all suggestions help us to improve our aim.

We look forward to welcoming you back to Design Suites Calafate Hotel.

Sincerly yours,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2012

I’ve lived and travelled quite extensively throughout Latin America, Africa, Asia, Europe and the US – and this is one of the worst hotels I’ve stayed at. I’m just glad that we only had to put up with the horrible service for one night/one day.

Starting with our arrival, I had to bring eight suitcases and bags from the taxi to the front desk without anyone available or offering to help. After checking in, I went to get one of the luggage carts from the front entrance myself and only after loading it and bringing them half way to the elevators did one of the front desk attendants come help us with our luggage.
When we arrived at our “Junior Suite,” we entered into a tiny, over-heated room that barely fit a bed and two small chairs. I asked to confirm that it was a “Junior Suite” and the front desk attendant curtly said that it was.

We tried to order a box lunch for the next day, but since we were past the deadline, we were told that we needed to place the order at 6am the next morning. It would have been nice to have them leave the order with the kitchen. But not a problem, we’d wake up early to place the order.

Attempting to go to sleep, we heard lots of grinding noises at around midnight. We finally put earplugs in and that at least got us through the night.

The next morning we woke up to place the order by phone and were told that we needed to come to the restaurant in person. Then even after getting there, it was very difficult to get anyone’s attention to place the order.

Not feeling well and needing to pack, my girlfriend grabbed a banana to go. The restaurant attendant then promptly took out a sign, called me over and tapped on the sign to tell me that he was going to charge me 25 Argentinian pesos for the banana.

Then to top it off, at the end of the day, upon return from our day excursion three hours before our flight, we asked the front desk to book a taxi for two hours before the flight. The attendant (not the same as last night) said that we only needed 90 minutes and that we should stay at the hotel to have some food and beverages instead. Sounding like a good option, we followed his guidance.

Unfortunately, the taxi did not arrive at the requested time. The front desk attendant explained that they’re often 5-10 min late. Not a problem. Just after 10 min, a taxi arrives and another guest who had only been waiting for a few minutes, is escorted to the cab. The attendant explains that it is the other guest’s cab – and that ours was a specific taxi driver that takes people to/from the airport. While I’m fine with hotel staff directing better fares to their friends, it’s not acceptable when they’re 20 minutes late and we’re at risk of missing our flight.

To spend 1300 Argentinian pesos (over US$300) per night for this experience, I’d suggest that you pass and find any other hotel.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DesignSuitesBUE, Director Comercial at Design Suites Calafate, responded to this review, January 23, 2012
Dear Guest,

We appreciate very much your comments, which help us to improve our standards of service.

We want to express our most sincere apologies for the mentioned disadvantages and regret that you have a bad impression of our hotel.

In this regard, we have acted accordingly to your comments, and want to let you know that the necessary adjustments have been successfully made.

It is important for us to keep a close relationship with our customers, which is why we appreciate your remarks.


Kind regards,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2012

Arrived after long flight we went to get the free shuttle into town for dinner (which only runs at night by the way). Got to foyer at 6.45pm for 7pm bus. Didn't charge to the bus unfortunately as it became full before we got on. Went to desk. "Next one at 8pm". "Is there another one seeing that was full?" "No, next one is 8pm." We then went to the bar and had an expensive drink while we waited for an hour. 8pm shuttle came. People pushed and shoved on to it. Full again before we got on. Went to desk and complained that that was the second one that was full. They couldn't have cared less. Told us another one would come in an hour. We asked for them to pay for a taxi. They refused. We ended up getting a taxi at 8.20pm and paying ourselves. One hour and 35 minutes after we arrived in the foyer! Stay in town!!!! Bus only goes in the evening so in the day it's also a taxi!

We also had big hard pillows so had to sleep first night on bad pillows. They were replaced the next night.

Shower flooded the floor totally and no way to avoid this so we had a bathroom covered in sodden towels all the time!

The tea and coffee in the restaurant was terrible and undrinkable. The floor in the restaurant was always dirty and rarely cleaned so covered in food. Breakfast was hardly worth the effort. (only cooked food was inedible scrambled eggs every morning).

Carpet was dirty and stained and the rug on the floor was old and needed replacing.

Could hear everything going on in the bathroom next door.



The surroundings were terrible as it was located next to the town rubbish tip and there was rubbish blown all over the place, including old plastic bags all over the surrounding houses fences that the owners never removed. We knew we were nearing the hotel when we saw the rubbish all over the countryside. Doesn't this town, El Calafate have some pride in that they clean up the blown rubbish or the rubbish tip install a fence around it? This far detracted from the ok view from Design Suites.

Stay in town. It was depressing coming back to the hotel. The town is far nicer and forget the view, the town is lovely!

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brussels, Belgium
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
54 hotel reviews
Reviews in 54 cities Reviews in 54 cities
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2012

The hotel has fantastic views over Lago Argentino. The rooms are nice and modern with large windows.
The name 'design' can be misleading - this is a modern hotel, but certainly not 'design' (nor are the rooms suites). It is fine, but no great shakes. It is also quite a way out of town, so you either need to take the shuttle (which only goes in the evenings), get a taxi, or face a long and dusty 45 minute walk. Breakfast was not worth getting up for, nor was the coffee. We were lucky as the hotel was quite empty so we didn't have the noise problems mentioned by some of the other reviewers.
We enjoyed our stay though and the views more than made up for any shortcomings.

Room Tip: Worth getting a room with a view on the lake.
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Design Suites Calafate

Address: Calle 598 Numero 190 | Playa Lago Argentino, El Calafate, Argentina
Location: Argentina > Patagonia > Province of Santa Cruz > El Calafate
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#5 Spa Hotel in El Calafate
#15 Luxury Hotel in El Calafate
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Design Suites Calafate 4.5*
Number of rooms: 60
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated about one mile from El Calafate downtown, the Design Suites Calafate is an excellent choice for guests who seek tranquility during their holidays.This boutique hotel is located in the upper area of the Nimes Peninsula, where you can admire the low vegetation, hills and lake invite during a pleasant walk. If you want to visit the city, the hotel offers a shuttle to downtown on a regular basis.As a guest of the Design Suites Calafate, you will have free access to the heated pool, sauna and gym. In addition, the hotel provides a health club and spa treatments in order to optimize your relaxation during your stay.A restaurant and a bar provide meals and drinks from the morning until late at night. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Design Suites Calafate Hotel El Calafate
Design Hotel El Calafate
Design Hotel Calafate
Design Suites Calafate El Calafate, Argentina - Patagonia

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