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“I wouldn't get the suite” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Blanca Patagonia

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Blanca Patagonia
4.0 of 5 Boutique Hotel   |   Capitan Soto 3555, Parque Nacional los Glaciares No 149 | B° los Guias, El Calafate 09405, Argentina   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #41 of 71 Hotels in El Calafate
Los Angeles, California
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“I wouldn't get the suite”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2013

On the surface there's nothing wrong with Blanca, it has a cabin like feel with lots of wood and stone, the people are nice, and it has some amazing views of the lake. It was a little outside of town, but nothing more than a 30 peso cab ride and we walked in a few times, which only took about 35 minutes.

One thing to definitely note is that this is a CASH ONLY HOTEL. Not a huge deal, but you'll want to either bring a lot of cash or make sure you have time for a trip to the ATM before you pay. What's nice is they can arrange a lot of activities for you and then you can just pay the hotel for everything, however, once again, you'll need a lot of cash.

It was our honeymoon so we rented the suite thinking we should splurge for the special occasion. The suite was large and came with the jacuzzi tub and a nice stone wall. However, outside of those few things there was nothing particularly special about the room. The carpet was old and cheap, the bed average, and there were very few windows. Once again, nothing devastatingly wrong with the room, but nothing to make it worth the added expense of a suite.

We did have a few specific problems with our stay though. One of the window frames in the room had suffered some wear and was drooping away from the glass allowing bugs to get in.

Also, there is a weird system of 5 heaters in the room that all work independently from each other. Even after turning them all off it was still unbearably hot in the room, like a sauna, and we couldn't bear to stay in the room during the day. This might have been wonderful in the cold winter, but it was still the end of summer and still very hot. In fact, the whole hotel was overheated and looking around it seems like they could benefit from some ceiling fans, air conditioning units, or air vents to get the air circulating.

Because it was so hot, I slept with the covers off and got absolutely eaten alive by mosquitoes. We told the hotel about this, but they didn't seem overly concerned about it and had it not been for my following up on the issue I'm not sure if we would have been kept in the loop or even had the issue fixed. They did fix it in time for our last and final night, but once the furnace or whatever they changed was turned off, the heaters in our room started dripping water throughout the night. Once again, not something that ruined our entire stay, but it almost did and it certainly wasn't worth the price of the luxury suite.

I didn't see the other rooms, nor did I hear about them, so I can't say whether or not they had similar problems. I did sit out on the deck a little, which has an amazing view of the lake, however, they could use a few more chairs out there and maybe some cushions for them.

Room Tip: Don't rent the suite
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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176 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (8)
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Cape Town
Top Contributor
124 reviews 124 reviews
66 hotel reviews
Reviews in 68 cities Reviews in 68 cities
129 helpful votes 129 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2013

This a small hotel located about 4 km west of the town centre, which is both an advantage and a drawback. It has beautiful views over the lake and they've made the most of this by installing huge glass windows everywhere. The lounge area is really nice to just sit and relax in. There is a possibility to dine there at night, but I didn't make use of that option as one has to reserve in advance and I never knew where I would be. Breakfast was ok, and on the last morning of three the boiled eggs were actually warm :-) Other than that, a few slices of ham and cheese, loads of sweet pastries and yoghurt. I had the room right at the end of the passage, which was great. The bed was comfortable, and there was adequate heating in the room and bathroom. It had a big TV, mini bar (hideously expensive though) and a kettle with complimentary tea only (no coffee). The bathroom had a hair drier and the usual soap and shampoo.

They insist on payment in cash though, which is a nuisance.
Lucia at reception is very helpful and will arrange anything you need.

The distance from town isn't a big deal if you're going on excursions, as all the companies pick up and drop off here, but getting back to town for a meal or whatever is really expensive. A taxi ride costs about 40 pesos one way.

Don't miss the glacerium while you're in Calafate, it's really worth the 95 pesos.

All in all I'd recommend this place if you just want a few days to chill and relax and not go into town much. Otherwise, there are many very nice hotels in the centre of Calafate too.

Room Tip: Top floor would be best. They all face the lake, as do the ground floor ones.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Hong Kong, China
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

We have spent two nights at Bungalow. The cabin was very nice, spacious and beautiful.
The views was very good. I like it very much. The staff was helpful and nice.
It is highly recommended for those who wanted to stay in a comfortable and relaxing way with affordable price

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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San Francisco, California
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

The hotel was beautiful and exactly what we hoped for when visiting El Calafate. When you arrive you immediately see the amazing views of Lago Argentina and Patagonian hills through the lobby windows. The staff is extremely kind, accommodating and helpful with excursions, restaurants and transportation. The rooms are quaint and charming with all of the amenities you might need. A breakfast is included with the stay and was great in the morning. I would recommend this hotel to couples and those who want a quiet stay with amazing views. The hotel is about 5 minutes from the center of town (30 peso cab ride) and every time we headed into town we had a cab at the door within 5 minutes. If you want the views and serenity you have to stay outside of the town center. They also have the friendliest dogs/cats that scamper about the grounds as well. Would stay here again in a heartbeat!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

The hotel was beautiful and exactly what we hoped for when visiting El Calafate. When you arrive you immediately see the amazing views of Lago Argentina and Patagonian hills through the lobby windows. The staff is extremely kind, accommodating and helpful with excursions, restaurants and transportation. The rooms are quaint and charming with all of the amenities you might need. A breakfast is included with the stay and was great in the morning. I would recommend this hotel to couples and those who want a quiet stay with amazing views. The hotel is about 5 minutes from the center of town (30 peso cab ride) and every time we headed into town we had a cab at the door within 5 minutes. If you want the views and serenity you have to stay outside of the town center. They also have the friendliest dogs/cats that scamper about the grounds as well. Would stay here again in a heartbeat!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northamptonshire, UK
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

Definitely a 'couples' place to stay as stated in previous reviews and in our view well worth it's status as one of the most romantic hotels in El Calafate according to Tripadvisor!

LIke most of the better hotels in El Calafate, 'Blanca Patagonia' is located slightly out of town at the western edge of the town, up a reasonably steep gravel track off the main Avenida Libertador road that leads right into the town centre; we walked it once and it took around 35 mins which may be a bit much for some - ok if you're reasonably fit and dressed for it, otherwise it's a taxi ride (around ARS$15-20 each way from memory). If you plan to go out for dinner to one of the many good restaurants (i.e. non-pizza joints) in El Calafate, you'll almost certainly need a taxi there and back.

Back to the hotel, the public areas including breakfast and seperate dining areas are all wooden and open plan, and provide simply awesome views of Lago Argentino and surrounds (see pics) - the views from the bedrooms are similarly breathtaking. I would agree with another reviewer that the hotel isn't particularly child-friendly - most of the stairways and mezzanine floors have 'open' bannisters - worth bearing in mind if you're travelling with yound children.

We thought the breakfast were ok - the usual fare by Argentine standards, ie meats, queso, bread, pastries, jams, a couple of cereals, fruit juices and cold hard-boiled eggs. Breakfast is served from around 7:00am, which gives you just enough time to eat before the trip mini-buses start picking you up from 7:15am onwards. We didn't dine in the hotel - not many guests seemed to while we were staying there.

Our bedroom (one of the larger ones) was very quiet, clean and comfortable, if perhaps a little dated in design now; ours had a safe, mini-bar, good-size double-bed and a decent wardrobe with hanging space. The bathroom had a large 'whirlpool' bath and shower, bidet and toilet. Due to the under-floor heating in the bathroom, our room got very warm indeed during the night - so much so that we had to sleep with the bedroom window propped open!

We found the staff on reception to be friendly and helpful throughout our stay - we had two problems (one on arrival) of our own making which were resolved promptly and courteously; a relatively minor criticism in the great scheme of things was that we thought the service at the hotel lacked a little interaction, warmth and charm - not enough to spoil our stay or not recommend it to anyone - it would have been the icing on the cake.

Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Blanca Patagonia and would whole-heartedly recommend it.

We thought the food we eat in El Calafate was amongst the best we had in our entire trip around Argentina, but it's worth seeking out the good eateries and not just settling for many of the convenience restaurants along the main strip in town - there are several of these! We are by nature 'foodies' and did our homework beforehand (again mostly via Tripadvisor, so read the seperate reviews). The ones we visited were:
Mi Rancho (small, intimate, great food - 8 out of 10)
Quido (located in another hotel, around five minutes' walk from Blanca Patagonia - 8 out of 10)
La Tablita (over-priced and over-rated in our opinion, but everyone goes there - 7 out of 10)

Room Tip: To the best of our knowledge, all bedrooms are north-facing and offer stupendous views of Lago Argen...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
San Jose, California
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

This place is away from town, so you will need to commute by taxi (~ US$5 each way), or by car if you rent one.
The design of the lobby is impressive, with a huge window overlooking the Lago Argentino. Lots of wood and exposed beams, rustic coutry style with nice decorative touches, including the huge candelabra.
We got a 2 bedroom cabin outside of the main building. It was very convenient for us, 2 couples.
One of the rooms was a queen size bed, reasonable size. The other room is very small with 2 single beds.
The bathroom is VERY small, in any standards. The curtain of the shower saw better days, was ripped and out most of the hooks. The whole bar fell when hanging a towel on it.
The Kitchen is functional and you have all the necessary tools, if you want to cook.
The living room is tiny, but has a GREAT panoramic view of the lake.
Heating is VERY GOOD, and you need it here as it gets really cold and can be very windy at night.
The Jacuzzi is part of the "fitness center". Do not expect much here. You will see it in the pictures of the hotel WEB site, but in reality there is just one bike and one treadmill (old equipment), and the place is locked and you have to ask the front desk to open it for you.
The Jacuzzi is turned off (to save energy I guess), and you have to ask the front desk to turn the heating on then wait more than 2 hours until the water is warm enough to get in. There was one plastic lounge chair in the Jacuzzi area, and it was broken.
The Breakfast is descent and very complete and much better then most US hotels. You get a good selection of breads, fruit, juice, eggs, ham, cheese, butter, home baked cakes, croissants, jams. We found that if you come in the first shift you get the cakes and croissants from the previous day, and after they are gone they bring the fresh ones out.
There is also a coffee and tea area, with a toaster. The place is not very clean, and you can find a thick layer of dust on the shelves. (I will add pictures at some point).
The hotel has a restaurant, and they want you to make reservation and choice of food at least one hour in advance. Do it early or you will find that some of the items on the menu are "gone", like the Lasagna or the gnocchi. The food was VERY fresh, prepared to order, good presentation and descent portions. Overall good quality, tasty and good prices, ~ US$15-20 per person including soft drinks. Service was excellent and very personal. VERY convenient to eat there when you are tired after a long day of outdoor activities.
You can order tours from the front desk with no additional charge, and most tour operators will pick you up from and drop you off to the hotel. The hotel can also prepare a lunch bag for ~ US$10 per person, including a sandwich, fruit, bar, water. Very convenient if you take a boat tour leaving early.
Good value for the price, if you do not need to be on the 6 block main strip of El Calafate.

Room Tip: The cabins are a good choice for families of for 2 couples, if you are OK with a very tiny bathroom.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Blanca Patagonia

Address: Capitan Soto 3555, Parque Nacional los Glaciares No 149 | B° los Guias, El Calafate 09405, Argentina
Location: Argentina > Patagonia > Province of Santa Cruz > El Calafate
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#14 Luxury Hotel in El Calafate
#20 Family Hotel in El Calafate
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Blanca Patagonia 4*
Number of rooms: 13
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Blanca Patagonia El Calafate, Argentina

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