My wife and I spent two days/two nights here during a two week trip to Argentina. We arranged with the estancia for a private car to pick us up from our hotel in Buenos Aires for the trip out. The car was early, comfortable and the driver told us about the area en route to the estancia... we would definitely recommend arranging a car through the estancia. We arrived late Sunday morning to an impeccably clean room in the estancia. The room was spacious, the bed was comfortable and the bathroom was functional. The room shows gracious signs of aging but was totally in character with what we expected from a rural estancia. We were shown the premises by a courteous woman who spoke only Spanish -- my wife and I only speak English -- but we got the general idea. We were met at mid-day asado by the property manager who greeted us by name and brought over the special side dishes she had especially prepared to accomodate my wife's food allergies. The beef at the multi-course asado was cooked to perfection and was accompanied by an equine performance. The gauchos that led the afternoon ride, although only Spanish-speaking, were excellent guides and were very helpful for two very inexperienced riders like my wife and I. My wife fell in love with several of the owner's very friendly dogs that roamed the property. Dinner was a tasty but low-key affair. As we were drifting off to sleep the first night, my wife remarked how the food and attention we had received made her feel like she was at a much more expensive resort.
The next day, Monday, was a holiday for the property manager so we were cared for by the owner. The gauchos again did an excellent job leading us on the morning ride. The mid-day asado, which had been delayed the day before to allow the meat to cook to perfection, was rushed on day two to accomodate the schedules of a caravan of day-trippers. As a result the meat was unevenly cooked and served in much smaller portions. The owner needed to be reminded of our names several times (including us, there were 8 guests staying at the estancia) and tried to serve my wife foods that would trigger my wife's allergies. My wife had to do without sides, no special arrangements were made. The enjoyment of a different, equally entertaining gaucho show and yet another excellent afternoon ride were tempered by a nearly inedible dinner -- a poor approximation of pizza for me, half-cooked chicken and gravy for my wife. The owner also asked us if we would allow one of her employees to ride with us in our private car on the return trip to Buenos Aires so that he could retrieve one of her vehicles from the shop. The employee in question had been very helpful to us during our stay so we agreed as a favor to him, but the owner did not offer to pay for part of the car ride and so my wife and I were squished into the backseat of the small car.
We enjoyed our stay, but have very mixed feelings about recommending this to others. The warmth of the staff, the great rides and the beautiful scenery was soured by the owner's clear preference for commerce over hospitality. I think we would try somewhere else next time.
- Also Known As:
- Estancia El Ombu De Areco Hotel San Antonio De Areco
- Estancia El Ombu De Areco Hotel
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Recreational activities: Guests can go horse back riding throughout the 300-hectare estancia accompanied by gauchos, enjoying the Pampa with its birds and animals and observing the cattle grazing or feeding their young or wander around the park among the ancient trees and scented flowers. There are several horse rides during the day.They last 1 hour or 1 hour and a half aprox. If you prefer longer or shorter rides, it can be arranged at the estancia. We have horses for both beginners and experienced ridersWe also offer rides in a sulky with a Gaucho driver for those not wishing to ride horses, and bird watching. There are several bycicles available that one can use to get to the river inside the estancia.We have a play room with games and a billard table, soccer and volleyball field And if it´s hot enough, two large swimming ools. Also a game room featuring a fireplace for winter, pool table, ping-pong, foosball, and various board games for children and adults. ... more less