I booked a stay in the cabins this past July for a group of volunteers who were working in Santiago. It was a great way to get out of the city and relax after a week of very hard work. While my group enjoyed the experience, the headaches I had to deal with from the staff have were more than enough for me to advise the volunteer organization to absolutely never recommend this place to groups again. However, I have since heard that another group went after ours and had similar unauthorized charges appear.
From the start when I was making all the arrangements, I was told that not everything would be available, as it was the winter. Since some of the activities are packaged together (wine tour, zip-lining, etc.) I inquired as to whether we would be advised of the conditions in advance and if we would still be charged the full price if we were unable to take part in all the activities for which we had signed up. Unfortunately that seemed to set off the woman with whom I was corresponding and all communication henceforth was extremely unpleasant, to say the least.
After that point I noticed that the prices on our invoice had mysteriously increased. The transportation that was supposed to be included in the wine tour was now extra and I was being charged an exorbitant price. At first I offered apologies, thinking that there had been a misunderstanding when making the arrangements, as I do not speak much Spanish. I was very curtly told, no, the transportation was not included in my situation.
At one point after coming back from dinner, one cabin found that they no longer had any hot water. I called the information desk to see if someone could come out to fix it and was told "I don't speak English" and was hung up on. I tried again, using my broken Spanish to explain that we had no hot water but could fix it ourselves if they told us how, and again was hung up on. The volunteers then took it upon themselves to find and fix the water heater so it was no longer an issue.
The meals at the restaurant went over very well with everyone although the prices are very steep (the advantage of being the only option on site). We also went on the wine tour to Concha y Toro (beautiful, great wine), zip-lining (fun but very short) and hiking up to the waterfalls (great view, not too difficult for beginner hikers). Unfortunately the customer service was what really put a damper on the experience.
Furthermore, when I looked at my next credit card statement, they had added on hundreds of dollars worth of extra charges without my knowledge. Requests for more information from Cascada were unanswered so I took it to Visa and claimed the unauthorized charge. I finally got a notice that they had received a copy of my receipt from Cascada and the charge would remain. However, this was a falsified receipt, is lacking my signature and absolutely constitutes fraud. And that is not including the increased transportation charges that I gave up on questioning. I intend to pursue this further with visa and hope that other groups do not have even half the problems that we had there.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Cascada de las Animas is a full service eco-tourism resort located in a natural paradise of over 3700 hectares of rugged mountains and valleys, rivers, springs and waterfalls. Only 60 kilometers from Santiago Chile, you will find a wide assortment of delightful cabins, rooms, hostel accommodations, a full service restaurant, swimming pool and more, all located in a park-like setting. Guided horseback riding, whitewater rafting, trekking, wine tasting excursions and other activities are available year-round. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Cascada De Las Animas Hotel San Alfonso
- Cascada De Las Animas Chile/San Alfonso