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“Fantastic location, could have been so much better”

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Cascada de las Animas
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in San Alfonso
Certificate of Excellence
Level 5 Contributor
81 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Fantastic location, could have been so much better”
Reviewed May 12, 2013

Went on an overnight trip from Santiago to get out of the city and see the mountains.

Positives: The rafting was really fun and the guides were friendly; the views are spectacular; the cabins are fun and fit the charm of staying in the mountains.

Restaurant was pretty good and the staff were trying hard to be helpful (a rare sight).

Negatives: Customer service is just not there thing...

Rafting: We were told there was no rafting available and then after reminding them we had called to make sure they had spots available, "ok we will make a spot for you, be there in the morning at 10". Showed up at 10 and no one was ready, didnt start until more like 11/11:30. We were there on a very busy day with mostly Chilean visitors and were concerned we wouldn't be able to understand the directions if they were in Spanish (my biggest regret in life is my lack of ability to speak Spanish). We were told they would put us in a boat with other English speakers, not true. They put all the other English speakers on one raft and threw us in with some Chilean's that knew zero English, so my wife and I had to do the trip in Spanish (however our guide Gael, did his best to give us a quick crash course in Spanish rafting terms). Our guide was great and the rafting was fun, but we had no idea what everyone else was talking about.

Hiking: Of course we were 1.5 hours late returning from the rafting (because we started so late) so we missed the horse back ride and did the hike instead after being assured there would be an English speaking tour. Once again, as soon as we started we were told, "Oh no, just a spanish speaking tour"; so my brother had to translate for us (not his favorite thing to do...Five minutes in Spanish = thats a tree, dont touch it). The waterfalls were nice and the views were breathtaking.

Shower: They only had 2 temperatures, really hot and really cold and you could shower for the 5 seconds in between and then jump out again.

I would like to chalk most of the negative up to it being lost in translation (partially our fault); but a smile can go a long way to fixing that and other than our rafting guide there were few of those to be found.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Tstol41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (27)
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English first
Nairobi, Kenya
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed May 4, 2013

Went the first time with a friend and upon arrival, were told that none of the activities would be available. Also, reception had no idea about any of the activities, couldn't explain anything about the different room types and generally lacked any notion of service or customer service. I would say they were downright rude. We took a horseback tour (cabalgata) that was astonishingly beautiful, but the guide explained basically nothing. The views, however, were worth it. The massages were fine, but we waited in the cold for 15 minutes for them to show and in the end, they were extremely light touch despite having told them that we prefer a more "intense" massage. The sauna is outdated, but we enjoyed it nonetheless. The shower in our room was abysmal. You can choose between burning lava hot and Chilean glacier cold. Or you can do like we did and try to take your shower in the 3 seconds in between when there is a brief moment when the temperature reaches a somewhat acceptable range. Our last activity was to be "canopy" (zip-lines across the forest), but at the last second, the guide announced in front of the whole group and all of the employees that I weigh too much to participate and that the manager had taken a look at me and asked him to tell me that I was simply too fat and would likely break the lines. He then later told my friend that was all ridiculous and that it would have been fine but that the manager had made the decision "for other reasons" (maybe because I'd complained about the front desk staff and the poor service?), but didn't want to tell me himself. Also, the food throughout was an interesting combination of "not-really-what-we-ordered" and "not-really-cooked-appropriately", but still somehow quite tasty.

A few weeks later my brother and sister in law came into town and begged me to take them there to this place because they'd seen our pictures on facebook. I begrudgingly agreed. Not surprisingly, again, on arrival, we were made to feel like idiots for having even come. No rafting and no horse rides (even though I had reserved both). Finally, after a string of dirty looks and phone calls, they relented and said they could provide both but that I was really "putting them out". My brother and sister-in-law said the rafting was terrific and that the guides were top-notch. We didn't even try the canopy tour this time (for obvious reasons), and there were several hiccups with the horse tour, so we ended up taking the walking tour. Of course, at the last second, we were told there would be no English-speaking guide, so I would have to translate for all of the English speakers (there was, of course, no please and thank you). Finally, showers were still tragically bad, the food was, hilariously, not one time over two trips, successfully brought to our table as we ordered and we hardly got ANY sleep as a large dog barked outside our cabin basically all night long. Last but not least, at the end, when we were checking out, a guy named Jaime treated us so badly (insulting me, telling me "I know how to do math" when I suggested we use google for the currency conversion), that it really had my blood boiling. A devastatingly bad end to an awful second trip to this place.

My frank opinion is that Cascada de las Animas has the best "product" in terms of views, location, range of activities and facilities (the cabins are lovely minus the terrible showers) hands down. The customer service, however, is SO BAD that by the end we simply expected to pay high prices to be treated badly. The answer is ALWAYS "no" unless you push really hard, and then it's inevitably a begrudged "fine, just this once". But, all in all, we went to take in the beautiful mountains, wildlife and flora. And those things were, I have to say, breathtaking. So it might even be worth going and suffering through one of the worst customer service experiences of your life, but just be prepared and don't back down when they are rude, unkind and pushy.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank MCSTOL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joe Willis J, Public Relations Manager at Cascada de las Animas, responded to this review, May 8, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to review Cascada de las Animas. We truly value the opinions of our guests and we apologize that we did not meet your expectations.

Providing our guests with the best possible hospitality and service has always been our mission – and we want our guests to depart feeling refreshed, appreciated, and eager to return. Your complaints about our staff are extraordinary – and it would appear that in your case our staff failed terribly in our mission. Our staff receives regular training in customer service, and a rigorous certification assessment of our service practices is conducted annually by the highly regarded International Standards Organization (ISO) to insure that we meet or exceed the highest standards possible in the industry. The vast number of excellent reviews that we receive causes us to believe that our attention to our guests is noticed and appreciated.

No staff member would ever be permitted to intentionally insult a guest or perform their work in the manner you describe and remain in our employ. Rest assured that your complaint will be investigated thoroughly and appropriate corrective actions will be taken.

We do appreciate that you enjoyed the quality of our facilities and the beauty and tranquility of our property. Our family has lived on this property for 6 generations and we take great pride in our work and truly love the opportunity to show off our little bit of heaven and have our guests experience what we are so lucky to enjoy every day.

If you should return again to Cascada de las Animas, I would love to have the opportunity to speak with you directly, so please ask for me. I would also welcome the chance to speak with you by telephone if would give me a call. You may reach me at 56 2 8611303. We hope to see you again in the future and wish you the very best.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed April 13, 2013

My daughter is going to college in Santiago, Chile and my husband and I recently went to visit her for two weeks. While she was in school during the week, we decided to leave town for a little getaway. I did research on Tripadvisor and liked what I read about Cascada de las Animas. This place is beyond wonderful. As others have said, the luxury suites at the lodge are like living in a fairytale. Much of the property is made with geodesic dome structures but the suites are shaped like mushrooms with whimsical wings on the windows. Some of the suites have a skylight to look at the stars at night. The number of stars and the galaxies that can be seen with the naked eye are amazing. There are cabins and camping accommodations as well as horseback riding, swimming, kayaking, zip lining, canopy zip lining, hiking, rafting and tours of the wineries in the area. We had a van pick us up at our hotel in Santiago and return us to the same location for $70.000 Chilean dollars which is about $140 for both of us. It was worth not having any hassles and the van was very comfortable. The best part though, was meeting the staff that run the lodge. We were greeted by a beautiful young lady named Maria Salvador. She showed us to our room and gave us towels for the private pool, just for lodge guests (beautiful, but not heated by the way). My husband and I hiked to the Cascades. It was a nice easy trail but pretty views. The next morning, we had breakfast at the lodge. They had a fantastic spread but also a chef that offered to make us anything we wanted to eat. My husband had french toast and I had eggs. The food was outstanding. At that time, we met David, the brother of Maria. He was extremely professional and runs the lodge like a 5 star hotel. He was a wealth of knowledge about Chile, the area and just a wonderful guy. By the way, he speaks English. By the end of the stay, we felt like we were family, and we were only there for 3 days. We have traveled throughout the world, and this place is now number one on our list. It is a wonderful get away that is only about 1 hour and 20 minutes from Santiago. The cost for the suites is $100.000 or about $200 dollars. Well worth it when you compare it to what you get for that price in Santiago.

Room Tip: Ask for the rooms with the skylight if you want to see the stars. Some rooms have better views of th...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank wunderful
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed March 31, 2013

WOW! Our second last night on a three week trip to Chile, and we stumbled across this resort! We stayed in one of the unique, fairy tale cabins at the lodge. You have to see them to believe them! They are spacious and clean, and if you wake up in the middle of the night, you can see the stars through the window in the ceiling. The price included a wonderful breakfast, complete with freshly made scrambled eggs. The resort also offers activities such as canopy/zip lining, whitewater rafting, hiking, etc. for sports enthusiasts. Highly, HIGHLY recommend a stay here.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank DeniseLCalgary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 29, 2013

I went to stay at Cascada de Las Animas with my wife and kids this March and words would fall short of the unique experience we had there. We were staying in one of their newly build lodges, which almost made us believe we had stepped into a fairytale. The architecture and commodities were simply marvelous, and the prices are more than reasonable.
Included in our stay was a wonderful breakfast and a complimentary guided walk to the waterfall, which is an absolute must-see.
The next day we found out that Cascada is not only a wonderful hotel, but actually has a wide range of activities available. We decided to book a rafting trip, which was our first time so we were a little bit nervous. As it turned out, for no reason at all. The staff was very professional and after an extended safety speech they gave us a trip never to forget. The Maipo river is a great place for rafting, and the guides seemed very knowledgeable and passionate about their job. Double thumbs up!
This trip gave us a hunger for adventure and we decided to take a horseback riding trip up to the Meseta. We were in awe… The spectacular mountain views and the absolute serenity of this place came as a very welcome surprise and was the perfect ending of a wonderful weekend.
I had no clue there were places this beautiful so close to Santiago and there is no doubt in my mind that I will return once more.
An absolute recommendation!!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Alan D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed March 26, 2013

Cascada de las Animas is a converted ranch/farm (apparently they used to grow walnuts - there are mature walnut trees everywhere and a basket of them in the room) in a lovely setting. It is a large complex, with camping, cabins and a luxury lodge. I stayed at the latter. For $200 a night, I felt like the queen of Sheba. I recommend them highly. I think it's worth the extra money, if you've got it (I can't afford anything like this in the US or Europe, so I loved the pampering.) The lodge cabins look like Fred Flintstone meets the Hobbits. They are fanciful and comfortable. The lodge has it's own private pool, complete with Felipe bringing you beverages. I was there for two days and never saw more than one other couple there. (Downside - the pool looks unfinished and wasn't heated when I was there, making it too cold for more than a quick dip.) There were also shaded hammocks, where I spent a lot of time. The breakfast that came with the room (I think this is lodge-only) was great - lots of fresh fruit and eggs to order. There are lots of activities - horseback riding, rafting, kayaking and zip-lining, but my Spanish is pretty limited and I didn't want to try anything where I might get hurt if I didn't understand the instructions. I went on the hike to the waterfall, which was lovely. I wish I could have gone on my own, but i understand why they want to keep it supervised. It could get pretty crowded and rowdy otherwise.

The downside was the service in the restaurant. I was happy to forgive them, because I wasn't in a hurry and the food was good, but it was insanely bad. The server didn't want to clear the riverside table, so she tried to make us sit inside, where the disco from the wedding room was too loud. Don't eat at the restaurant unless you have a couple of hours before a scheduled activity - they're not quick.

Note: There are other restaurants nearby.

I took the bus from the Metro station. I loved taking a $1.50 bus to a lux resort. I took the collectivo back to the metro. It was $3.00 and faster (2 hours door-to-door in downtown Santiago), but less comfortable.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank louxx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mount Hope, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 22, 2013

Cascada de las Anamas offers a variety of accommodations, activities & transportation options to get there. We were warmly greeted, in English, by the reception staff. We chose to stay in one of the uniquely designed lodge suites. Our lodge was spectacular with panoramic views of the mountains & stars at night from the skylight. Our lodge had beautifully built amenities and we had a smaller reception area to go to for breakfast. Every morning,Betty had an ample buffet set up for residents of the lodges and she would make fresh eggs, pancakes . . . Also, we hiked the trails & went for a 2 hour horseback ride up into the mountains. A breathtaking experience. Our guide also spoke English. They are currently building a pool at the lodge end of the property. This is great, as it was a long walk to the big pool. The restaurant is built along the side of the river, great views. All the food was delicious. Knowing some Spanish or having a phrase book is helpful when ordering. They are true to their mission statement and objectives. We had a luxurious experience discovering & playing in this unique eco- area of Chile.

Room Tip: Although they cost a little more, the lodge suites are a truly unique experience. They are built fro...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Roy_Leanne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Cascada de las Animas

Property: Cascada de las Animas
Address: Camino al Volcan, 31087 | Casilla 57, San Alfonso 9460384, Chile
Location: Chile > Santiago Metropolitan Region > San Alfonso
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in San Alfonso
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Cascada de las Animas 3*
Number of rooms: 26
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

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