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“Clean and cozy in the middle of nowhere”
Review of Estancia La Elvira

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Estancia La Elvira
Ranked #460 of 525 Hotels in Patagonia
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Clean and cozy in the middle of nowhere”
Reviewed December 17, 2009

Nice and relatively clean agrotourism Estancia on Peninsula Valdes, about 7 km from a free penguin colony. Everything on Peninsula Valdes is a long gravel road from each other. So keep in mind how much effort it takes to get things to anywhere on the Peninsula when considering the price of this lodging. Only 4 staff exist for services, but service was good. Not all staff speak English. We spent most of our daytime off the Estancia exploring the Peninsula. Food was good. Certain excursions are included in the stay such as guided treks and horseback riding, but you need to arrange times for this when you check in as there is likely only one staff person to do this. The rooms are sparse but quaintly decorated. There are spiders. If you are looking for a more lively atmosphere you should stay at Puerto Piramides or Puerto Madryn. This is a very quiet location with nothing around but nature.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Joopiter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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14 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Buenos Aires
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed May 29, 2009

We stayed here over Christmas for 4 days, and had a very enjoyable stay. Our kids especially had a great time here and we all found it relaxing with no TV, no internet, no phones. There was plenty to do and the (inland) location a few kilometers from the east coast is fantastic for easy day trips to the northeasternmost and southeasternmost points of the Peninsula.

The guests are housed in a U-shaped one-story building that was recently built for this purpose. The pool is in the middle of the U. One one end of the U is the kitchen with a great old-fashioned table, and then the dining/living area which is really comfortable and warm. The rooms are tastefully decorated in a sort of French Country style (for example the faux distressed frame around the bathroom mirror, and light wood chunky style armoire). The room has two double beds (we had 2 adults and 2 children in a room, and it was not spacious but alright). Bathroom is small, nice and serves the purpose.

The other buildings on the property seem to have been a part of an original estancia, and are a bit run down. This is not a working farm, though maybe it used to be. In addition to the pool table in the main dining area, on the way to the stable, there is a separate one-room building that is a game room with table tennis. There is also a soccer field and ball for guests to use, which was fun.

The food was good, with some variety and an attempt to be fancy at Christmas. We were satisfied, full and liked it, but it was not particularly memorable. We had all meals included. Breakfast was continental style (toast, cereal, fruit, very oversweet juice, and coffee/tea).

For lunch we had to go to the Parador which is run by the same company, and unlike the intimate and more homey feeling of the estancia, the Parador is mass tourism with hoardes of tourists on buses. There was a good variety and it was very good cafeteria food. One problem was that every day, they said they had run out of steak, which seemed odd... it could be because we weren't there right at noon, we don't know. For the meat lovers in the family this was frustrating but they still had plenty to eat. There was a big salad bar and pasta bar plus a lot of other options, not as fresh or good quality as the estancia (for example no fresh lemon wedges, just bottled lemon juice) but enough variety and quantity. Desserts were especially good (brownies, flan, mousse). We ended up taking our trays upstairs to the little lookout room, to get away from the tourists, but there were no tables, just bar stools and counters to look out (great view!).

Back at the estancia, Snacks were good (pastries, cookies, etc.) at tea time. Beverages were charged separately. Dinner was more substantial and ''international'' (fish, chicken, lamb, ham). My husband was disappointed that we had BBQ ''asado'' only one time (not on Christmas eve), and it was fair by Argentine standards. My favorite was the corn empanadas. I am vegetarian and the kitchen tried, but really had no idea how, so it was hit or miss and I ate more eggs, cheese and plain canned beans than I'd like (I had to explain the idea of protein to the cook, which is what I always found myself doing in Argentina!).

One ''issue'' came up on our last day - we had arrived at dinner time, and we departed early after breakfast. Since we had paid (a lot!) for full board we requested the estancia to provide a picnic lunch for the last day. There was confusion about this and they did not think they should provide it (because they said we missed lunch on the day of our arrival), though at my insistence, they did (because when I booked I had said we would arrive for dinner). We had to go pick it up in the morning at the Parador and it was pretty scanty (some chicken, egg and fruit I think - nothing vegetarian for me).

The pool is pretty and clean but cold (not heated) so we didn't get much use out of it.

We all had a good time and would recommend it, but as mentioned above, this is not an ''authentic'' or working estancia. It has a professional manager (this is not an owner-occupied ranch, it is a hotel business). There are no sheep or cattle, just a run down stable with horses for visitors to ride and some dogs. The horses are alright but not particularly well behaved (barn manners or riding). The scenery was beautiful but the horses did not want to stand around and be groomed by the kids, and were a little challenging to ride. We are experienced riders and had planned ride every day but only went out twice, which was nice, but enough. On the positive side, the staff was always willing to take us out riding at any time.

Staff was very helpful in trying to accomodate our needs, and help us, especially when our vehicle broke down. All in all if I had it to do over we would stay here again.

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank SoliBuenosAires
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
27 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed April 30, 2007

We arrived at dusk, rather late, after several hours of very dusty driving from Pyramides, the nearest town. The manager had kindly postponed dinner until our arrival, and the homely dining room (with pool table and bookcases) was a complete contrast to the lonely, wind-battered tundra outside.

Our room was fairly small, but clean and comfortable. The stay was reasonably pricey by Argentinean standards, but you can understand why because the estancia is so remote it must take a great deal of effort supplying it with resources. Nevertheless, the food was good, both the dinner at the hotel and the lunches which were in the neighbouring cafe restaurant.

The photos of the estancia make it look a little bleak, but in fact it has a cheerful feel, a former sheep station which is still a centre for small scale farming as well as for visiting nature lovers.

We stayed outside the whale watching season, but there was no shortage of wildlife to look at: guanacos (related to the llama), hairy armadillos, several species of bird including the rea and of course the penguin, and most impressively elephant seals. The hotel has its own beach where you can get private access to the sealife.

There is a small pool, but it wasn't full at the time we were there.

We spent most afternoons galloping round the farm on horseback, under the huge Patagonian sky. If you do this (which I would highly recommend) ask the manager to show you the sheepdogs "freezing" a sheep!

Our short stay at La Elvira marked a very special end to a wonderful holiday.

  • Stayed February 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Rog2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Estancia La Elvira

Property: Estancia La Elvira
Address: | Valdes, 9120, Argentina
Location: Argentina > Patagonia
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #460 of 525 Hotels in Patagonia
Number of rooms: 8
Also Known As:
Estancia La Elvira Argentina/Patagonia

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