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“Cozy, fun, and relaxing!”
Review of Hostal El Refugio

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Hostal El Refugio
Ranked #35 of 187 Specialty Lodging in Pucon
Reviewed June 13, 2012

Loved this place! I love to be able to sit by a fire and relax in hammock after a long hike up a volcano. The common area is cozy and a great way to meet people. All the workers there are really chill and helpful. I slept out back in a 6 person tent.... and although it was cold getting into bed at night.... I loved it! I love curling up in a bunch of blankets and falling asleep. I wish I could have stayed longer!

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled solo
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2  Thank Lmahin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 8, 2012

You certainly meet people here. Atmosphere it certainly has. The hostel is almost always full, and the communal areas which are very small get very crowded. The people who sleep in the fixed tents outside as well as those sleeping in the dorms all congregate inside in the evenings. We were struggling to find space to sit down to eat our dinner.

If you are after a good night's sleep after your activities, you may need ear plugs. With no staff working at night things can get out of hand. Also, if your room or dorm is on the ground floor, you will get no sleep as everyone will be using the downstairs toilet the door to which only closes with a bang. This applies to 5 o clock in the morning when people are leaving for the volcano climb.

So, noise and thin walls and limited toilets, tiny kitchen (we had to cut veggies in a sink as there was no space to do it). However, we managed to cook at least two meals. Kitchen rubbish bins are sometimes overflowing.

The best thing is the choice of activities on the wall, and some secret trails with hand-drawn maps that gave us the info we needed for some miraculous walks. Staff are helpful.

Proximity to the bus stations did not affect sleeping but made it unattractive to sit outside.

Saying all that, the hostel is cheap and warm, and likeable.

Room Tip: Do not go in the ground floor dorm, too noisy.
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  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank RnJ22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 13, 2012

We stayed at El Refugio por 4 nights and the first impresion wasnt that good but it improved as the days passed...

Good:
- The staff is super friendly and helpful and give a lot of information about activities (free vs tours etc). They also organized a "wine tasting evening" which was fun!
- The common room is cozy with a lovely fireplace.
- The showers are hot
- Location is perfect: very near restaurants, supermarket and next to the bus terminal.

Bad:
- The rooms are sooooo cold (except the common room where there is a fire), though there are thick blankets.
- This place is small and cozy but waaay to many people are staying here (apart from the 2 doubles and 2 dorms there are also 2 tents in the garden). There just isnt enough space in the living room or kitchen and to cook is nearly impossible. It would be the perfect place if they would limit the number of people staying.
- Its a very social place so if thats what you like its good but if you want some sleep... (loud and noisy until 1 pm and the walls are soo thin)

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank HannaF84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 11, 2012

This place is great. Its a small place but that's it's charm, it forces people to bump into eachother and talk. We were in the place a day and pretty much got talking to everyone. The staff are very friendly, and knowledgable about the area. There is loads to do around Pucon but the Villarica volcano is highly recommended. We planned to stay a day or two and ended up spending 5 nights there. We loved the place.

  • Stayed: May 2012
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Thank IrishRTW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 23, 2012

Such helpful, friendly staff who could answer any question and gave great advice. The hostel itself has such a warm friendly feeling, and the pods (tents) out the back are great and the beds snuggly and warm. Thanks for a great stay, I didn't want to leave.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled solo
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Thank KerynLC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 20, 2012

The hostel was just so cozy, the staff the most lovely and caring people ever, the owner knows everything about Pucon, the dog chills out with you on the couch if you like etc. Furthermore it seems like it that the hostel only attracts awesome people which made the atmosphere perfect!

Room Tip: The tents outside you can stay in are super comfortable and a great experience!
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  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank CasaMarinPasionPura
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 29, 2012

The location is ideal, pretty much directly across the road from the bus station, and two blocks from the main street.
When we arrived, we were greeted by the manager, Peter, who made us all a coffee and went through all of the different tour and excursion options. He explained that they use a smaller company to run their tours, and that they are considerably cheaper than the recommended operators in Lonely Planet. We found the tour operator to be very professional.
The hostel has two dorms inside, two private rooms and two permanent tents outside (with full bunks beds). We stayed in a private room, which had plenty of storage space, plenty of plug sockets and was very spacious inside. The door to the room has a latch to lock it, but you need to supply your own padlock.
The bathrooms are clean – there is one downstairs, one upstairs and one in the garden area. These were all cleaned regularly, but tend to get a little busy when everyone returns from their volcano hike (this is probably unavoidable, since you have a lot of people suddenly all wanting a shower at once!)
The common area has a large fireplace, two sofas, a hammock and a TV. It has a nice cosy feel to it, and is a nice area to mingle with the other guests. There is a computer for public use upstairs on a landing overlooking the common area. There is also a seating area and another hammock outside in the back garden.
There are two kitchens – one inside and one outside (though still fully covered). Both were well equipped and clean, the inside one even having an oven.
The garden area is a nice place to chill when it is sunny. On one side of it, there is a huge cherry tree, and guests are allowed to help themselves to the fruit (with the aid of a huge ladder)
The staff were absolutely fantastic. They all spoke perfect English, and even went to the trouble of learning everyone’s names. They would also ring up and book any tour that you may wish to go on.
One small gripe is that there is a charge for use of the kitchen, internet etc on the day that you check out. I think that this is because most of the buses out of Pucon leave in the evening, and you are effectively getting an entire extra day of usage. It’s not a huge amount (CLP3,000), but just something to be aware of.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank TheIntrepidExp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hostal El Refugio

Address: Palguin 540, Pucon 4920, Chile
Location: Chile > Araucania Region > Pucon
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #35 of 187 Specialty Lodging in Pucon
Price Range: $15 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hostal el Refugio is proud to be "our pick" in the latest Lonely Planet for both South America on a Shoestring and Chile guides. Hostal el Refugio is a warm and friendly hostel, run by a Dutch-Chilean couple, and a great place to meet other travelers. The hostel is designed as a mountain hut and thanks to the inviting communal areas it is the perfect place to rest and recharge after a day of outdoor activities in the area. Both the owners and staff (experienced travelers) know Pucon and its environments thoroughly, and are happy to share this information and make personal recommendations. They are waiting to make your stay in Pucon unforgettable. Hostal el Refugio es mucho mas than just a place to sleep! ... more   less 

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