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“Nice place but utterly lacking in hospitality”

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Estancia La Oriental
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Level Contributor
16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Nice place but utterly lacking in hospitality”
Reviewed June 25, 2011

We were excited about spending a weekend at an Estancia in Argentina, but ultimately the experience fell quite short of our expectations.

To be fair, it was wonderful to be in a such a serene, quiet location. The building is very old, the rooms quite charming, and the surrounding nature is beautiful and relaxing. However, we were quickly turned off by the management, the food, activities that were either unavailable or mediocre, and the way things in general are organized.

They charge a lot to stay in the Estancia Oriental, especially by Argentine standards. Of course they are going to overcharge foreigners and tourists, but they should at least go out of their way to make the experience worth the price.

The problems:

-The owner was quite cold. She showed us to our room and didn't offer to show us around or explain to us how things work, how to book activities, and acted preocupied and tired of receiving guests. She quickly disappeared and we didn't see her again all weekend, until moments before we left (to collect the bill, as I'll describe later).

-The room was freezing and the house is not properly heated.

-The horse ride was literally 15 minutes, we were very disappointed. And bring mosquito repellent, they were a nightmare on the horse ride!

-We asked to go to the lake, to kayak as was offered in the activities section of the website. We were informed the lake was not available for use, with no explanation as to why.

-The pool is old and in desperate need of a makeover and cleaning.

-We were starving for dinner and couldn't find anyone to tell us when it would be served. We checked at 9pm, there was nobody in the dining room, and then agreed they would surely knock on our door when it was ready. At 10pm we go to the dining room and see that all the other guests are eating at the table except for us! We couldn't believe it. Either they told everyone else when dinner would be served ahead of time, or they knocked on everyone's door but ours. People were half-done with their food.

-The dinner was subpar. For what we were paying, it was really unbelievable. Some overcooked pasta noodles in a bowl with a side bowl of plain red pasta sauce. With some bread and a flavorless hot rice pudding for dinner which was like they mixed white rice with water and a dash of honey. We were so disappointed.

-Everyone staying at the hotel is piled around one dining room table. it is kind of awkward and space is cramped. The owner didn't even come out to say hi or to eat with us. The Estancia Oriental literally offers none of the typical hospitality of an Argentine estancia.

-The breakfast had old pastries and some jam and dulce de leche, nothing more. The orange juice was not fresh squeezed, but obviously from a carton, very watery and artificially sweet.

-Upon leaving, when our cab arrived (they try to recommend a cab service that rips you off, we found a local cab when we arrived for half the price), nobody had come to say goodbye or anything. All of a sudden, while we're walking to the cab, the owner runs out with a bill, saying we had to pay for the two cokes we had at dinner the night before. We assumed the drinks would be free with dinner, as they said "what would you like to drink" and for the price we paid, it should have been included.

She said she would be back with the change, but sent out one of the cooks with the change, handed it to me, saying nothing. In the end, nobody at the estancia said 'goodbye' or 'we hope you enjoyed your stay'.

I never write negative reviews, but there are hundreds of amazing estancias in Argentina, and I would hate to see someone waste their money on this one.

Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank kristopherkelly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Estancia LaOrie... B, Owner at Estancia La Oriental, responded to this review, October 27, 2011
I am the owner and manager of Estancia La Oriental. I have designed and set forth the ethos that we provide for all our guests. La Oriental is a small family owned business which prides itself on offering personalized, quality service to all our guests. I was deeply upset by your review (Kristopher). I would like you to know how sorry I am that you did not enjoy your stay at La Oriental. I take this very personally! I wish you would have voiced your concerns to me while you were at the estancia so that I could have had the chance to explain to you exactly what was offered with your promotion. You came on a "Groupon Promotion" which had been designed by the Groupon people. You were two guests who paid less than our standard rate for one guest. Addressing your complaint about the heat, March is Summertime in Argentina. The temperature ranges between 30 to 40 degrees. This is not a good time of year to heat the house. We could have provided you with a portable heater upon request. The lagoon activities were not included in your “Groupon promotion". The meals included in your promotion were breakfast and dinner. You had the option of having lunch, tea and snacks with its different fees, just like our other guests. I always have lunch with my guests, as it is a special moment to enjoy the stories of the estancia and to get to know each other, I am always available for my guests, at any moment. As for dinner, sometimes couples request different tables and others enjoy being seated at the dinning room table to chat and share stories with the other guests. The cook at La Oriental is the one who bakes pastries every morning and prepares the juices from our own fruit trees. Beverages consumed throughout the day are normally charged. I recommended a local taxi driver an 8 USD rate, which was the cost of the ride. At this rate taking a commission would be unthinkable! I hope upon reading my response you will find that I was adhering to and providing you with the full service which was offered through your promotion. Perhaps if you had been clear from the beginning as to which services were offered and which were not you might have been able to enjoy your stay with us! Again, I deeply regret that you did not. What a shame. I would like to say in closing that I am very grateful to all my other guests, who upon reading your comments insisted that I post a reply. I Thank you all for your continued support and patronage! Estela
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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41 reviews from our community

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Aerdenhout
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed November 23, 2010

We stayed for 3 nights at La Oriental. A big step back in time. No modern facilities, but charming. Good staff and very simple but nice food. We enjoyed the horsebackriding with Miquel very much. The pool is outdated and not very clean. That was a bit of a downer. All in all we had a good time, but we feel La Oriental is a bit overprieced for what is offered.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Suerte_Netherlands
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
1 review
Reviewed April 29, 2010

My friends and I stayed at La Oriental for one night. The house and grounds are absolutely beautiful and well-maintained. Our suite was lovely, with period furnishings and a roaring fire. We had an amazing asado for lunch, homemade pasta for dinner in the formal dining room and a pleasant breakfast on the patio. The highlight of our stay was horse riding through the Pampas. Miguel took us through the fields and right next to the grazing cattle. The Estancia is a bit off the beaten path, but it's really worth it if you'd like a peaceful night in the country. Estela is an extremely gracious host and we enjoyed every minute of our stay.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mrnah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NYC
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed August 19, 2009

La Estancia, at about a 3 hour-drive from Buenos Aires, is an authentic elegant mansion among endless pampa land. Estela is the most amicable host who strives to respond to all her guests' wishes and whims. We were there for four days to recharge after the long flight from NYC and before returning to Buenos Aires. It is winter and the fireplaces were roaring throughout. Only Estela and her husband speak English. Miguel and Maria were most attentive.

The meals are served family style and the food is superb and plentiful. Best for horseback riding, relaxation and long walks (along the property three dogs.)

Our suite facing the front lawn was very spacious, comfortable and charming.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank zizette84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
19 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed May 4, 2009

To celebrate my birthday this year, my friends and I decided to travel to Junin for a relaxing weekend getaway. After looking at several reviews on trip advisor I contacted 5 estancias regarding their services and group discounts. Based on price and prior reviews, our group decided to go with La Oriental. And BOY am I glad we did... Estella, the owner of La Oriental, and the rest of the staff were incredibly wonderful and accommodating. Estella knew this was a birthday weekend, and she made sure that I felt special every minute I was there. She gave us the best room in the house, and she even surprised me with a birthday cake after dinner. Small gestures, but it really made my weekend a memorable one. The ranch was beautiful, and the experience of rounding up cows along side gauchos at sunset was ... AWESOME! The only downside of the estancia were the meals. They definitely could benefit with a new cook/menu. All dishes are home made (fresh pasta, bread, jams, etc) but dinner was only so-so. Regardless, of the so-so meals, I'm going to take my folks to La Oriental when they come to visit this summer.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank crispye
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stari Grad, Croatia
Level Contributor
26 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed April 21, 2009

as i own my own boutique hotel in brighton, and quite frankly dislike trip advisor as most wonderful honest travelers don't instantly think they are a journalist and write something negative as soon as they get back, and also its so personal. not everyone will get what an independent hotelier is trying to do. but we work hard and are passionate. Estelle is exactly that, a passionate hostess who cares very much about her beautiful home and her guests. we couldn't of had any more personal attention. a perfect location for getting away from the big city of buenos aires and the staff were so attentive. excellent riding and lovely local cuisine, mixed with swimming, croquet etc (i even went kayaking for the first time) all in the most divine of settings. the old colonial house is packed with original antiques and the house itself has been in the family for over 80 years. the 7 m high ceilings and billiard table are a huge wow factor. if you want plasma screens, play stations and staff to treat you like a number go somewhere else but if you want a perfect getaway in true estancia style this is it. as everything is original there might be the odd shabby chicness to it, just enjoy it and try and understand how difficult it is to keep such a stunning building going. tender love and care is what Estelle and Rafael give this home and they give you so much more as well. this is the first time i have ever written on trip advisor as i don't really agree with it, but the negative review above deserves answering. go and support these lovely people.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank blanchbaby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buenos Aires
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed November 9, 2008

My whole family stayed at La Oriental for a weekend.We are Argentine and used to Estancia life ourselves, so we were pretty disapointed to find that throughout our stay, the hostess displayed little of the warm hospitality normally found in the interior of our amazing country.

We had warned in advance that we would be traveling with small children. Although they naturally paid a fee, little was done to accomodate to their needs. Every meal was delayed and by the time we could eat, the children were already starving.

Meals were not impressive at all. Admittedly, we had a fairly good asado, but the rest of the food was below standard. Breakfast and tea were specially bad, involving no variety, no home-made pastry of any kind (typical of estancias in Argentina!) and even mouldy toast!

When we politely pointed out to the owner that this was really unexpected, she replied that it was the best she could offer for the price that we were paying! This was quite offensive, but specially uncalled for, since we had not asked to pay less than the price that had been quoted to us when making the reservation. The only price that we had asked her to lower was the extra meal we would be having before our departure. We were never warned tha twe would be receiving second-rate treatment!

In between meals, we were never offered drinks, and the few things we specifically asked for -like for the staff to have some diet coke in the fridge- were not done! All the same, we paid quite the steep price for a couple of warm diet cokes, a bottle of wine and some mineral water.

To be fair, the house is beautiful. More should be done in terms of hot water and cleanliness, but it is a beautiful house and tastefully decorated. Not as nice and impeccable as it is shown to be on the website, though.

It is a shame that the standard of service and saff supervision are so poor because La Oriental could be a fantastic option for a weekend escapade. It is not. Foreign people may find it charming, but it is certainly not as charming as the real thing should be.

  • Disliked — The food and lack of atmosphere.
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Somuchso
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Estancia La Oriental

Property: Estancia La Oriental
Address: Junin, Argentina
Location: Argentina > Central Argentina > Province of Buenos Aires
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #252 of 532 Hotels in Province of Buenos Aires
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 9
Also Known As:
Estancia La Oriental Hotel Province Of Buenos Aires

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