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 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.
- Also Known As:
- Estancia La Oriental Hotel Province Of Buenos Aires