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“New York Times review did not give this justice; highlight of entire trip”

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Estancia Cristina Lodge
Ranked #1 of 38 El Calafate B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“New York Times review did not give this justice; highlight of entire trip”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 4, 2011

We read about Estancia Cristina in the New York Times piece on Patagonia-- it essentially said if you can splurge for one night this was the place to do it. That is just the start. This was the highlight of my family of six's entire two week holiday in Argentina. I think what tipped me over the edge was the website which does give you a pretty good sense for what you will see. The boat ride to get to the Estancia is amazing, the food was awesome (though service a little slow), the rooms are phenomenal, peaceful and have unreal views of the mountains. We went on the trek to the Upsala glacier, which was four hours and absolutely amazing. You will literally see the geological trauma and evidence of the collision of the Pacific and South American plates. I just wish I had read up on the geology of the region more before the hike. We also did the horse back ride which was excellent. I can't recommend this enough. Even for a one night excursion out of El Calafate it is well well well worth the money-- two nights would have been fun too but one night is definitely worth it (my dad had thought it might be too much trouble, but it really wasn't) and you will leave in awe.

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3 Thank daisyglass11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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292 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    32
    8
    2
    1
See reviews for
46
149
9
3
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (53)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
59 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 10, 2010

You can only get to this Estancia by boat, if the boat is not running due to bad weather then your trip can be cancelled or cut short which just adds to the lure of the place for me! We were very lucky in fact, the day after we arrived the boat was cancelled and the day after we left it was also cancelled, but thankfully for us it all went smoothly apart from having snow, gale force winds and rain all in one day!

The rooms are very nice with good beds and comfortable bathrooms and wonderful views to rabbits and birds eating in the grass outside our window. They are however very cold and the heating didn't seem to be on high enough or long enough. Also the lights go out at 11pm as the generator is switched off overnight. However it is not switched on again until 8am and so the rooms were icy boxes when we were trying to get up and have a shower.

The food served at the estancia was good although the menu limited for lunch and dinner, and it would have been nice to see eggs or something hot available for breakfast, and the boxed lunches could have been better.

The excursions offered are good although the day we went riding the weather was very bad and in reality we should not have gone up the mountain on horseback but neither the gaucho or the person in charge of excursions seemed to be worried about the weather. The walk through the fossil canyon from the mirador of the upsala glacier should not be missed, although its a long walk and we had to walk fast to get back to the estancia in time for the boat, it would have been nice to have a bit more time to take in the scenery.

The estancia is very nice and I would recommend it. However the people in charge are all very young and at times lacking in experience/professionalism. I would like to see someone older/more experienced in charge of the hotel/excursion side of the estancia.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank FBMadrid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gothenburg, Sweden
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 9, 2010

I would recommend anyone to stay at Estanica Cristina at least 2 nights. The horseback riding was spectacular and the staff was wonderful. They really made us feel special!

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ebba0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, OR
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 21, 2010

Overall, this place is phenomenal! Most beautiful and pristine location, isolated far from any other estancias in the heart of Patagonia. Gorgeous cozy lodge and accomodation. Food is very good (although my beef was overcooked at lunch and the pumpkin risotto was so-so). The 4x4 ride to and hike back from Upsala Glacier is the most incredible experience -- I would have to say of all the places I'ved travelled this glacier was the most beautiful place I've ever seen.

The main problem my husband and I had was the service during and upon arrival. We were told we would be picked up from our hotel between 7 and 7:30am but did not get picked up until 8am. The ferry ride TO the estancia was commentated very poorly -- while the commentator gave what seemed to be long explanations of the surrounding sights in Spanish, the English translation given was extremely brief and uninteresting (eg, "You will notice the glaciers are blue.", "The water is very cold.", etc).

The host and staff at the estancia were very kind and accomodating, overall; however, there was one very big blunder. On arrival, our group (my husband and I were grouped together with 6 others Americans traveling together) was offered 2 activities for the weekend -- horseback riding or hiking. All 8 of us wanted to go horseback riding -- this excursion was, in fact, a major reason for why we chose Estancia Cristina. Our host said no problem and to meet at the lodge at 3pm. At 3pm we gathered and the host said more horses had to be fetched from the field and their would be a delay but she would come get us from our rooms. TWO HOURS later (now 5pm) my husband and I checked again -- now the host said there were only 5 horses and acted as though this had always been the case. We stated that all 8 of us had been waiting to go and how much we really wanted to do this activity. She sent us to the barn. I asked about the other 6 people and she said she would go talk to them but that we should go straight to the stables. We soon found that she never did go to notify the others (who were still waiting in their rooms, postponing any other activity); it wasn't until the others tracked the host down that she matter-of-factly told them only 1 other person could go. Now a logistical error is one thing but the host blatantly knew the problems ahead of time and failed to apologize or make any effort to accomodate for the error. Worse yet, with poor explanation from the host, it created tension in the group who assumed we had gone behind their back. When you are paying as much as you are, this kind of problem-management is inexcusable.

So go for the sake of the beautiful scenery, seclusion, and facilities, but don't count on great customer service. (Dining staff was great, however.)

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CritterDoc04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 14, 2010

We spent two nights at the estancia which is the perfect amount of time. Remote with spectacular scenery and trekking. It is for the outdoor type. We had a n amazing time, staff fabulous, highly recommend.

Helpful?
Thank trab19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
newyork
Level Contributor
115 reviews
70 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 167 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 14, 2010

The setting is spectacular; the rooms are spacious and very comfortable, with great views of the mountains from each room's sitting area; the cuisine is excellent; there are many good hikes and 4x4 excursions to take; but it's the marvelous staff that, most of all, make Estancia Cristina such a great place to be. Do be aware that the 2-hour lake crossing can be quite rough when the Patagonian winds are blowing at full force (this was the case when we went over, but it was much smoother coming back). Once you get there, however, you will be enveloped in comfort and warm hospitality.

Helpful?
2 Thank bornin42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 6, 2010

We just returned from our 4 week trip to Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Peru and have to say that our stay at Estancia Cristina was one of the highlights! After a journey across the lake you are immediately greeted by the warm and welcoming staff at the Estancia and immediately provided with an 'induction' comprising of a lovely cup of tea and some delicious home made goodies. After being shown to your very comfortable accomodation you are then invited to sit with a very knowledgable member of staff to 'design your own' program of activities for your stay. These activities range from gentle walks in the great outdoors, to horseriding, fishing and 4x4'ing. If you aren't blown away by the attentive and personalised experience of dealing with the staff you will for sure be blown away by the beauty of the setting around you. The only hiccup we had during our stay related to the deposit we paid, somehow it went missing. The issue was soon rectified, however we were a little dissapointed by the experience.

Helpful?
Thank Anna01London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Estancia Cristina Lodge

Property: Estancia Cristina Lodge
Address: Av. Libertador 1037 | Parque Nacional Los Glaciares, El Calafate 9405, Argentina
Location: Argentina > Patagonia > Province of Santa Cruz > El Calafate
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 38 B&Bs / Inns in El Calafate
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Estancia Cristina Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on the Northwest shore of the Lake Argentino Lake on the far of Cristiana’s arm, Estancia Cristina is located in a unique corner in Los Glaciares National Park. Founded in 1941 by Joseph P. Masters and his wife, this stunning place still maintains its essence, keeping the history of this family alive, that with great effort and perseverance, made this lonely and inhospitable place a small paradise a home.Estancia Cristina is a unique Lodge; it count with 20 comfortable rooms distributed in 5 elegant cabins and exclusive access to the most stunning sights of the Upsala Glacier. An enchanting and warm place, that just like in the past grants the best Patagonian hospitality. The only access to the Estancia is by boat; the full board Lodge program offer exquisite Patagonian gastronomy, a museum and a variety of activities to enjoy of this wonderful region. There are many activity options for you to choose: Walks of different demands, 4x4 wheel drive rides, horse riding, mountain bike or fishing. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Estancia Cristina Lodge El Calafate, Argentina - Patagonia

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