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“Go for the Day, Not the Night”

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Estancia Cristina Lodge
Ranked #1 of 36 El Calafate B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
washington, dc
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Go for the Day, Not the Night”
Reviewed March 7, 2011

Our experience appears to have paralleled the couple that wrote the December 10, 2010 review for their November stay. However, we feel we got less value when balanced against the very high cost. Hence, the lower rating.

There is no question that Estancia Cristina's isolated location is stunning and the prime attraction. Excursions are generally quite good, with knowledgeable and friendly guides. However, generator switch off at 1100pm, limited dining options--lunch & dinner menus have limited options, especially for vegetarians, and repeat themselves, and nexperienced though willing staff do not justify the 5-star plus cost. Rates are, frankly, exorbitant for what you get, and value provided does not approach other similar experiences. Wine is not even included. To be fair, management reimbursed us about 8% of cost after complaining, expecially about the meals and meal service. Traveling to/from the Estancia and the day excursions are, on the other hand, an outstanding experience well worth the price. Do that and skip the overnight(s).

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank dcwolly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Kingfield
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed February 8, 2011

We spent 4 nights and truly hated to leave. Very different contryside in every direction. Extraordinarily engaging staff. Committed to what they do and committed to sharing their experiences with others. Because we stayed longer than most , we were able to do a real variety of hikes. Comfortable rooms.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank VSRME
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Olga, Washington
Level 6 Contributor
104 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed February 7, 2011

To reach the Estancia requires an hour-long ride on its own boat. If you are staying at the ranch, as opposed to day-tripping, you get top-deck treatment. The accommodations are in four-plex casitas, which are beautifully decorated and comfortable. The food at the central octagon restaurant is excellent, as are the wine choices. But what sets the place completely apart is the staff, who literally will give you the shirts off their backs. The long trek, which starts with a 4x4 ride to a ridge overlooking the Upsala Glacier, and winds its way back down through geologic history with Jose as your guide, ranks as one of the best day hikes on earth.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Orcas_Island_Steve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
Level 6 Contributor
150 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
Reviewed January 28, 2011

We had a lovely stay at Estancia Cristina! We arrived after an interesting boat trip, which took us past ice bergs across Lago Argentina. The staff were very friendly and we received professional, individual service, which is not easy to find anymore. The rooms were lovely with panorama views of the mountains and horses grazing in the fields. They offer a range of activities: we went for a hike and then horse-riding the first day and the second day we joined the day tourists for a trip up the mountain in the 4x4 and then hiked down past the glacier. The views were outstanding. Staying at Estancia Cristina was certainly the highlight of our trip to Argentina. And we look forward to returning again soon!

Helpful?
Thank Engl_Rose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stuttgart
1 review
Reviewed January 25, 2011

First you think - this is a lot of money for staying on an estancia. But when you leave your think it was really worth it:

- personal service at its best (eat when you want, what you want, where you want)
- very warm atmosphere, more a friend than a guest
- incredible tours - with personal guides, and I mean personal - you and the guide

After really having traveled around the world I would rate Estancia among the top 3 hotels to stay - and most likely it would not come up No. 3. It is a Must Go and Must Stay if you are in Patagonia. Rather save a little longer :-)

Helpful?
Thank ssl334
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Del Mar, California
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed January 16, 2011

This is an incredible place accessible only by boat, and surrounded by mountains, a lake and a glacier. The highlight of the trip is the 4 hour walk down from the glacier (you get there with a 4x4 - 45 min drive) where you walk through terrain that it was covered by the glacier only 70 years ago. It is impossible to describe how unique this estancia and location is. The hotel is very nice and comfortable, and the food is excellent. I would not recommend staying more than 2 nights though (it is actually 3 full days) because the menu is the same every single day (with 3-4 options) and you are only allowed to take long hikes with guides because it is a very protected park. When we first arrived there I thought that this restriction was not good, but after I got to know the history of the place and see the incredible location, I fully understand and support the idea of limiting access to the visitors. There are day visitors also but they are kept away from the lodging visitors. I would certainly recommend spending at least one night there, optimally 2 but certainly no more than 3.

Helpful?
2 Thank Athina123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
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.

Helpful?
3 Thank daisyglass11
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 36 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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