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“Between Good and Average” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Kau Yatun Hotel & Estancia

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Kau Yatun Hotel & Estancia
Ranked #20 of 70 Hotels in El Calafate
Certificate of Excellence
Los Gatos
Level Contributor
477 reviews
119 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 309 helpful votes
“Between Good and Average”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 15, 2013

There are some things to like and other things that make this an average hotel.
The "likes." Very isolated away from the traffic noise. Beautiful country setting with sheep and horses wandering the grounds. An easy 15 minute walk to the city center. The restaurant is nice if you want to eat there and next to that is a rather large sitting area for visiting, reading etc. The room are comfortable and have good views out the window. Enough space not to feel crowded. A good size closet. The beds, pillows and bedding were comfortable. The windows opened for good temperature control. The decor of the hotel was pleasant and inviting.
The "average." The rooms need some upgrading, especially the bathrooms. Very little shelf or hanging space there. The shower leaked onto the floor despite trying every trick. The controls didn't work well and it was hard to control the temperature. We were with a travel group and those that ate at the hotel had a three hour dinner. The breakfast was a best average and the staff had difficulty keeping the buffet replenished.
All in all a nice stay.

Room Tip: The Google map has the hotel located in the wrong location.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank dhen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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262 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
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English first
Cambridge, MA
Level Contributor
18 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 27, 2013

On our trip to Argentina during the 2013 South American summer, my husband and I spent 5 days at Kau Yatun. This “hotel de campo” (country hotel) is the renovated main house of the traditional Estancia 25 de Mayo, an attractive ranch (not too wide, but quite long) in the province of Santa Cruz. Kau Yatun is representative of the 1920’s architectural style of Southern Patagonia.

Our charming, spacious room had wooden ceilings, and was attractively furnished in the classic way of an estancia. The massive traditional wood shutters opened to lavender bushes, the occasional sheep, and pleasant view of the tree-lined lengthy access road. The bathroom was modern with quality toiletries and a full bath tub with a floor to ceiling elegant shower curtain, though it had no ventilation.The hotel in general is on the warm side. Our strategy for making the room cool at night was to turn off the heating system, open the bedroom window, and keep the shutters partially closed.

Heading out the back of the hotel, we passed working ranch equipment, shearing sheds and finally reached a gate which opens to reach a gravel path. Pressing on we soon found a lovely long trail where you can contemplate the landscape, bird watch, or say hello to the horses. The region is growing rapidly and here are some signs of development on a few hills and ridges, but the estancia maintains a feeling of tranquility. We strolled past leafy groves with cherry, pear, apple, plum and apricot trees and found our way to a stream that runs out to the distant back of the property. Regrettably, the area along the stream was littered with plastic bags, an ecological problem in El Calafate that the local government is trying to address by banning plastic bags in supermarkets and raising awareness among locals and tourists. We then hiked up a steep hill to reach the highest point on the property from where we marveled at the view of Lago Argentino. It is definitely worth spending a morning or afternoon exploring the property to admire the horses and their pasture fields, the native flora and fauna, organic vegetable garden, the nurseries, henhouse, not to mention the gorgeous flowers that greeted us at every corner. And, well, of course, there are lots and lots of sheep, and let’s not forget the herding dogs (and their neighborhood buddies) who will definitely befriend you!!

The restaurant/bar in the main building had and attractive atmosphere, a tasty and healthy dinner menu featuring their own organic produce, local trout, and friendly (if not efficient) service. Keep in mind that life happens at a different pace there… so relax and enjoy! While the hotel restaurant is convenient after a day of trekking on the ice, it is worth a trip to the downtown restaurants. We were especially impressed with La Tablita, which while catering to large tour groups, could still provide smaller groups with excellent and attentive service, along with the best cordero patagonico (lamb) you will ever taste.

In contrast to the more relaxed service at dinner, the señora overseeing the breakfast buffet ran a very tight ship. We requested lemon for tea the first morning, and every day after she had it waiting for us. The very good buffet, available since the very early hours to allow for day-long excursions, was constantly restocked and offered diverse options.

The hotel’s pricey lunch boxes are to be avoided, so try to make other arrangements if you plan to spend the day out enjoying the attractions.

Overall the staff was friendly and helpful, perhaps with the exception of a cranky bar tender, who refused to let us use his corkscrew to open a bottle of wine in our room. While we managed to open it by jamming a small pair of scissors into the cork and then twisting it out (it actually worked!) we are definitely adding a corkscrew to the packing list! Service at the front desk was inconsistent and cool, perhaps discreet to a fault. The Kau Yatun seems to have recently become a member of the Tremun Hotels group, and so it might be that the staff are still adapting to the new management.

Location: approximately one mile from downtown El Calafate, an easy, though not especially scenic, walk that we did many times during our stay, but certainly longer than the 600 meters claimed on the hotel’s website. For those who enjoy walking and bird watching, the downtown is about half way to the beautiful Laguna Nimez Ecological Reserve that borders Lago Argentino.

All in all, the Kau Yatun offers an enjoyable and relaxing experience on a working estancia with the charms and comfort of country hotel.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank SunTrekker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berwyn, Illinois
Level Contributor
152 reviews
75 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 10, 2013

This hotel has a nice setting on the outskirts of El Calafate and is a longish (but doable) walk into town. The reception was nice with most of our party getting a small glass of juice and a bouquet of flowers. Our room was quite spacious and comfortable but was a little dated looking. I loved the towel heater in the bathroom! We liked being able to open the window but a screen would have been nice. We had 3 dinners there which were ok...some nights were better than others. The breakast buffet was also ok tho I don't eat eggs so there weren't alot of other choices available. We didn't see the estancia operation except from a distance watched the sheep herding demonstration which others were participating in. Overall, it was fine....but not outstanding.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank sswksq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Princeton, New Jersey
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 31, 2013

Having traveled throughout Argentina and South America over a 6-month period, we can say that Kau Yatun was, by far, our worst experience. Simply pathetic. First, they took our credit card information by email and then never responded. After several unanswered email messages over a few days we finally called to inquire whether we had a reservation or not. We finally stayed there (and paid for boxed lunches for our day trip that were entirely inedible!) And when we returned (with small children) for one remaining reserved night, they had no rooms available. Throughout the whole experience, there was never a sense that they understood things had gone very wrong. With lots of lovely places to stay in El Calafate, this place is not worth it.

Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
5 Thank ElBShaf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Piura, Peru
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 14, 2013

This is a very simple but cosy Hotel. If you chose a regular suite, it will be small, but with a very confortable bed, good shower and great bath amenities. No TV but with internet in the rooms. Don't miss the visit to Estancia 25 de Mayo, the farm where the hotel is located. Enjoy the guided visit with Mr. Charlie and dinner. Best experience ever!!!!

Room Tip: If you like big rooms, ask for the suites. This is a Estancia, and all rooms make you feel like you...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AndreaLabra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sinergia S, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Kau Yatun Hotel & Estancia, responded to this review, March 28, 2013
Thanks for leaving your comment.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
167 reviews
96 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 166 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 5, 2013

Hotel Kau Yatun is a strange mix of things.Is it a great hotel or just average? El Calafate is a remote town and looks like it. The Hotel was once an Estancia and looks like it. The surrounds are lovely and the hotel is on the surface quite nice. It is comfortable enough but it is dated. The excitement of arriving in Patagonia and beginning our tour around the region added some gloss to this hotel. I can't rate other hotels in El Calafate so can't compare hotels. This one seems great but has its moments. Dinner at the hotel on our first night seemed a great idea and it was excellent. The dessert was sublime so we went back the next night all excited about another great meal and it was very ordinary. Different chef!! Yes we were offered a poor substitute of a dessert. Shattered we were!The wine list was only average with only 1 white and 1 red available by the glass and at a hefty price per glass. The trainee waitress was delightful and tried ever so hard but who would have thought our delightful dinner on the first night would go from chocolates to boiled lollies the next evening and then breakfast in the morning was abysmal. What had they done to the scrambled eggs to make them smell of something far removed from eggs.They were simply not edible.The rest of breakfast was barely average This place could be great but it fails. It has good things like juice and flowers at reception but then with no vase the flowers die. Go figure! The receptionist was ok at times but couldn't care less about us on checking out. Our credit cards would not work on her machine and we had to scramble to find cash which being US dollars we had to exchange at the hotels poor exchange rate. It was obvious she couldn't be bothered to check her systems and work out why our cards were rejecting. Next stop in far more remote areas the same cards worked very well. Again go figure? The surrounds are very nice on the farm with sheep and animals grazing and the mountains in the background are nice but use Trip Advisor wisely here and compare hotels. If others rate better look closely at them particularly if you see a good comment re breakfast as it was lousy here.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Allan.G49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sinergia S, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Kau Yatun Hotel & Estancia, responded to this review, March 12, 2013
Dear Guest, thank you for your comment and hope to see in the near future. Regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durham, North Carolina, United States
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 20, 2013

Positives:
- Grounds are lovely, located on a working sheep farm. So we spent time petting the dogs and watching them herd
- Walkable, bikable (bikes provided free of charge) into town
- Restaurant and bar located inside
- Nice sized rooms and bathrooms

Cons:
- Our room was really hot (stayed in Feb) and there wasn't any A/C or fan. We debated bugs vs. heat and ended up sharing our room with some big moths in order to let some of the cool air in through the non-screened in windows
- It would have been nice to be closer to town since the area isn't the best walk or biking spot

Overall, from what I've seen in my month in Buenos Aires, it is about par for the course.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Molly W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kau Yatun Hotel & Estancia

Property: Kau Yatun Hotel & Estancia
Address: Estancia 25 de Mayo, El Calafate 9405 , Argentina
Location: Argentina > Patagonia > Province of Santa Cruz > El Calafate
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#8 Luxury Hotel in El Calafate
#25 Romantic Hotel in El Calafate
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Kau Yatun Hotel & Estancia 4*
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located 6 blocks from downtown El Calafate, Kau Yatun Hotel & Estancia brings you closer to the history of the pioneers of the Patagonia Argentina. From the hand of the protagonists, stories and customs will make you understand even better the magic of this wonderful place enjoying the comforts of a 4-star hotel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kau Yatun Hotel El Calafate
Kau Yatun El Calafate
Kau Yatun Hotel & Estancia El Calafate, Argentina - Patagonia

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