Just as context my wife travel extensively and usually stay in high-end hotels. That will be my reference point. We ended up in the Design hotel because we made late reservation and our first choices were full. We had mixed feelings about the hotel that I will describe below...
The building and rooms
The hotel is located in a high part of the city 10-15 minutes away from the center with an amazing view of lago Argentino. The view alone is worth a detour although you get pretty nice views from anywhere in this part of the world. The rooms are simple in line with a European three star hotel - so functional but with no charm. We had some hygiene issues since our sheets had some blood stains. The hotel gave us new ones so we worked that out in the end but that have us a moderate first impression...
If you are in a hurry the place is fine but the food is honestly not that good. They are clearly trying to make visually appealing dishes but the result is somewhat amateurish and the flavors are not very noteworthy. You should plan to eat in many of the better restaurants in town - a short cab away. The breakfast is OK with a simple buffet (in line with the initial three star impression)
The service was patchy. When someone was at the desk they tried to be helpful but there were often many people at the reception since there was usually just one person (or no one) so plan to have some time before you can solve any issue. We had a bad experience with one of the tours - we actually asked for a transfer from Calafate to Torres del Paine but instead they sold us a full day tour or Torres del Paine...needless to say we didn't have the right shoes on for trekking and had other plans for the afternoon...but we made it work and in the end it was a nice tour...although we never intended to buy it. One other thing; make sure to reserve your tours upfront, we didn't and because of that were quite limited in the options we had (as there is only one tour operator that offers walks in the Perito Moreno).
Overall we enjoyed our stay at Calafate, the place is amazing and we enjoyed the views and the boat ride to the glaciers. The hotel was functional but not a place where you wanted to spend too much time. It felt somewhat over-priced but then again it was high season...
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Situated about one mile from El Calafate downtown, the Design Suites Calafate is an excellent choice for guests who seek tranquility during their holidays.This boutique hotel is located in the upper area of the Nimes Peninsula, where you can admire the low vegetation, hills and lake invite during a pleasant walk. If you want to visit the city, the hotel offers a shuttle to downtown on a regular basis.As a guest of the Design Suites Calafate, you will have free access to the heated pool, sauna and gym. In addition, the hotel provides a health club and spa treatments in order to optimize your relaxation during your stay.A restaurant and a bar provide meals and drinks from the morning until late at night. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Design Suites Calafate Hotel El Calafate
- Design Hotel El Calafate
- Design Hotel Calafate
- Design Suites Calafate El Calafate, Argentina - Patagonia