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“Spectacular end to a wonderful trip”
Review of Hosteria El Pilar

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Hosteria El Pilar
Ranked #8 of 19 Hotels in El Chalten
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 2, 2014

When we booked El Pilar for our last three nights of two weeks in southern Patagonia, we hoped it would be a trip highlight, and it absolutely was. There are so many good things to say about this place. If you can get a room here, do! Unless you hate the outdoors (in which case, Patagonia is no place for you) or require opulent splendor (for you, there are plenty of luxury ranches), you will most likely be delighted.

Guillermo and Cristina manage El Pilar: these are people who you wish would become your personal friends, kind and welcoming, down-to-earth, knowledgeable, interesting, and eminently likable. They were incredibly sweet to our 20-month-old son, even when it was clear that his strongest desire was to get his hands on the books and antique-type objects scattered charmingly around the common areas at El Pilar and rip them to shreds. They were also kind and generous to the hordes of hikers (not guests at the hostería) who harass them on a daily basis, trying to get in to use the bathroom or refill water bottles even though they have just left their lodging in town. It takes skill to manage this situation politely without alienating or annoying the guests who are trying to enjoy the tranquility and location of the property, and I was deeply impressed by their patience in this respect.

El Pilar's location at the edge of the national park and at one of the trailheads for the unmissable Laguna de Los Tres trek is superb. The access road, though unpaved, is well-graded and only takes about 25 minutes from town; transportation is easy to arrange through the staff or from town as everyone is familiar with El Pilar. The hostería is on a beautiful river (the Río Blanco), boasts stunning mountain views even when the skies are cloudy, and is surrounded by pretty wild lupine flowers and scrubby trees. We were glad to have our own transportation (rental car), but once we discovered how perfect El Pilar was, we didn't have much desire to get back to El Chaltén. Three days there gave us the opportunity to hike Los Tres and also the easier Piedra de los Frailes walk to a nearby refugio—a nice, flat option to give your legs a rest between Laguna Torre and Laguna de los Tres. The weather while we were there was cold, windy, and often cloudy, but this didn't detract from the treks or the overall experience.

Rooms here are comfortable and reasonably spacious. We did have some trouble blocking the light in the evening so that our son could sleep (it wasn't truly dark until around 11 p.m. in late December), but this was really not a major problem.

Meals served here are hearty and satisfying. Unlike some similar properties in Patagonia, El Pilar is accommodating about timing dinner: they offer it from 7 - 9 rather than starting at 8 or 9 as do many Argentine establishments. Also uncharacteristically for the region, they have a vegetarian option every night. We really enjoyed both dinners we ate here, and felt that the price was low for the quality of the food and service. Breakfast is also great.

This is one of the best and most memorable places I've stayed—not just in Patagonia, but anywhere in the world. Of course, it costs a bit more than the hostel-type options in town, but for what it offers, El Pilar is a steal, and is much more reasonably priced than many of the rural options in the region. I wish I could go back, and if I ever make a trip to Patagonia again, this will be the first place I book.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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Thank jessbarga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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48 - 54 of 189 reviews

Reviewed December 12, 2013

Love this place! Its quiet, away from town, beautiful atmosphere, warm and cosy, great food, coffee, wine and the staff are just adorable. No mobile phone signal and no wifi (although they let you use their computer but the internet is very unreliable) but that was nice for a change! And then there is the view! Everything about El Pilar fit our bill perfectly. It was wonderful to come back after hiking all day. The hikes were amazing, the "usual" ones that every other hiker is doing, plus the choice of quieter hikes where you won't see anybody all day! It was so worth the extra money to stay here rather than in town, highly recommend El Pilar.

Room Tip: All but one room face Fitz Roy (we had the one that didn't!) but it really doesn't matter, a...
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Cazoe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 1, 2013

This has been the most exciting place we experienced at our Patagonia tour. Beautiful position, quite, nice rooms, extremely friendly staff. One feels like being taken up in a family. The meals are excellent. Although the access is somewhat painful at an almost 20 km gravel road the effort is worth it: you can directly hike into the beautiful Notofagus forest if you step out of the house. Highly recommended!

Room Tip: We had room 4 with direct view toward the mountains: Beautiful at sunrise!
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Wolfgang H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 30, 2013

We stayed for 2 nights, but would have stayed longer had we known how lovely this place was. It's out of town 20k down a dirt road [the hotel have transport and pick you up from El Chalten]. Great place from which to start hiking out towards FitzRoy and many other routes too. The hostel is realxed, great beds and good food - just the perfect place to just relax or as a base for hikes. We echo previous superlative reviews and have no hesitation in recommending.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank David J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 29, 2013

Everything about el pilar was a delight: the comfort, the food, the hospitality, and the close proximity to the fabulous Fitz Roy. Imagine having breakfast in your cozy estancia and walking out the front door to hike one of the most iconic peaks on the planet, that's what this place is all about.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank ButBeuatiful
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2013

Beautiful rooms, great views, friendly staff, and delicious food. My wife and I stayed here 3 nights after camping and climbing earlier in the week.

El Pilar was the highlight of our trip and one of the best places we've stayed at in all of our travels. Our room was beautiful and spacious with hard wood floors. The bed was comfortable and the heater quickly warmed the room. It is close to a trail head so it is easy to set out on a hike for the day. The staff speak English very well and were very friendly and were eager to point out on the map, the best hiking destinations. The food was also amazing! It was fresh, delicious, and my wife and I still talk about, 6 months later, how good the meals were.

El Pilar only accepts cash, so be sure to have enough to pay your board and have dinner here.

Bottom line, if you are going to stay in the El Chalten area, you should consider El Pilar!

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Mr_ed3s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 7, 2013

Where do I begin? I love this wonderful hosteria. The setting at the trailhead for Fitz Roy couldn't be better. The hosts (Guillermo & co.) are wonderfully friendly and helpful. The food is fabulous. The rooms are so cozy and comfortable. It is just the perfect place to begin your El Chalten/Fitz Roy journey. Just walk out the front door and see for yourself! And, did I mention the housecat, Coca? She's beautiful.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank ButBeuatiful
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hosteria El Pilar

Address: Ruta Provincial 23 km 17, El Chalten Z9301AAE, Argentina
Location: Argentina > Patagonia > Province of Santa Cruz > El Chalten
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in El Chalten
#7 Family Hotel in El Chalten
Price Range: $215 - $217 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 10
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Also Known As:
Hosteria El Pilar Hotel El Chalten
Hosteria El Pilar Chalten

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