We are research fanatics and La Sofia was the highlight of both of our trips. The only bad thing was that we had to leave.
We are a young couple, had done minimal riding, had never played polo.
Marcos, an ex international pro, now pro ref, has managed polo farms all over the world, is the teacher. All his achievements are modestly put in a photo album which you can look at if you're interested.
Essentially it's like being taught how to drive by Lewis Hamilton. (Except with all due respect to Lewis, I'm sure he wouldn't be as patient as Marcos!)
Location was crucial for our holiday: La Sofia is only one hour away from Buenos Aires, much easier than the other estancias we looked at. They sent a taxi, who they use regularly.
It was the perfect break from the chaos of Buenos Aires. The horses are free to graze around the house & do so whilst your having lunch.
Price wise: the polo experience is not a cheap one. Having said that, when we were researching estancias, the price varied considerably and La Sofia was good value for money. The quality of instructors isnt regulated on estancias, but if you want to learn from the best, Marcos is your man.
Things which stood out:
The beef de lomo was the best meat I've ever had. ( better than all of the top steak houses in buenos aires ).
We were apprehensive about the review saying you can't get water or a coffee out of meal times. Our experience was totally to the contrary.
We accidentally over paid the taxi driver who didn't speak English. Marcus sorted it all out for us.
It was one of the guests birthdays and Silke made the most enormous cake and Marcos took us to the local bar, an experience in itself: the real gaucho bar.
We left before breakfast, which usually starts at 8am & is made by the maid. Marcos got up early and made us coffee and croissants at 6.30am to send us off with a full stomach.
Hot, strong, spacious power shower.
Enormous bath (with feet).
Open fire in the evening
Really good coffee
Its not essential, but if you are a beginner at riding, its definitely worth having a few lessons before you get there so you can focus on polo
Bring a good camera: the shots of the horses in the early morning mist and with the sunsets are incredible. Obviously you need some polo shots.
Lots of fun to look the part. Neither of us have worn white trousers before, but when totally submerged in polo culture, it's essential!!
Bring insect repellant. We got a couple of bites. The bugs aren't bad but other people suggested this.
Thank you to exceptional hosts Marcos and Silke. May many more people experience your estancia.. Research always pays off to get the very best!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- La Sofia is a farm (=estancia) just one hour from Buenos Aires and 14km from a nice traditional place called San Antonio de Areco. You can just come along the day for riding and or Polo, eat an "asado" (=argentian barbecue) and pass a relaxing day in the Argentinian Pampa. There are horses of the own bread available for all levels of riding y for those who want to try out Polo you can do this. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- La Sofia Hotel San Antonio De Areco