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“Magical Retreat in Argentina”

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La Confluencia Lodge
Ranked #5 of 20 El Bolson B&B and Inns
Ottawa
Level Contributor
17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Magical Retreat in Argentina”
Reviewed January 9, 2013

A Christmas celebrated outside our normal 'snow-ladden' Canada, was a first for our family of four. Recommended by good friends and fellow whitewater kayak enthusiasts, La Confluencia become our home away from home for a week at the end of December, 2012.
An eco-lodge hidden from the normal hussle-bussle of South American travellers is set overlooking a Class III-IV canyon on the Rio Azul. Of course we paddled it's 'aqua-blanco' leading
A serious 4x4 is needed to descend the final 3 kms of steep gravel crosses the Rio Blanco before climbing the final 500m's to the Lodge. If this Rio is too high, a 'nepalese' hanging bridge, complete with missing rungs is the only option. Sheep meandering through the pine forest lead your way up to the most beautiful sight imaginable...a bio garden well planned, brimming with ripe fruit, vegetables, delicious smells and colours that have you rush to capture on film. The expertly constructed log Lodge is built with an eye for beauty and eco-friendly choices, complete with its own hydro-generator that harnesses the energy from a stream a km up hill, wood-fired sauna and hot-tub, yoga room with a wood-heated floor, and spacious decks to enjoy the incredible views.
The kitchen is at the heart of La Confluencia. Ginna ( Guillermina, in Spanish) was our Argentinian chef, trained in Buenos Aires but also had two years of practise in New Zealand. She was at home with both the gas and wood cook stoves, enjoyed using the abundant local carne, pescados and produce. El Bolson is a micro-haven for agriculture and going to the local market 'ferria' is an ablsolute treat - a place I was able to gather many different berries for our traditional 'Rote Grueze' desert - normally originating in the freezer at home at this time of year. Dinner on the 24th was a combination of Argentinian and German Goose (my background) with the very Argentian tradition of an Asado on Christmas Day bringing the community together.
What was most special for us, was to be as close to nature as possible, together as a family, and avoid the stress of materialism that this time of year brings with it.
Thank you Mark and Eli for sharing your precious spot with us. We will be back very soon to continue exploring your paradise.
Claudia, Dirk, Katrina and Stefi Van Wijk

Room Tip: They are all superlative. Choice of a couples suite with own bathroom, jacuzzi and shower; or indiv...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank OttawaDvw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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39 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
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buenos aires
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 31, 2011

We stayed for three days in La Confluencia Wilderness Lodge and we were sorry to leave. Mark, the owner, and Ellie, his wife, did a tremendous job in building this beautiful lodge in the wilderness. There is everything for the demanding traveller: comfortable rooms, very nice
bathrooms (book the suite if you prefer a private bathroom; the shared bathrooms are very good too and brandnew), a sauna and hottub, a cold plungepool, all in the green open. There is a huge balcony with a view, a library, big communal spaces and, what was also important for us: the food is excellent and everything is homegrown (organic) and homemade. Chelsea, the cook, is outstanding. There are horses to ride, two rivers to raft, mountains to hike or to bike, so if you love beeing in nature this should be your choice!!

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank verthe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Level Contributor
1 review
Reviewed December 10, 2010

I have been reading reviews on Trip Advisor for years but have never posted. La Confluencia was so amazing that I feel compelled to write something about it here in the hopes that others will stay there too!

My fiance and I were in Bariloche and looking for things to do outside of the immediate area. A friend recommended La Confluencia and we decided to check it out. We rented a car to get down there - the 2 hour drive from Bariloche to El Bolson was absolutely breathtaking. After spending a bit of time in town, we drove to a parking lot a few minutes outside of El Bolson where Ellie, the wife/mother of the amazing family that runs La Confluenica, picked us up in a 4x4. We drove down roads that would have been unsurpassable in our little rental car and even forged a river! As we made our way up to the lodge, we passed a flock of sheep, cattle and the incredible organic garden - all owned and maintained by La Confluencia in their quest to be fully self-sustainable.

The lodge itself is absolutely beautiful. Mark designed and used straw bale construction to build the main structure. The bedrooms are beautiful and extremely comfortable. We opted for a main room with a shared bathroom, which we initially were hesitant about but ended up being just fine. There is an exercise area in behind the lodge, complete with a yoga room, sauna, two outdoor jacuzzis and two cold pools.

My fiance and I are avid hikers and Kai, Mark and Ellie's son, is well versed in all the surrounding hikes. We were there for two days and he provided us with two unbelievable hikes. Even in the pouring rain on day 1, it was fantastic! (Although coming back to warm up in an outdoor jacuzzi also helps!) I cannot even express how stunning the hikes were - I've posted pictures to give you an idea. But I can say that it was amazing to wake up, eat breakfast and step out the door onto gorgeous and uncrowded hiking trails!

Which brings me to the food....as a couple who absolutely love eating, we were hesitant about staying and eating meals in the same lodge. With other hotels we've been not-so-impressed. But, Mark and Ellie have found Chelsea - an Italian-trained, pastry chef. Her cooking skills coupled with the fact that she can just walk outside and literally pick dinner from the organic gardens made for some of the best food that I've had in recent memory!!!!

I cannot say enough about La Confluencia. My fiance and I are living in Argentina and have been lucky to travel quite a bit around Argentina and this lodge honestly is my favorite experience thus far! We've recommended La Confluencia to everyone at work and all friends and family who are visiting the Bariloche region. You *must* check it out!

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank aliglee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about La Confluencia Lodge

Property: La Confluencia Lodge
Address: Confluence Blue River & White River, El Bolson 8430, Argentina
Location: Argentina > Patagonia > Province of Rio Negro > El Bolson
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 20 B&Bs / Inns in El Bolson
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This Patagonian lodge, a model of sustainable construction, is in a remote mountain location within a 200,000 acre wilderness preserve with endless adventure activities on site from rafting to rock climbing, and a sauna and outdoor hot tubs with stunning river views. All meals are prepared with organic products from the Confluencia farm: vegetables, fresh milk, eggs, meats, and hearty breads from whole grains harvested and stone-ground at the farm. ... more   less 
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