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“Gimmicky, but time of year matters”

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San Alfonso del Mar
Reviewed July 22, 2014

I visited in November, way too early in the season. Pool was freezing cold and they still charged an access fee. Very limited options for dining and food in the area. All that being said, it is definitely the largest pool in the world.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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37  Thank Chris W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 14, 2014

while we were in santiago chile i wanted to see for myself the worlds largest outdoor swimming pool. we rented a small car and drove to the coast, what a wonderful drive to see the coast. we parked at the north end of the properties as the compound is private property. we found a trail to the beach and walked along the pool wall. there are small viewing platforms to see the actual pool itself from the beach/side. i am glad we went, it is a wonder of the world IMO...the beach is also very nice and clean.

Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
37  Thank parman55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 4, 2014

Spent 3 days at San Alfonso at the end of March (low season). Owner of condo "failed" to tell us that all pools and restaurants are closed during weekdays!
Warm pool also closed (at U$20/ person when open!) A scam in my opinion...
Condo was ok. Dated and not very cleaned.
Would have been better off at a hotel...

Room Tip: Stay at a hotel...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
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86  Thank PaulinaZ620
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2014

The pool itself is quite the sight--glad we got to see it once, but we don't have any urge to go back. We went in the offseason, so it was too cold to swim in the main pools (and since some of the water is pumped in from the ocean, it might be too cold year round!). There is an option to swim in the indoor pyramid part, but it's not included in your stay--you have to pay extra to get in. For the amount you pay to stay here, we thought that should definitely be included (what hotel have you ever stayed in where you have to pay extra to use the pool??) We found the apartment to be just "ok" (very basic) & WAY overpriced. All in all, we are glad we got to see the pool, but would much rather spend the money and stay at the beach somewhere else.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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64  Thank Kristen B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2014

Ok, so in full disclosure, I am a cold water distance swimmer....so this place was like a dream come true! Water was wonderfully cold, and they pump in salt water from the sea so it is not overly chlorinated. Frankly, it is an engineering miracle--you can't really wrap your head around how HUGE the pool is--it is really more of a lake (complete with kayaks and such!). I'd give the pool itself 5 stars (not crowded, next to the sea, very chill) but the room we stayed in had a terrible musty moldy odor that was making us all sick. I got the sense that it's really luck of the draw, as each unit is individually owned and then managed by the complex. There is a supermarket near the complex, and our place had a full kitchen so we didn't really eat here (we went to Algarobbo for dinners--very cute town!) If you don't like cold water and you don't like to swim you might not enjoy it as much as we did....We had big problems with the internet, so don't count on that working....this was from January 2010

Room Tip: I'd ask to see a picture of the room in the future. We had a ground floor room which I rather e...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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48  Thank bklynmermaid a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2014

Let me preface this review with some important background about the costs of goods, products, and services in Chile after having lived here as a U.S. Expat for four years,---- The standard of value in Chile is very low. By that I mean that you pay a lot for products and services in Chile and get less value in return than you would get in the United States for the same level of products and services. There is no value in Chile due to the heavily inflated costs. So equivalent products and services which are considered commonplace in the U.S. are luxuries in Chile because of their hyper-inflated economy. So, you don't get a lot of value for your money in Chile. Just a little economics lesson....but I digress.

With that said, this place is overrated. It's touted on the gimmick of having "largest swimming pool in the world." But it's not really a pool as much as a man-made lake more suited to Kayaks than swimming. Despite the fact that your are staying at the resort, the indoor pool charges $5 per person and if you run back to your room to grab a snack or drop a deuce, you have to pay to get back into the pool.....weak! The furniture was old and the rooms were very basic. Chileans have not learned the lessons of customer service and value. Their business model is always about nickel and diming you at ever turn. Excuse my rant---but I'm tired of paying a ton of money for below average, cheap, and low-grade Chilean products and services. When traveling to, or living in Chile, you have to lower your expectations.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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207  Thank Hed300
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 11, 2014

We decided on a side trip to Algarrobo Chile after a most disappointing trip to Vina Del Mar in December of 2013. The entire Vina Del Mar area was not for us. Old, smelled bad, poor quality of food and attractions, and was just generally ugly. Even the ever so touted Renaca and Valparaiso we complete dumps. Thank God we booked a side trip to Algarrobo to see and stay at the worlds largest pool condo area, now called San Alfonso Del Mar.

We stayed for 3 days and 2 nights, and it was very good. Just being there to see it and swim in the freezing cold water was an experience. We had good weather, but no matter how warm the sun made it, that ice cold water is something to contend with. Not very inviting, but hey, you are at the world's largest pool, so you have to go in right? My 11 year old daughter certainly insisted on it as well so being a good Dad, there really was no other choice. If the sun was out and you eased your way in for about 10 minutes, it cuts the initial sting and pain and you get used to it after a while; although you may turn blue.......

My daughter and I had the worlds largest pool all to ourselves on Christmas day, 2013. This we can always remember. The place was empty. It picked up a little bit on the 26th, but not much. The restaurant by the pool at the end by the solo hot tub ( the only one operational ) was excellent and at a good price. They specialize in Sushi and it was some of the most unique and best I have ever had. Great chef! The waiter told me he was only working there because their busy season, January and February, was just about to begin. Apparently then the place fills up and the pools get crowded.

Understand that this place is NOT a resort of any kind. It is simply a complex community of privately owned condos making their way around this worlds largest pool. I ran it one morning to measure the exact distance with my UP band and it is exactly 2.3 miles around. This is a spectacular feat of human engineering; one that would make Walt Disney proud. The only problem is that its in the middle of absolute NOWHERE !

Leaving Vina Del Mar was a pleasure. Getting to Algarrobbo and San Alfonso Del Mar is easy from either that direction or from Santiago airport. You simply take the Algarrobbo exit, and don't blink because there is only one. Its around Casablanca but if you are coming from the airport and get to the Casablanca exit you've gone too far.

After taking the Algarobbo exit, just keep traveling straight down into the small but charming little town. Take this trip in the day so there is no confusion. Considering the other bad roads we traveled on around Vina Del Mar, this road to Algarrobbo was very modern, new and a pleasure to drive on.

You will pay a toll, afterwards getting into the town after a little while. There are a few large supermarkets right before you have to turn. The one on the left is nicer so we went into that large parking lot and asked directions to the complex. We also loaded up on food because we were not sure what we were getting into.

If you just keep going straight past this supermarket on the left ( there is a gas station as well ), just keep going down the small hill until you can not go anymore, then turn RIGHT. You will now go through the cute little town of Algarobbo. There are a number of restaurants and little stores. Keep going down a bit and you will see the complex coming up on the Left. Its huge and you cannot miss it. After a few restaurants on the right, make a left onto the new road that goes directly to the front gates of the complex, and the gate keeper will great you. Give him your name and he'll give you your keys. YOU HAVE TO HAVE A RESERVATION. You CANNOT get into this place without one. The only way to make a reservation to this place is to sign up with their Chilean service. You cannot do it from any other US booking site. Once on that service site, you have to make a password with your passport #. Then they will allow you to make a reservation, but you need to be able to read basic Spanish. If you write to me I will give you the exact webpage to make your reservation as I have it saved in another computer.

You can as well, expect the same goofy Chilean nonsense as anywhere else. Most of the outdoor hottubs were not operational. There is a really good one over by the Sushi restaurant, but you have to pay to get in and they don't allow kids under 16 ! Its well worth it though because its HOT, wonderful and not chlorinated.

Then there is the case with the Salt Pool Warm water area under the Pyramid you see in the photos. Its nice and worth doing, but they charge you $20 per adult and $16 per child PER VISIT. If you leave for whatever reason ( lunch, whatever ) they charge you again for re-entry! We thought of course, that this was pretty tacky. Once inside though its very nice and has a gyn attached to it. Its a warm water salt pool under a glass pyramid. You can swim under a goofy structure that is not built well, and go outside to a few better hot tubes which are also nice. If you are there, its worth doing.

Algarobbo was certainly the best part of our Chile trek and investigation........we can't really call it a vacation because we did not like anything else about Chile really.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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64  Thank mrtylerdurton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about San Alfonso del Mar

Address: Av. Kennedy 8830, Algarrobo 2710000, Chile
Location: Chile > Valparaiso Region > Algarrobo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 23 Specialty Lodging in Algarrobo
Price Range: $283 - $453 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 1000
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Also Known As:
San Alfonso Del Mar Hotel Algarrobo
San Alfonso Del Mar Chile/Algarrobo

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