“A charming traditional lakeside hotel, with a modern spa, fine food and excellent adventure activities”
Few hotels can boast that every room has a lake view from its bed. Windows are immense, and the outlook is stunning, since this is a quiet northern arm of Nahuel Huapi lake with few other buildings: just navy blue water, forest and mountains.
What makes Correntoso so charming is that there are no standard designs: each room has its architectural quirks. Room 303 has a fabulous bath in the bedroom. Rooms 501 and 502 are on their own floor in the eaves: each with a bath set right in the window.
The 12 smallest Superior rooms aren’t second best, either: we loved cosy 306 with windows in two directions. The 20 Junior Suites are better only in having more space (309 and 409 struck us as the loveliest); all rooms have the same high standard of furnishings in smart natural materials, with lots of wood and hessian in subtle hues, and sumptuous beds with duckdown duvets. All rooms can be double or twin. The 11 Junior Suites Deck have balconies, but these are not private so you'll get to know your neighbours if the weather is nice.
Since the lakes area is all about water, it’s fitting that bathrooms are a pleasure: good toiletries all handmade in the area, and powerful showers; some rooms have big bathtubs, too. Robes, slippers and hairdryers are supplied as standard.
WiFi is free, available throughout the hotel; there are TVs in each room too. Extensive room service is available, and each room has a minibar. Rooms can get hot from the sun streaming through your picture windows, but opening the windows provides relief.
If you arrive in the afternoon, head straight for the front deck or wraparound balconies over the lake and order afternoon tea: choose from 22 kinds of leaf tea, and either the fancy tasting menu or just freshly baked scones, with delicious lemony cream and homemade jams.
In the evenings, start with a drink in the bar or cosy living room, with its books, sepia pictures and antler candelabra. Dinner in the romantic Gourmet Restaurant is a simple and elegant affair: there are big windows onto the lake, tables have white linen cloths and fresh roses, and the service is old fashioned and attentive. We nibbled on homemade breads, and a chive dip before an amuse bouche of matambre in salsa criollo (meat in a spicy marinade).
Our starters of a ‘Mediterranean’ salad of grilled aubergines and tomatoes with local goats’ cheese, were followed by pan-fried grouper (an Atlantic fish) and rib eye steak: not gourmet, exactly, but delicious versions of familiar dishes, created from the freshest local ingredients. The steak was particularly beautifully cooked on the traditional parrilla (grill). Puddings, too, were exceptional: creamy chocolate flan, raspberry sorbet and hazelnut pastry. And we chose a Patagonian wine, Infinito (Humberto Canale) from a very good list: a crisp sauvignon Semillon 2007.
From November to Easter, you can eat in the Puerto Correntoso Restaurant, right on the beach with tables outside. This more informal set-up was converted from the very first Correntoso lodge, built in 1922, and there are great views. Food tends more towards grilled meats and fish, and there’s a traditional clay oven too, producing delicious lamb. A great place for an evening drink, too.
Guests with children under 12 eat in the Martín Pescador (Kingfisher) restaurant, where the menu is exactly the same as the Gourmet, with added dishes for children, but parents can relax in the knowledge that their children aren’t disturbing other diners. The style is warm and welcoming, with lots of wood and stone, bright red walls and grey banquettes, with simple farmhouse chairs and chintzy touches.
Breakfast has to be one of Patagonia’s finest buffets. Fresh berries and fruit salad, a range of juices, delicious just-baked breads and pastries, and all kinds of cereal, nuts and seeds, as well as cold meats and cheeses, and hot dishes cooked to order. Leaf tea in pots and freshly made coffee. You’ll want to linger and gaze and the light glinting off the lake.
Elsewhere, Villa la Angostura is a popular little upmarket resort, with a few decent places to eat. Most recommended is Tinto Bistró, a cosy place with eclectic world cuisine, owned by the brother of Maxima, Princess of Holland. Open for dinner only, closed Sunday.
The hotel has a 'Spirit and Adventures team' who are on-hand to advise you what you can do here. They have excellent guides and offer top-notch services: one of the great advantages of staying at Correntoso
Children are welcome. The Junior Suites have sofabeds/can fit an extra bed for children, but you'd need to bring a baby cot. There's a specific dining room for families, and a nanny is available in the playroom to look after children while their parents eat (summer and main holiday seasons).
Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
Extra Beds Available
Family dining room for under 12s, though older children can eat in the Gourmet Restaurant if they prefer.
Children will enjoy swimming in the pool (access 8.30 to 6pm only).
Plenty of fun activities nearby: kayaking, skiing, and visiting the magical Bosque los Arrayanes. La Piedra Recreation Centre, 15 minutes away, has canopy slides, rope rappelling, climbing, hanging bridges, labyrinths, tunnels, tree houses & trampolines.