Correntoso Lake Hotel

Villa La Angostura, The Lake District, Argentina Book from

A charming traditional lakeside hotel, with a modern spa, fine food and excellent adventure activities
In the 1920s, before Bariloche had become a mountaineering heaven for Swiss-German immigrants pining for the Alps, an early pioneer built a simple hotel in a perfect spot on the remote northern shore of Lake Nahuel Huapi. In the 50s, smart Argentina discovered the lakes and flocked here to ski and walk, and Correntoso was rebuilt in Bariloche Alpine style, all wood and stone, with flickering flames in grand fireplaces, elaborate lamps made of antlers, and big windows onto breathtaking views across the navy blue lake to the unspoiled forested islands.

And so it remains today, though the 43 bedrooms have been brought impeccably up to date, with restrained style and every possible comfort. Photograph the lake from bed: every single one has a magnificent view (and so do many of the baths). The indoor/outdoor infinity pool in the lovely spa really does seem to connect you to the lake beyond. Best of all, Correntoso has its own pier, and a cheery troupe of expert guides will take you places no one else can go, to hike, kayak and explore the pristine wonderland of Nahuel Huapi National Park. Or you can simply sip champagne on the glass-plated front deck as the sun sets: magical.

Highs

    • Fabulous lakeshore location with private pier and exclusive access to unspoilt islands, and close to fairytale Bosque Los Arrayanes National Park
    • Old-fashioned service in the best sense: smiling, caring, bilingual staff
    • Rooms are comfortable little havens flooded with light: it’s tempting to stay in bed
    • Abundant adventure activities led by expert guides, and a heavenly spa and herbal hammam to treat aching muscles afterwards
    • Delicious food, fine wines and one of the best breakfast buffets in Patagonia; other eateries in upmarket Villa la Angostura, which Correntoso is on the edge of

Lows

  • There are 43 rooms, so it’s hardly a hideaway, though it is romantic and nicely quiet out of season
  • Rooms are on the small side, but charmingly done; the Junior Suite Decks have balconies, but these are shared with your neighbours
  • Large windows mean rooms can get hot in midsummer (ask staff to show you how to open them fully)
  • Standard rates are not cheap

Best time to go

The whole lakes area becomes insanely busy in January, February, Easter and school holidays in July: these times are best avoided, or book all transport a long way in advance. December and March are the best months: warm, and blissfully quiet. April and May bring more uncertain weather, but stunning autumn colours; though note that there are fewer services. Winter can be very cold here, but the spa remains open, and the ski season runs from July to October (depending on the snow that year). Bring warm waterproof clothing any time of year: this is the Patagonian Andes!

Our top tips

Don’t miss the Bosque Los Arrayanes: a magical experience. Go with Correntoso’s boat, though, and avoid the mass tourist experience. Then walk back along the Quetrihue peninsula.

Great for...

Family
Great Outdoors
Honeymoon
Spa
Wedding
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 43
  • Restaurant + bar
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: 2 May 2017 - 30 Jun 2017
  • Pools
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room:

Rooms

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.

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Slippers
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • Tv
  • WiFi

Eating

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.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Children meals
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

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

  • Hiking. Borrow a map, or go with expert bilingual guides to places other tourists never reach: Correntoso’s boat drops you at inaccessible areas of the National Park for hikes from 3 hours to two days. There are also short strolls directly from the hotel

  • Bosque Los Arrayanes - Villa la Angostura’s own national park. Arrayanes are beautiful bark-less myrtle trees, and this forest is one of the few places in the world they grow together in profusion, their twisting cinnamon coloured trunks creating an other worldly fairytale light. Disney was inspired to create Bambi after being here! Correntoso’s boat goes after commercial tours have left so you have it to yourselves

  • Skiing and snowboarding. The small, upmarket family ski resort Cerro Bayo is just 8km away: the views from the top are stunning

  • Fishing. The Limay River is world renowned for rainbow trout fly fishing (November to Easter). There are also many places to fish from boats within the National Park

  • Boat trips. Correntoso has its own pier and their boat Don Primo takes guests to remote beaches for gourmet picnics, or just to watch the sun set with champagne

  • Kayaking. A wonderful way to see the National Park from the water, in double sea kayaks. Experienced bilingual guides make you entirely safe, and this experience can combines with hiking too; rafting, snorkelling and diving are also available in season

  • Bird watching - there's great birding here in spring and summer, from September to February

  • The Herbal Hammam and Spa. Back at the hotel, the airy glass-roofed space looks directly onto the lake. There's an indoor/outdoor infinity pool with magnificent views (heated all year round), a lovely circular Hammam and Sauna, and an excellent range of treatments and massages

  • Further afield, you can ask to go on an estancia visit and spend a day on a typical Patagonian sheep farming ranch, complete with horse riding, traditional asado (grilling an entire sheep on an open fire), and a taste of life on the land

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Boat trips
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Horse-riding
  • Kayaking
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Private guided tours
  • Rafting
  • Scuba diving
  • Skiing
  • Snorkelling
  • Swimming
  • Traditional cultures
  • Well being

Kids

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).

Best for:

Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Extra Beds Available

Children's meals:

Family dining room for under 12s, though older children can eat in the Gourmet Restaurant if they prefer

Kids Activities on site:

  • Swimming in the pool (access 8.30 to 6pm only)
  • Playroom

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Kayaking
  • Skiing
  • 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

Distances:

  • Airport: 1 hour
Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

8/
Rooms
8/
Food
10/
Service
8/
Value
9/
Overall

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Rates for Correntoso Lake Hotel