“A luxurious lakeside country house, steeped in unspoilt nature in the heart of Argentina’s Lake District”
Most rooms are in 4 well-designed houses, all are homely and immensely comfortable. You’re surrounded by wood, since huge tree trunks make up the walls and beams, and massive windows ensure your connection with nature is unbroken. Colours and textiles are natural and harmonious, with lots of slate and local weavings, and there are nice little touches - hand-made tiles and curtain rails or rustic wooden furniture - in some rooms. All have superb beds, excellent baths and showers, sumptuous towels, hairdryers, bathrobes and great toiletries. Thoughtful details abound; everything has been thoroughly considered to make you feel entirely at home.
The Poplar House is the most welcoming and has great views, with 2 spacious Superior Rooms, plus a Junior Suite and the Master Suite. These 2 huge suites are the most luxurious: there are bathrooms with glass roofs, and a double Jacuzzi in the Master Suite. The open-plan living and dining room downstairs has open fires and huge windows, with lovely nooks where you can sit and gaze at the view.
The Radal House, 250 yards away across a hanging bridge, is slightly simpler in design. Furnishings are all hand-chosen to complement nature and the white walls in its 4 rooms (3 Superior Rooms and a Junior Suite) feel lighter than in the main house. The upper rooms are particularly airy and spacious. There’s another dining room here, and a living room where you can sit around a log fire.
The Creek Cabin makes an ideal hideaway for a couple or a compact family. It has a double bedroom, 2 beds in the living room and a bathroom with a shower but no bath. It also has a huge fireplace and great views; simply delightful.
The most recent addition to the collection is the Coihue Villa, which sits in front of the organic orchard, beside a small creek. We haven’t seen this new instruction, but it sits 65 yards from the main house, with 2 ensuite bedrooms, a cosy living room with fireplace and wood-burner, a well-equipped kitchen and lake views.
Most magical of all, though, is the Mountain Cabin, perched a mile away up the mountainside in a forest, and with stunning views from its open deck. Billed as the ultimate honeymoon retreat, it would also suit a family or a group of friends, as it has 2 double bedrooms and 3 extra beds in the loft bedroom. Staff will run you up there in the pick-up, but you can stroll back across for meals if you like.
There’s nothing rushed about Peuma Hue and breakfast (8.30-10am) is a delightfully relaxed affair. Take your time over the fresh juices (we had raspberry juice!), fruit salads, freshly baked pastries, homemade jams and honey, yoghurt, and eggs too if you'd like.
Lunch might be a picnic if you’re out on a ride, and extravagant lunchboxes are made up in advance if you’re planning to hike. Full lunches are on offer too at the main house - we ate little tarts of caramelised onion with roquefort and timbales of quinoa, then tucked into delicate pastry parcels stuffed with spinach and ricotta. There’s often a traditional Patagonian asado (barbecue) on Sundays.
Dinner has a special feel, starting with a drink and nibbles (the typical Argentine picadas) around the fire. We drank champagne cocktails with raspberry juice and loved the canapés: a generous selection of ceviche of salmon, smoked trout, little stuffed cherry tomatoes, crispbreads laden with aubergine, tiny glasses filled with shrimp, and hot pastry parcels of corn. This is a chance to chat to hosts Evelyn and Marcelo, and your fellow guests too, if you want to. But it’s also fine if you want to sprawl out on the sofa with a glass of malbec and a book.
Guests usually sit together at the long table for meals, though you can request to eat separately. Chef Manuela Luna produces splendidly imaginative food which changes with the seasons, and most of the fruit and vegetables are grown in Peuma Hue’s organic vegetable garden. Care is taken to make imaginative meals for vegetarians, though meat eaters will be thrilled by the local lamb and beef. Dinners feature 3 courses: soup or salad to start, then maybe salmon with a tian of vegetables or delicately cooked trout on a bed of beetroot mash with home-grown courgettes. Puddings are exquisite, often making good use of local chocolate, though you can ask for fresh fruit if you’d rather. Tables are delightfully laid with Evelyn’s family silver and china, adding a touch of Argentina’s elegant past, and the carefully chosen house wines are all superb.
Children will find Peuma Hue enchanting. There are so many places where they can run wild, the horse riding is totally safe and well supervised, and there are child-friendly ‘duckies’ (inflatable kayaks ) for splashing around on the lake. Food can be tailored to kids' tastes and, if you book a room in the main house, children can sleep safely while you're at dinner, knowing you’re just downstairs.
We should warn you that the hotel has been such a hit with its younger visitors that they have cried on leaving and forced their parents to return the following year.
Children are charged at a percentage of the adult rate: see Rates.
Teens (over 12)
For small families you can add up to 2 extra beds to the Poplar House Junior Suite, so it sleeps up to 2 adults and 2 children. If you prefer the privacy of a cabin we'd recommend booking the Creek Cabin and adding 1-2 single beds to the living room. The Coihue Villa has 2 bedrooms and space for an extra bed in the living room, it can sleep a maximum of 5 people. The Mountain Villa is great for larger families, with accommodations for up to seven people in two double rooms and a loft with three extra beds.
All but the Creek Cabin bathrooms have a bathtub, and they can provide a baby tub if needed.
English-speaking babysitting can be arranged in advance. See Rates.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Food is available all day; there are early mealtimes for children, special menus and tailored menus can be prepared on request. A blender and a microwave are available for guest use in both the Mountain and Coihue Villas.
There is a mobile phone signal everywhere. It's 15km to the closest shop for nappies and baby gear, although there is a convenience shop 10km away. There are steep mountain drops and the Mountain Cabin has a fenced drop from its deck.