Hotel Antumalal

Pucon, Lake District, Chile
Book from GBP Book from £235 per night

Hotel Antumalal

Pucon, Lake District, Chile

Classic luxury, an illustrious history and panoramic views of Lake Villarica make this old-timer a still-essential visit

Classic luxury, an illustrious history and panoramic views of Lake Villarica make this old-timer a still-essential visit

Sepia photos in the entrance hall look like a cool interiors montage, until you realise the portraits and landscapes are a snapshot of the hotel's own story. Visiting dignitaries share space with vistas of an erupting Volcano Villarica, whose molten lava destroyed the owners' first hotel. A smiling Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip, on a fishing holiday in 1968, take centre stage. And the story of how Guillermo and Catalina Pollak, immigrants from Czechoslovakia in 1938, persuaded the president of Chile to finance their hotel gives Antumalal a place in the country's history.

The hotel is now in the hands of Rony Pollak, the founders' daughter, and the emphasis on service and luxury remains. However, it's starting to attract a younger audience with a taste for adventure. Rooms have huge picture windows; airy living areas present a stylish combination of iron furniture, colourful cushions and goat skin rugs. A cosy bar comes complete with roaring hearth and leather chairs; the dining room and terrace overlook the beautiful grounds and Lake Villarica. Delightfully low-key, it feels as though you could be in a wealthy friend's private house. Glorious.


  • The stunning sunset over the lake, which gave Antumalal its name ('Corral of the Sun' in Mapuche)
  • The abundance of flowers and 26 different species of native trees in the gardens - go in March to see trees festooned with copihue, the red bell-shaped national flower
  • With a lake on your doorstep and volcanoes, hot springs and white-water rivers nearby, there's no shortage of outdoor activities
  • We lvoed the small but delightful details, such as a chocolate-covered strawberry left at turndown service
  • Architecturally very interesting - a classic 50s Bauhaus design by Chilean architect Jorge Elton, which Wallpaper magazine declared 'retro chic'


  • Although beautifully furnished and maintained, there's a slight sense of faded glory - the Queen's visit would have been during its heyday
  • Go at the wrong time of year (April-October) and those fabulous surroundings might be marred by rain
  • It seems a shame that bedrooms in the main hotel don't have balconies to maximise the views
  • Some bedrooms in the chalets are smaller, with limited views - better for younger children, perhaps

Best time to go

Spring, summer and autumn (October-March) are all great. Spring is best for flowers, summer for making the most of many of the activities, autumn for escaping the crowds and enjoying the colours (although it's cooler and wetter). Winter is also an option if you are a keen skier.

Our top tips

The hotel grounds play host to 35 different endemic bird species, so it's the perfect spot for birdwatchers. For outdoor activities in general, layering is key - even during the hottest months take fleeces and wind/rain-proof jackets for mountain activity, and in winter be sure to take hats and gloves. Casual wear, swimwear and sports shoes are also recommended.

Great for...

Great Outdoors
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 11 rooms + 3 suites + 4 chalets
  • Restaurant and bar (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pools
  • Spa Treatments
  • Beach Nearby
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Car not necessary
  • Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Tennis Court


You have a choice of rooms and suites in the main building, or larger chalets (with 2-3 bedrooms) dotted around the grounds, each with their own kitchen and a living area. Whichever you choose, it will take you a few minutes to notice anything other than the fantastic lake views through the wall-sized windows. Inside, there's little to compete: the décor is low-key and in all-natural materials.

Pride of place goes to the Lake House, a 3-bedroom property accessed via steep steps and gazing over Lake Villaririca. The architecture is flawless: bedrooms have walls of glass and bright pops of art, living areas have slate floors and uninterrupted lake views, and there's a private outdoor sitting-dining space by the shore.The 3-bedroom Royal Chalet has an interior garden where the room is actually built around the cliff face, and a lovely waterfall on the balcony; this is where the Queen stayed. The Forest Chalet has 3 bedrooms, an outdoor barbecue area and attractive artwork from the owners' private collection. The smaller Lake Chalet has a double bedroom, a twin bedroom and a private terrace with incredible views across the lake. All of these are ideal for families or groups of friends as they have private entrances and large gardens.

In the main hotel rooms and suites, we had a firm comfy bed made up with crisp cotton sheets, and soft white alpaca rugs on the floor. Monkey-puzzle wood panelling confers a snug alpine feel, and the flagstones are warm underfoot, too. A log fireplace, which hotel staff will light on request, is recessed into the wall and firewood is stacked away in the hallway. A comfortable upright chair made from stretched rope over wood and a tree-trunk lampshade carry through motifs from the rest of the hotel. A walk-in wardrobe, complete with white towelling robes and slippers, is just off to one side of the hallway, while the functional but pleasant bathroom, with a bath and powerful shower, is at the other side.

If you want more space, there's a 1-bedroom Suite and two 2-bedroom Family Suites, each boasting a small sitting area with library and a squashy sofa.

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • WiFi


The restaurant is well presented, divided by an indoor garden to give diners a semblance of privacy. Tables are laid with pristine white cotton, heavy silver cutlery and crystal wine glasses. And the view, by day, is spectacular. Wooden menu boards with a single fern leaf carry through the hotel's natural theme.

Breakfast consists of a good buffet with fresh fruit salad, cereals and granola, yoghurt, homemade breads with hams, cheese and conserves, sweet dishes such as cakes or custard tarts, and eggs cooked to order.

The dishes here incorporate 'fresh, local and organic produce, cooked simply and with panache. Organic fruit and veg are grown in the grounds, breads are home-baked, and fresh meat and fish are bought daily from the local market. The menu is relatively broad, but is the same for daytime and evening; light options such as soups and salads are good lunchtime choices.

Our dinner started with an excellent seafood sharer - ceviche, chilli prawns, calamari and breaded fish. Mains included fresh fish from the lake (hake, conger eel, trout) and a sensational fillet steak. There was a good selection of Chilean wines and a well-stocked bar.

Should you wish to branch out one evening, there's a handful of good restaurants in Pucón. For parrilladas (barbecued meat) head to La Maga, or for pasta dishes, try one of the several small restaurants on Calle Fresia. The hotel can recommend a selection.

Those in the chalets can prepare basic meals and snacks: the Royal Chalet and Lake Chalet both have basic kitchenettes, and the Forest Chalet has an outdoor BBQ area.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Organic produce
  • Restaurant
  • Room service


  • Hike up Volcano Villarrica - you can get to the top (2,840m above sea level) and back in 9 hours - or splash out on a helicopter ride to see bubbling magma in the crater
  • There’s also the option to ski down it, or explore the network of caves underneath and marvel at the disconcertingly fresh and chocolate-like dried lava on the wall (probably not for the claustrophobic)
  • Choose your own adventure with Davita Tours (named after Rony's grandmother), hosted by bilingual guides. The local area is rich in opportunities: hiking, kayaking, rafting, canopying and cycling. Afterwards, soothe those aching muscles with a trip to one of the region's 13 hot springs
  • Take to the slopes - trips to San Martín de los Andes in Argentina (a 3-hour journey) can be arranged, with an overnight stay if required
  • For a Chilean touch, head to one of the numerous local cultural events or visit a Mapuche reservation for an insight on how they live, work and eat
  • Relax in the hotel pool, indoor hydromassage pool and outdoor heated Jacuzzi, have a massage or join in a yoga class or play tennis

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Boat trips
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Horse riding
  • Kayaking
  • Private guided tours
  • Rafting
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Traditional cultures
  • Trekking


Children are welcome at the hotel. There isn't any specific entertainment for children, but can babysitters can be arranged.

Best for:

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

Family friendly accommodation:

There are 2 Family Suites, each with 1 double and 1 twin bedroom. The chalets are also very suitable for families with young children because of the space, flexibility and privacy they afford. Plus the Royal Chalet and Lake Chalet have basic kitchenettes.

Cots Available, Extra Beds Available


Babysitting available by arrangement

Baby equipment:

Baby cots available on request

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Families Should Know:

The Lake House is accessed via steep steps making it unsuitable for young children.


  • Airport: 90 minutes (Temuco)
Kid Friendly:


Hotel Antumalal is located in Pucon, next to Lake Villarrica in Chile’s Lake District. It’s a 2.5 hour trip from Santiago, which includes a 1-hour flight to Temuco, followed by a 1.5-hour drive.

By Air:
Temuco Maquehue (100km away) is the nearest airport - fly here from Santiago's Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International. Click on the links below for a list of airlines serving these airports.

From the Airport
The hotel offers a transfer from Temuco airport.

By Bus:
For those who want to take their time, daily buses are available from Santiago to Pucon. We recommend overnight buses (with comfortable sleeper seats), which will drop you right outside the hotel.

By Car:
If you fancy a spot of sight-seeing en route, you can rent a car in Santiago and drive to Pucon, allowing time for side trips, and stops at wineries, waterfalls and historical sites. The trip will take approximately 10 hours. See our car rental recommendations.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through

More on getting to Chile and getting around


  • Temuco Maquehue 100.0 km ZCO


  • Beach 0.0 km
  • Shops 2.0 km
  • Restaurant 2.0 km

Rates for Hotel Antumalal

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