Quincho Country Home

Puerto Varas, Lake District, Chile Book from

Unbeatable welcome and 4 elegant suites with all the comforts of home at this beautiful luxury lakeside retreat
The genuine warmth with which you are greeted at Quincho almost bowls you over. This is no ordinary guesthouse. Its idyllic location on the banks of Lake Llanquihue in the Chilean Lake District, and its elegant comforts are reason enough to visit. But it's the wonderfully personalised service and relaxed atmosphere that sets this place apart. Staff pull out all the stops to look after you, spoiling you with the best of Chilean cuisine and treats.

Built in 1998 as a private home, Quincho took on its present form when the owner was persuaded to convert his dream home into this exclusive haven with just 4 exquisite suites. The attention to detail of the refurb is exceptional, from the comfort of the squashy sofas in the living room with its privileged views of the lake and nearby volcanoes, to the pristine bathrooms with their Jacuzzi baths. A must for any itinerary that heads south from Santiago or takes in the Lake District.

Highs

  • Charming manager Silja, hostess Cecilia and their highly trained team anticipate your every need
  • Tailor-made excursions with excellent guides, one for each party
  • Wake up to tea and biscuits, followed by a tasty and substantial breakfast
  • Picnicking on volcanic beaches with homemade quiches and salads, washed down with crisp Sauvignon Blanc
  • Returning in the evening to socialise over a glass of wine and nibbles by the crackling fire before dinner

Lows

  • Bad weather can take the shine off some of the excursions and obscure the volcanoes from view
  • Such attentive and personalised service risks triggering a touch of claustrophobia - if you enjoy your anonymity you may struggle, though if you want more distance, staff will back off
  • The allure of Quincho stems from its peaceful atmosphere - it's not a party place
  • It's expensive but everything (food, drink, sightseeing, airport transfers) is included if you book the packages

Best time to go

Quincho is open year-round. High season is September to March (spring and summer) with Chilean school holidays falling in January and February. Out of season, some activities may be unavailable but could be replaced by more indoor pursuits, such as cooking lessons. Visit in early February to catch Frutillar's classical music festival.

Our top tips

You'll need plenty of layers as, even in the Chilean summer, the temperature at altitude can drop. The ozone layer is thin over Chile, particularly down in the south, so take plenty of sunscreen, as well as a hat and sunglasses. There's plenty to keep you occupied here for at least 2-3 days, and guests often wish they'd booked to stay longer.

Great for...

Great Outdoors
Honeymoon
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 4
  • Restaurant (open daily)
  • By special request only
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Bicycles Available
Room:

Rooms

The 4 large suites, each named after the birds that swoop over the lawn, are immaculately decorated in muted creams and browns with a flash of colour provided by local textiles and fresh fruit, and the occasional piece of artwork. All-natural materials are used throughout, to complement the pine wood and solidified lava used in the construction of the house.

Ours, Picaflor (Hummingbird), was a Junior Suite, with 2 queensize beds, a wicker coffee table and a sofa, a beautiful old leather armchair and a TV with stereo. A large wardrobe housed white towelling robes and slippers (in his and hers sizes), a hot-water bottle for chilly nights and a pair of woollen socks each, which we were encouraged to wear to intensify that home-away-from-home feeling.

The ensuite bathroom was large and light, with a bath, a powerful overhead shower and a bench-top sink with a little vanity basket. Bath salts, fresh petals and a candle provided a pretty decorative touch but can be used more indulgently for a soothing soak after your excursion exertions.

The wood-panelled Chucoa Suite is laid out over 3 rooms, with a small living room and bureau, complete with an antique desk and metallic birds standing guard, and great views to the lake and the Osarno Volcano. For greater seclusion, the Loica Junior Suite offers a private entrance.

The Bandurria (Ibis) Honeymoon Suite is better still, with large windows overlooking the lake, a walk-in wardrobe, a Jacuzzi tub and a huge separate shower.

All rooms have WiFi, a phone, cable TV, a DVD player, a radio, an iPod dock, a CD player, heating and a safe box; fruit and sparkling water are also supplied.

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Cd player
  • Central heating
  • Dvd player
  • Extra beds
  • Ipod dock
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • WiFi

Eating

The dining area is cosy and intimate, and guests are seated by turn at the window. Four painted wooden birds flit around the room from one visit to the next, sometimes marking your table, or watching over the breakfast buffet. Pristine table linen and polished cutlery and glasses provide the expected touch of luxury, while a simple cut flower serves as a decoration.

Nowhere is the emphasis on quality more apparent than in the kitchen. Head chef Jordan Barrera has a strong creative streak but knows how to please any audience, using fresh, local ingredients. The dinner menu offers 2 options - usually one meat and one fish - although both are generally served on the same base. The fillet steak is predictably delicious, but for those arriving here from Argentina and suffering from a surfeit of red meat, the fish options - often salmon, hake or conger eel - are beautifully flaky. The base dish might be a bed of pea and asparagus risotto, or a corn mash, balanced with a rich red wine sauce which traditionalists may find a touch too sweet. All breads are homemade.

Dinner is accompanied by a good range of wines from both mainstream and small independent Chilean vineyards. Desserts are fresh and innovative, such as the quirky saballone al murtilla, a fragrant fruity dish finished with a splash of pisco. All diets can be catered for.

The breakfast is impressive, particularly considering the size of the hotel. A selection of fresh juices, generous quantities of cut fruits, hams and cheeses, cakes and cereals are laid out in the dining room, while teas, coffee and eggs are served to order.

Lunch will generally be out and about; guides take a picnic hamper with homemade breads, salads, quiches, wine and soft drinks. Nuts and biscuits are carried for snacking, as are all the key ingredients for those much-needed tea breaks. Later, with pre-dinner drinks of, say, pisco sour or Chilean beer, enjoy a delightfully presented selection of cheeses, smoked salmon and nuts.

The temptations of home are strong, but if you're inclined to head out one night, there are several decent restaurants in nearby Puerto Varas. La Rada, by the lake on Calle Costanera, and Ibis, on Ruta 225, both serve good Chilean and international dishes, and Govinda is also recommended.

Features include:

  • Organic produce
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

All activities can be arranged by Quincho at additional cost. Most people book on a package basis, which will include a full-day or 2 half-day excursions, which can include the following. However, most of these activities can be booked through the hotel as individual excursions; enquire when booking or discuss on arrival.

  • Top of the must-sees is the magnificent Osorno Volcano, which can usually be seen from Quincho. Drive up 1,400m to check out the spectacular view and pause for a coffee, before heading up on the ski lifts; you can ski July-August

  • Head beyond Osorno to the perfectly still Lake Todos los Santos; take a boat or bus from here along a picturesque route to Bariloche in Argentina (not included in the rate)

  • Check out the waterfalls of Petrohue, stunning thanks to the colour and clarity of the water, and the fantastic backdrop provided by Osorno

  • Take a tour of Lake Llanquihue to appreciate the region's culture and landscape. A drive around the full, 160km circumference takes in the pretty towns of Puerto Octay and Frutillar, and provides lovely picnicking opportunities en route

  • Watch Humboldt and Magellanic penguins in their natural habitat on the island of Chiloé, a 2.5-hour drive away

  • Explore the area on foot, bike or horseback, go kayaking on the lake, or go rafting through the rapids - these options are all included in Quincho's excursion programme

  • Fly fishing is possible between November and March on the lake, and at several rivers nearby. It's not included in the package rates but the team is happy to organise

  • Learn more about the history of the region's German settlers at Braunau museum, just outside Puerto Varas, which has a fascinating collection of original artefacts and photographs. Frutillar's Colonial Aleman Museum has a watermill and replicas of German colonial houses

  • The nearest town of Puerto Varas is a lovely place to while away a few hours. Its Chilean Artisanal centre sells beautiful textiles, carved bowls and handicrafts, and channels profits back to the communities that supply it. Pick up some lapiz lazul, a local blue stone which can only be found here or in Afghanistan, at Andre Jiminez jewellery, or visit La Primitiva for some special gifts

  • Play golf on a course 10km away

  • Join the chef in preparing dinner or lunch

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Boat trips
  • Cooking classes
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Horse-riding
  • Kayaking
  • Mountain biking
  • Museums / galleries
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Private guided tours
  • Rafting
  • Shopping / markets
  • Skiing
  • Trekking

Kids

Children are occasionally allowed, though the management will consider other guests before agreeing to host them, with the preservation of the peaceful and relaxing atmosphere being the top priority. A good arrangement would be for a family to take the 2 upstairs suites, which provide play-space and privacy away from the main living areas. Extra beds can be provided.

Family friendly accommodation:

Extra Beds Available

Kid Friendly:

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