If I’m being honest, I didn’t expect to love Llao Llao. I don’t really like big hotels, with golf courses and the like. But from the moment I arrived, and saw the breathtaking views, was warmly greeted by the charming staff and shown to my very spacious studio, I retracted all negative feelings and completed embraced it.
Why would you come here in the first place? Bariloche was perhaps my favourite destination in Argentina. Known as ‘Little Switzerland’, because of the chalet style architecture, the lakes and the mountains (and not to forget the obsession with, and skill at making, chocolate). The scenery is out of this world, and it is truly the place to come to in Argentina’s summer months. From swimming in the lakes, to kayaking, hiking, abseiling, riding, boating, condor watching – there are never ending activities to be done and in the most beautiful setting ever.
Yes, Llao Llao is a large hotel, with 205 rooms. But because it’s divided into two wings – the Bustillo and the Moreno wing – it didn’t feel like there were a lot of guests. The main old building – built in the traditional chalet style, where a lot of the rooms still have fireplaces (in my mind one of the only positives of staying in this wing rather than the Moreno), is called the Bustillo wing. Here you’ll find all the restaurants, the spa, an excellent gym and the pool which allows you to swim from inside to the (heated) outdoor pool. The views from the pool cover the lakes from either side of the hotel and are a real wow factor.
The Moreno wing is the new wing, added on a few years ago, where you’ll hands down find the better rooms. You can expect huge windows, both in your room and bathroom, with incredible views of the Moreno Lake and mountains, contemporary interiors and lots of space. Once you get in the bath, you won’t want to get out.
For active people, Llao Llao is the dream. They have a full complimentary fitness class list – from yoga to pilates to hikes. You can play golf, take boat trips, go abseiling, go riding. Kids will love it here too, with a kids spa, pool and special kids club. There’s no way they’d get bored here!
While breakfast was wonderful, with a huge range of options and again, ‘that’ view, I was a bit disappointed by the restaurants. For a hotel of this calibre you’d expect the food to be better. Instead, try other restaurants nearby which are much better, like Cassis, La Masia and Il Gabbiano.
If you still prefer to stay in a smaller hotel, then El Casco Art Hotel is for you. It’s slightly more in town, directly on the lake and also has great views, but is much smaller, with 33 rooms.
Ezequiel Bustillo Km 25,
8401 San Carlos de Bariloche