Need to know
10, including six suites.
Noon, but flexible. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from $350.00, excluding tax at 21 per cent.
Rates are half-board, including an American breakfast and three-course evening meal with soft drinks.
It may seem strange to be talking about the beach in Patagonia, but Las Balsas has one, so vamos a la playa! Head down to the hotel’s lakeshore for a misty morning stroll or a sunset drink… there are even loungers.
The hotel closes between 1 May and 30 June; and 26 December and 2 January.
At the hotel
An honesty bar, spa, WiFi, fitness area, dedicated concierge for excursions, lakefront location and 50 acres of surrounding forest. In rooms: a bottle of malbec wine, L'Occitane toiletries, a vanity kit, robes, slippers, a hair dryer, free minibar, free bottled water, TV, iPod dock, CD player and radio.
Our favourite rooms
With their earthy ochre-and-clay hues, the five Corner Suites show off Las Balsas’s handsome-yet-homey feel. We love the combination of hardwood floors, textured rugs, antique furniture and crisp, white linens, spread over king- or twin-size beds. In the bathroom, the traditional feel continues with clawfoot baths, terracotta tiles and wicker accessories. But you can’t ignore the view: large windows give way onto the lake and the hotel’s quaint waterside dock.
After a day out exploring this part of northern Patagonia, the indoor/outdoor pool provides an enticing prospect. It has two areas: a heated section, tucked within the cosseting spa; and an alfresco extension, beside the lake. There’s a deck too, with parasols and loungers (more for relaxing, than working on your Patagonian tan). Between 6pm-10pm, it’s for adults only, meaning grown-ups can unwind before warming up in the lakefront Jacuzzi.
In a stand-alone building beside the lake, the 200sq m Las Balsas Spa is just what the doctor ordered after all that exertion. Two treatment rooms are earmarked for holistic massages, mud-therapy facials, body scrubs and more. Jet showers and a toasty sauna cap off the indulgence. Pre and post treatment, there’s also a snug to relax in, with woven Argentinian textiles, a large velvet sofa and a snack menu of trout carpaccio, cheeses and carrot soup.
With three layers in one, the North Face Tri-Climate jacket is ideal for greeting the changeable Patagonian climate.
Oenophiles take note: the hotel has a cave-like wine cellar packed with 150 Argentinian labels and grape varieties ranging from malbec to cabernet sauvignon.
Over-6s welcome; although Las Balsas is more suited to children aged 13 and above, who can best take advantage of the area’s many outdoor activities.