Bariloche has plentiful accommodations options in all categories, from camping to hostels, B&Bs, hotels, and luxury lodges. Hostels in particular have proliferated. The finest hotels are west of the city proper, on and along the Llao Llao road.
The municipal tourist office keeps a thorough accommodations database and, when summer demand is high, they’re an excellent resource. Since many low-priced to mid-range hotels cater to high school graduation trips, it’s better to avoid them toward the end of December.
The lakefront Camping Petunia (Avenida Bustillo 13500, tel. 02944/46-1969, www.campingpetunia.com, US$6 pp for adults, US$4 pp for kids) is one of numerous campgrounds west of town.
Most places in this range are hostels that have dorms as well as private rooms that are only slightly more expensive on a per-person basis, with the quality of an above-average hotel. They also offer amenities such as Wi-Fi and sometimes even include dinner in their rates.
On wooded grounds in a quiet barrio west of town, Alaska Hostel (Lilinquén 326, tel. 02944/46-1564, www.alaska-hostel.com, US$12 pp dorm, US$32–37 d) is walking distance from Avenida Bustillo Km 7.5. Several buses, including Nos. 10, 20, and 21, will drop passengers here.
Under the same management, Periko’s Hostel (Morales 555, tel. 02944/52-2326, www.perikos.com, US$12 pp dorm, US$35–42 d) has mostly dorm rooms but also some new stylish doubles (the cheaper ones have shared baths) on the upper floors. The secluded garden is uncommon in this part of town.
La Bolsa del Deporte (Palacios 405, tel. 02944/42-3529, www.labolsadeldeporte.com.ar, US$12 pp dorm, US$42 d) is cheap but well-established.
Only 500 meters west of the bus terminal, the HI affiliate Tango Inn Soho (12 de Octubre 1915, tel. 02944/43-0707, www.tangoinn.com, US$12 pp dorm, US$40–45 s or d) has a restaurant, a cafeteria, and a bar.
Also good is the Albergue El Gaucho (Belgrano 209, tel. 02944/52-2464, www.hostelelgaucho.com, US$12 pp dorm, US$45 d), which has mostly dorms but also a handful of doubles, all with private baths. It also rents bicycles, and the staff can manage English, German, and Italian.
New in 2008, Barrio Belgrano’s Hostel Arko (Güemes 685, tel. 02944/42-3109, www.eco-family.com, US$13 pp dorm, US$46 d) is, as the URL suggests, a family-run place with a long history in the area and the neighborhood—when space is short here, hostellers can hop next door to one of Bariloche’s oldest, most hospitable B&Bs and still enjoy services such as the kitchen, laundry, Wi-Fi, and great advice from the mountaineering staff.
Several hostels with private rooms, mentioned above, are at least as good as standard accommodations in this range.
In the hostel-with-a-view category, it’s tough to top friendly Bariloche Hostel (Salta 528, tel. 02944/42-5460, www.barilochehostel.com.ar, US$15 pp dorm, US$45 d), a converted residence where both dorms and doubles have private baths. The lake panoramas are even better from the deck on the slope behind the house, where there’s a magnificently productive pear tree and other fruit trees.
The HI affiliate Marcopolo Inn (Salta 422, tel. 02944/40-0105, www.marcopoloinn.com.ar, US$15 pp dorm, US$52 d) is a converted hotel whose rooms, all with private baths, are more spacious than most hostels. Rates include not just breakfast but also dinner (9–10 p.m. in the bar) and free Internet and Wi-Fi. There is also low-cost laundry service.
Well-located places include Barrio Belgrano’s Residencial Wikter (Güemes 566, tel. 02944/42-3248, hospedajewikter [at] gmail [dot] com [dot] ar, US$35 d) and Hostería Güemes (Güemes 715, tel. 02944/42-4785, US$50 d).
On the Llao Llao road, cozy Hostería Pájaro Azul (Avenida Bustillo 10800, tel. 02944/46-1025, www.hosteriapajaroazul.com.ar, US$50 s, US$56 d) has eight pine-paneled rooms with mountain views through relatively small windows.
Some of the 13 rooms at Hostería La Pastorella (Avenida Belgrano 127, tel. 02944/42-4656, www.lapastorella.com.ar, US$41 s, US$58 d) are a little too cozy for comfort, but it does offer a diverse breakfast and amenities including a sauna.
Built in an Austrian style, Barrio Belgrano’s Hostería Las Marianas (24 de Septiembre 218, tel. 02944/43-9876, www.hosterialasmarianas.com.ar, US$64–74 s or d) is a friendly, family-run inn with only 16 rooms—each named for a nearby Andean peak.
Barrio Belgrano’s upgraded Ruca Cheli Village Ski Hotel (24 de Setiembre 275, tel./fax 02944/42-4528, www.rucacheli.com.ar, US$70 s, US$86 d, with buffet breakfast) has reasonably large rooms and obliging management.
Surprisingly, there’s not much in this price range. The lakefront Hotel Tres Reyes (Avenida 12 de Octubre 135, tel. 02944/42-6121, www.hoteltresreyes.com, US$89–100 s, US$95–109 d), a stylishly rehabbed classic dating from 1951, is a reliable downtown hotel whose higher rates correspond to lake views. Some rooms are smallish, but even these can rise in price in ski season.
It’s past its prime, but La Posada del Angel (Avenida Bustillo Km 12.5, tel. 02944/46-1263, www.posadadelangel.com.ar, US$90 s, US$110 d) does enjoy friendly family service, a large pool, and five pine-sheltered hectares. The rooms are ample and comfortable, but small windows limit the light and alpine views.
Highly regarded Hostería Los Juncos (Avenida Bustillo Km 20, tel. 02944/44-8485, www.visitlosjuncos.com, US$130 d) is a seven-room B&B on Bahía Campanario.
Downtown’s most prestigious option is Hotel Panamericano (San Martín 536, tel. 02944/42-5846, www.panamericanobariloche.com, US$206–230 s or d), a sprawling complex on both sides of the avenue, linked by glassed-in elevated bridges. It also holds a casino and a spa, but it’s not up to the standards—not to mention the style or location—of places like the Llao Llao. Rates vary according to the view (none or lake).
Hotel Edelweiss (San Martín 202, tel. 02944/44-5500, www.edelweiss.com.ar, US$235–255 s or d) has 100 spacious standard to superior rooms, plus more elaborate suites. Price can rise by half in ski season.
Llao Llao’s Hotel Tunquelén (Avenida Bustillo Km 24, tel. 02944/44-8600, www.tunquelen.com, US$240–510 s or d) might be the area’s top choice were it not for the nearby Hotel Llao Llao. Unlike some hotels here, it has managed to stabilize its rates.
Part of a golf development near Lago Gutiérrez, the 23-room Arelauquen Lodge (RP 82 Km 4.5, tel. 02944/47-6110, www.arelauquenlodge.com, US$278–575 d) is the latest entry in the local luxury-lodge sweepstakes. Rates vary according to whether the rooms have mountain or golf-course views.
Part of a six-hotel chain scattered between Salta and Ushuaia, informal despite its exclusivity, Design Suites Bariloche (Avenida Bustillo Km 2.5, tel. 02944/45-7000, www.designsuites.com, US$333–610 s or d) differs from all of its kin in setting and architecture. In this case, the common areas consist of a luminous clubhouse with cathedral ceilings and views over Lago Nahuel Huapi as well as an indoor-outdoor pool, a gym, and sauna facilities. The accommodations proper occupy three separate buildings with greater setbacks from the busy avenue; all rooms enjoy lake views (and whirlpool tubs, some of them with views as well).
Not just a hotel but a landmark in its own right, Hotel Llao Llao (Avenida Bustillo Km 25, tel. 02944/44-8530, www.llaollao.com, US$240–2,360 s or d) is an Alejandro Bustillo classic dating from 1940, its interior completely renovated in the 1990s. Rates depend on the room’s size, views, and amenities as well as the season.
New in 2005, built into the slopes of Península San Pedro, the Aldebarán Hotel & Spa (Avenida Bustillo 20400, Península San Pedro, tel. 02944/44-8678, www.aldebaranpatagonia.com, US$254–356 s or d plus taxes) is a strikingly modern view hotel with panoramas to Cerro Campanario, Cerro López, and beyond. The rustically stylish rooms are enormous, 35–45 square meters plus huge baths, with balconies overlooking the lake. It also boasts a good restaurant and enjoys contemporary spa facilities.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Argentina, 3rd edition