In the recent past, Villa la Angostura was almost exclusively upscale, but recent developments include some fine budget options.
Some 500 meters west of the tourist office, the Camping Unquehue (Avenida Los Lagos s/n, tel. 02944/49-4922, unquehue [at] ciudad [dot] com [dot] ar, US$5.50 pp plus US$2 per tent) offers wooded sites with hot showers in the communal baths.
The next cheapest are the HI-affiliates Hostel la Angostura (Barbagelata 157, tel. 02944/49-4834, www.hostellaangostura.com.ar, US$15 pp dorm, US$48 d), an imposing alpine-style building on spacious grounds, and Bajo Cero Hostel (Río Caleufú 88, tel. 02944/49-5454, www.bajocerohostel.com, US$16 pp dorm, US$52 d).
Two blocks north of the bus terminal, the private rooms at Residencial Río Bonito (Topa Topa 260, tel. 02944/49-4110, riobonito [at] ciudad [dot] com [dot] ar, US$42 d) enjoy a quiet garden setting. El Cruce’s Residencial Don Pedro (Belvedere and Los Maquis, tel. 02944/49-4269, US$48 d) is comparable.
With friendly management and traditional Euro-Andean style, on a large lot in a quiet area, Hostería La Roca de la Patagonia (Bulevar Pascotto 155, tel. 02944/49-4497, www.larocadelapatagonia.com, US$39 s, US$53 d) offers half a dozen rooms on its upper floor, with the common areas on street level.
El Cruce’s Hostería Verena’s Haus (Los Taiques 268, tel. 02944/49-4467, www.verenas-haus.com.ar, US$66 s or d) is a German-Argentine B&B with tacky wallpaper but comfortable beds and small but functional baths. It also has off-street parking in a large garden, Wi-Fi through most of the building, and an exceptional breakfast.
About one kilometer west of El Cruce, Hosteria Las Cumbres (Avenida Siete Lagos s/n, tel. 02944/49-4945, www.hosterialascumbres.com, US$66 d) is an eight-room owner-
operated hotel that’s a fine value. Home-cooked dinners are also available.
Dating from 1938, originally built for the APN, La Villa’s lakeside classic
Hotel Angostura (Nahuel Huapi 1911, tel. 02944/49-4224, www.hotelangostura.com, US$74 d) has 20 rooms, some with lake views, and three separate bungalows sleeping up to six people. While its aged floors are creaky and the hot water slinks slowly through the pipes for the morning’s first shower, this once-romantic hotel still has style, personality, good beds, no TVs or phones in the rooms, and friendly service.
In Puerto Manzano, about six kilometers southeast of El Cruce, the eight-room Hosteria Naranjo en Flor (Chucao 62, tel. 02944/47-5363, www.naranjoenflor.com.ar, US$74 d) occupies a forested lot with views of Lago Nahuel Huapi and the Andes. It also has a pool, and a restaurant that pulls in nonguests as well, so the slightly more expensive half-board option is worth consideration.
Set among large lush gardens, Hostería El Establo (Los Maquis 56, tel. 02944/49-4142, www.hosteriaelestablo.com.ar, US$71 s, US$95 d) is an Andean lodge that offers 14 comfortable rooms with individualized decor plus engaging common areas and an excellent buffet breakfast. It’s one of the town’s best values.
Across the Río Correntoso, three kilometers northwest of El Cruce, the historic Hotel Correntoso (tel. 02944/15-61-9728, tel. 011/4803-0030 in Buenos Aires, www.correntoso.com, US$220–320 s or d) started as a fishing lodge in 1917 and became a major attraction before burning down. Once nearly abandoned, it has undergone a rehab that has restored its former glory and more. There’s a lakeside fishing bar, a wine bar, and an outstanding restaurant as well.
A short distance west of town, the Sol Arrayan Hotel & Spa (RN 231 Km 64.5, tel. 02944/48-8000, www.solarrayan.com, US$194–293 s or d) benefits from a sloping lot that insulates it from highway noise. It benefits even more from assiduous service and 42 luminous lake-view rooms with balconies, plus common areas that include a restaurant, a wine bar, and a spa that includes an indoor-outdoor pool.
The area’s standout is the Relais & Chateaux affiliate Hostería Las Balsas (tel. 02944/49-4308, www.lasbalsas.com, from US$480 d), a 12-room, three-suite Bustillo classic south of El Cruce. All rooms have lake views; rates include unlimited spa access and breakfast, and there’s a highly regarded hybrid restaurant with French and traditional Argentine dishes.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Argentina, 3rd edition