Traditionally, accommodations are scarce, prices high, and quality mediocre, but things are improving. Demand is also high, so reservations are advisable.
With gracious and conscientious ownership, Hotel Colonial (Rivadavia and Urquiza, tel. 02966/42-2329, US$21 s, US$31 d, with shared bath and without breakfast) is the best shoestring choice, but the rooms are small. Rates include kitchen access.
Undergoing a major renovation, friendly Hotel Punta Arenas (Federico Sphur 55, tel. 02966/443-1924, US$21–40 s, US$29–42 d) looks to improve considerably, though some rooms are still a little rough around the edges. The renovation will probably eliminate its budget rooms, however, which have shared baths. Breakfast takes place in its adjacent Something Café, which has Wi-Fi and a small but tasty snack menu.
Ill-planned remodeling has cost Hotel París (Avenida Roca 1040, tel. 02966/42-2432, US$31 s, US$37 d) most of its original charm, but it’s still respectable though rough around the edges. Modern motel-style rooms at the back have high ceilings and firm single beds.
Aging but reliable Hotel Covadonga (Avenida Roca 1244, tel. 02966/42-0190, hotelcovadongargl [at] hotmail [dot] com, US$20–27 s, US$34–38 d, with breakfast) has rooms with both shared and private baths as well as sheltered parking.
Amiable Hostería La Posada (Ameghino 331, tel. 02966/43-6445, marianobertinat [at] hotmail [dot] com, US$38 s, US$46 d) is a major step up for comfortable rooms with private baths (including tubs) and cable TV, and popular enough that reservations are advisable. Meals are available in its small restaurant.
Reservations are almost essential for spacious, friendly, and well-kept
Hotel Sehuen (Rawson 160, tel. 02966/42-5683, www.hotelsehuen.com, US$40 s, US$50 d).
Better than its lackluster exterior implies, the large, spotless rooms at aging Hotel Comercio (Avenida Roca 1302, tel. 02966/42-0209, hotelcomercio [at] informacionrgl [dot] com [dot] ar, US$58 s, US$81 d, with a so-so breakfast) are worn around the edges with dim lighting and insufficient electrical outlets. Still, the private baths have tubs, there’s phone service and satellite TV, and the common areas are excellent. There’s a 10 percent discount for cash.
Nondescript Hotel Santa Cruz (Avenida Roca 701, tel. 02966/42-0601, htlscruz [at] infovia [dot] com [dot] ar, US$58–71 s, US$75–94 d) has undergone a remodel, but it’s not clear than the improvements have been dramatic enough to justify its rising prices.
It took 20 years to finish, and the 80-room Hotel Patagonia (Fagnano 54, tel. 02966/44-4969, www.hotel-patagonia.com, US$95–161 s, US$106–171 d) still needs to tidy up some details. Still, under the same ownership as El Calafate’s Hotel Los Alamos, it has established itself as the city’s best, with a gym, a spa, a business center, and Wi-Fi throughout. The higher rates correspond to five larger suites.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Argentina, 3rd edition