Hostería Alta Vista
Once a separate estancia, since absorbed by the adjacent Estancia Anita, Hostería Alta Vista (Ruta Provincial 15, Km 33, tel./fax 02902/491247, altavista [at] cotecal [dot] com [dot] ar, US$250 s or d) is an outpost of the Braun-Menéndez dynasty that dominated the Patagonian wool industry of Chile and Argentina. Its seven-room casco, which includes one luxury suite, is the place to be spoiled; surrounded by luxuriant gardens in a sheltered location at the base of 1,294-meter Cerro Freile, it has a first-rate bar/restaurant open to guests only, a separate quincho for lamb asados, and flawless service from its English-speaking staff.
Alta Vista offers excursions that include horseback riding in the nearby hills, offering a small lagoon full of wildfowl, with condors soaring above, and distant views of Moreno Glacier. Nonguests can arrange tours of what is clearly the most upscale estancia near El Calafate—unlike Nibepo Aike, it has been gentrified beyond rusticism.
Near Estancia Anita’s entrance stands a memorial to the “Patagonia Rebelde” strikers of 1921–1922; erected by the provincial legislature, it reads “If the winners write history, that means there’s another history: the Santa Cruz strikers, their histories present in our memory.”
Accommodations at Alta Vista are all-inclusive except for incidentals such as telephone charges and laundry.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Chile, 2nd edition