Fronted by Natales’s most colorful garden—the summer roses are a sight—Hostal de los Castillos (Bulnes 241, tel. 061/413641, www.hostalcastillos.com, US$37/56 s/d with breakfast) is also a teahouse. The rooms are comfortable and spacious, though one double is rather exposed to the street (heavy curtains give it sufficient privacy).
New in 2005, Hostal Isla Moreno (Tomás Rogers 68, tel. 061/414773, US$37/56 s/d) enjoys fine natural light in modern rooms with private baths; a couple lack exterior windows but have skylights. Its restaurant has a limited nightly menu.
Rehabbed Hostal Drake (Philippi 383, tel./fax 061/411553, francisdrake [at] chileaustral [dot] com, US$48/58 s/d) is a quiet, comfortable hostelry that tour operators often choose for their clients. Rates include breakfast, but getting IVA discounts requires persistence.
Other good values include Hotel Milodón (Bulnes 356, tel. 061/411727, hotel_milodon [at] hotmail [dot] com, US$45/60 s/d) and Hotel Laguna Azul (Baquedano 380, tel./fax 061/411207, laguna.azul [at] entelchile [dot] net, US$36/41–55/68 s/d).
Bowing to reality, the moribund Hotel Internacional Alberto de Agostini (O’Higgins 632, tel. 061/410060, fax 061/410070, hotelagostini [at] tie [dot] cl, US$45/83 s/d) dropped its rack rates; it’s worth bargaining for what are, admittedly, spacious rooms with good natural light. Otherwise, there are better values at lower prices.
Atop a bluff on the Paine road just north of town, Weskar Patagonian Lodge (Ruta 9, Km 1, tel. 061/414168, www.weskar.cl, US$78/88 s/d) has panoramic sea views from its bar/restaurant and slightly less panoramic views from the triangular windows of its upstairs rooms. The rooms themselves are midsize but get fine natural light, and the beds and other furnishings are excellent. Off-season rates (April–September), falling by half, are a remarkable bargain.
Just a couple years ago Hotel Aquaterra (Bulnes 299, tel. 061/412239, www.aquaterrapatagonia.com, US$80/95 s/d), a purpose-built hotel that combines style (native woods) and substance (comfortable furnishings), was almost unique. The competition is catching up, but it’s still worth serious consideration, as is its unconventional restaurant menu.
The striking Hotel Lady Florence Dixie (Manuel Bulnes 659, tel. 061/411158, florence [at] chileanpatagonia [dot] com, US$53/66–76/92 s/d) has expanded and upgraded what was already a good hotel without becoming a budget-breaker. Off-season rates, barely half the above, are a real bargain.
Hotel Glaciares (Eberhard 104, tel./fax 061/411452, www.hotelglaciares.com, US$84/96) is also a respectable option; again, off-season rates are a virtual gift.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Chile, 2nd edition