At a Glance
The seventeen-room luxury lodge sits on the side of a remote mountain, an hour outside the tiny Patagonian town of El Calafate.
- Panoramic views of the Patagonian Steppe from every window of the property
- Cozy bar, fit with an endless wine list and poker table for after-hours card games
- Simplicity of the accommodations, which offer a local Patagonian charm and sense of place
When you land in Calafate, the dusty plains and jagged peaks that puncture the horizon look like something from another world –not an entirely hospitable one. Eolo, however, is as warm and welcoming as Patagonia is beautifully forlorn. Opened in 2004 and privately owned, the lodge is constructed in a traditional Patagonian style that looks like a utilitarian version of a Tudor manor, with sheet metal siding overlaid with wooden timbers. Built around a central courtyard, all of the rooms face outwards with views of the grandiose landscape and Andean mountains in the distance. Furnishings are simple and comfortable, with a smattering of antiques that blend with well-worn leather sofas and locally woven rugs to create an elegant, unfussy look ideal for a country home. Each of the spacious guest rooms are named after local fauna, and artistic black and white photos (taken by a German expat turned Patagonian wildlife photographer) adorn the walls. The lodge is so private that there are even windows in the large marble bathrooms, allowing bathers to enjoy the rain showers while gazing out at the mountains.
Although the guest rooms are lovely, you probably won’t spend a lot of time in them. A cozy library and spacious great room are popular places to take tea in the afternoon upon return from the day’s excursions. There is also a indoor pool and sauna, plus a deck that overlooks Lago Argentina and is wonderful on a warm day. All meals are served in the airy dining room, and the food is prepared exceptionally well. Because the lodge sits in a protected national reserve, almost all the ingredients ship from Buenos Aires; but they taste as fresh as if they came from an estancia down the road. For those less familiar with Argentine grapes, the helpful staff can guide newbies through their list of Cabernets, Malbecs and Pinot Noirs.
Excursions include ice trekking, horseback riding and outings to isolated estancias as well as hiking and mountain biking on Eolo’s expansive property. Keep in mind that the majority of activities are not on-property a la Chile’s Explora properties, so travelers must plan ahead to book guides and cars for excursions. Children above the age of fourteen are welcome, but the subdued and sophisticated atmosphere and physically strenuous excursions make both Eolo and Calafate in general a better fit for adults or older teens.
There’s a local legend that those who eat the berries from the Calafate bush will return to Patagonia. I think the same could also be said of the house blend tea and mini lemon tarts served each afternoon at Eolo. Kick off your boots and snack on these while watching the sun fade beyond the Andes, and I guarantee you’ll be planning your next trip by the time you get home.
Who Should Stay
Mostly couples looking for the most sophisticated and comfortable accommodations outside El Calafate and a quiet, relaxing ambiance.
Written by Indagare