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“A Modernist paradise”
Review of Hotel Antumalal

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Hotel Antumalal
Ranked #3 of 26 Hotels in Pucon
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 8 February 2012

For anybody interested in or moved by Modernist architecture, Antumalal provides and extraordinary experience. The hotel has been lovingly maintained and improved by the Pollak family since they oversaw its construction between 1945-52. Arriving in Chile in the late 30s they had fled Prague as the clouds of war gathered. Pucon was to be their new home and Antumalal (“Corral of the Sun” in the Mapuche language) was the realisation of a vision shared between Guillermo Pollak (the Hispanic version of his Czech name) and the architect Jorge Elton, assisted by Miguel Eyquem. This exceptional collaboration produced a building which combined the vigour of middle European Modernism with an extraordinary sensitivity to materiality and context. The views of Lake Villaricca, the mountains and volcanoes beyond all set within lush, verdant forestation are astonishing. The structure itself pushed at the edges of the technological and engineering limits of the late 1940s. Huge glazed walls used the very maximum sizes of glass available at the time, dramatic cantilevers and concrete pilotis exploit the steeply inclined site. The interiors, particularly the textiles, still bare the evidence of Catalina Pollak’s artistic sensibility. These have been updated with great delicacy by her daughter, Rony Pollak who has also continued to nurture the 5 hectares of landscaped gardens which are a splendid delight. They are particularly to be appreciated from the swimming pools, both outdoor and indoor where there is even a sauna and open fireplace for those cold evenings in the winter.

During our stay the air was constantly suffused with the aromas of burning timber which is the principle source of energy for heating although the electricity is generated by a hydroelectric system which dates back to the 1950s Ecological innovations such as this and the organic kitchen garden pre-date the fashionable status they now enjoy. It is testimony to the Pollak’s predictive abilities that they pioneered these ideas so long ago.

Each of the hardwood lined bedrooms has a working fireplace which evokes a primal response in the visitor. I confess that I have never enjoyed a better night’s rest than after falling asleep to the flickering of the burning logs and languishing in the soft, resonant acoustics of the intimately proportioned interiors. The bathrooms are on the small side but are what one would expect from the attitudes of the time. We should remember that it is only in recent years that expectations of this room has risen beyond that of pure utility. However, they have been updated as much as possible within the constraints of the space and, at least, do have proper bath tubs.

The public areas are almost domestic in their appointment although generous in scale. Again natural materials have been subjected to the Modernist's eye. There is a charming bar, several lounge areas in addition to the dining room, still with the original furniture. An exterior terrace runs the length of the room and offers views of the lake, the far shores of which are too distant to be seen. We took lunches and dinners there and were impressed by their variety, quality and presentation on nearly all occasions. There is a very respectable wine list and the waiting staff were courteous and friendly. The one area that would benefit from a little improvement would be the breakfasts. The choice is rather too limited, both on the buffet and from the menu which is restricted entirely to eggs.

The service levels are exceptional; the staff are almost affectionate in their level of care for the guests. You are given the impression that any request will be dealt with attentively and to the very best of their ability. We spent 6 peaceful nights and 6 perfect days with blue skies and temperatures in the low 30s. Although we ventured out a few times to Pucon town and to the Geometrica hot springs we would have gladly spent our entire time in the hotel as we felt like privileged house guests. Much of this was due to Rony and her wonderful team with special thanks to Sarah White who raises hospitality to a new level.

We are already planning our return.

Room Tip: Take the 2 room suite if you can
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  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank demeter66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Antumaco, Public Relations Manager at Hotel Antumalal, responded to this reviewResponded 10 February 2012

Thank you very much for your lovely review! We are happy that you had such a great time & are following up on your comments about our breakfast. We sincerely hope you will return one day to see Pucón in another season. Enjoy the rest of your travels meanwhile, Sarah

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148 - 154 of 470 reviews

Reviewed 5 February 2012

I have mixed feelings about this property. Service was uneven in the restaurant despite having what appeared to be sufficient staff. Specifically, dishes were not cleared very promptly and on one morning the breakfast staff was almost non-existent. My biggest issue with this property is noise. I had a "suite" - number 9. The walls are paper thin. Every sound in the hallway, adjacent rooms, and even the dining room can be heard. I ate at the restaurant twice. The food was good but not anything special. The exception was my last dinner when I asked them to make a ceviche - it was excellent. The setting when the sun is out is splendid. The rooms are certainly basic to include the plastic cups in the bathroom.

Room Tip: Away from public areas.
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  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled solo
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Thank AlwaysOnTheAirplane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Antumaco, Public Relations Manager at Hotel Antumalal, responded to this reviewResponded 8 February 2012

Thank you for your words. We have a plan to work on the acoustic insulation of all our rooms, which will take place over the low season this year. It is the first time we have received a comment about the glasses in the bathrooms, but we will certainly discuss this at our next meeting. We pride ourselves on the personalised service in the restaurant, so, as a result of your comment about the service your received one day at breakfast, we will be running a further training session for all our restaurant staff. Thank you for taking the time to write your review, as all comments do help us to improve. Enjoy the rest of your travels!

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Reviewed 29 January 2012

Antumalal is an institution itself. It's a renovated hotel. The renovation respected the initial hotel. It's charming and confortable. The bathroom was maybe too small. The location is wonderful. The view is a dream. Bad point: the restaurant: certainly not the best of the area: not bad but no surprise.....good food but no more. Something is missing there

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank HDLBruxelles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Antumaco, Public Relations Manager at Hotel Antumalal, responded to this reviewResponded 31 January 2012

Thank you for your comments. Unfortunately changing the bathroom size would require a huge renovation of all our rooms. Larger spaces will be applied to any new rooms we add in the future. In regard to the restaurant, we normally receive incredible reviews about the service, the design and the food in the Restaurant Parque Antumalal. If you have any specific comments as to why you thought there was something missing, we would be happy to hear from you. Safe travels meanwhile and thanks for taking the time to leave your comments.

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Reviewed 22 January 2012

This hotel grows on you the longer you stay. We were initially unsure about the location outside of the main streets of Pucon. We rented a car, so getting in and out of town was not an issue. The hotel retains many of its characteristics from when it was built over 50 years ago. The views were grand from the rooms and throughout the sitting areas in the hotel. The rooms were modest but comfortable with a working fireplace that was even nice in the summer. The pool and the immaculate gardens were nice places to relax after a day's excursion or climbing the volcano. This hotel provides a nice contrast from the crowded streets of Pucon. The restaurant was good, but we enjoyed the variety offered in town a little more. Service was excellent and sets this place apart from most other places in Pucon. For example, on the day of our volcano trek, breakfast was ready at 5:45 am.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank globetrotter423
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Antumaco, Public Relations Manager at Hotel Antumalal, responded to this reviewResponded 28 January 2012

How lovely to hear that you found our service here a step above that in the rest of Pucón! We do pride ourselves on offering that extra something to our guests. We also agree that the fireplaces in the rooms are unique, and idyllic, even in summer. Where else can you get such a great view from your room, alongside a roaring fire, in the midst of 5 hectares of private park, just 2 km from the centre of Pucón! Thanks for staying, for taking the time to post your comment here, and we truly hope to welcome you back some day in the near future here at the Hotel Antumalal!

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Reviewed 19 January 2012

We spent two nights at the Antumalal in November 2011, and had the best time - huge comfortable room and very helpful staff. It comes at a price of course, but we didn't regret spending the extra $ for the treat that staying at this hotel was.

Depending on what you want to do, the only drawback might be the location - it's a few km out from the center of Pucón, so you'll probably want to have a rental car at your disposal if you want to go to town for dinner (or eat at the hotel's restaurant.

Room Tip: We had the suite, which of course we liked a lot.
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Kloddz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Antumaco, Public Relations Manager at Hotel Antumalal, responded to this reviewResponded 28 January 2012

Thanks for your comment. We try our best to facilitate getting out and about from our hotel with rental cars available here at reception. Also, the 2 km walk down into town is very pleasant and allows for some extra exploration and a great wander along the marina edge as you enter the town. We are happy that you enjoyed your stay!

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Reviewed 8 November 2011

We stayed for 2 nights in October 2011 and enjoyed it very much.
The hotel is a very nice place to stay.The location is perfect. The view is unbelievable.
The garden is exceptionally well kept and beautiful and you should take a walk in it.
Service is very friendly. The rooms are up to standard.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank argonfroes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Antumaco, Public Relations Manager at Hotel Antumalal, responded to this reviewResponded 28 January 2012

Thank you for your feedback! I will pass your comments on to our wonderful gardeners, who tend to the park with such loving care. I h ave never met anyone who loves their jobs as much as they do!! And it shows in their work. We are very lucky to have them here. We hope you can return to see the gardens in a different season as the colours and the plants change with the months.

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Reviewed 30 September 2011

We drove from Argentina to Chile and when we arrived in Pucon we stopped at the tourist information and asked for a hotel. They first advised to go to a bigger hotel with a swimmingpool but for us it looked a little too touristic and noisy. Then they advised us to go to Antumalal and that was a VERY good advise.

You drive 5 min from Pucon, enter a very nice park before you come to the hotel.
The design of the hotel is just great. The staff was very friendly and the rooms were just breathtaking. You have your own fireplace in your room. The bar is very nice and it is great to sit down in front of the big fireplace in the main room with a glass of red wine looking out to the lake.
The food is excellent and so are the wine.
The next day we went around in the park (property of the hotel) and we found seven waterfalls, their own greenhouse, SPA, swimmingpool and everything has the touch of quality.
We have told all our friends that they have to go to Antumalal when they go to Chile or Argentina. The village Pucon is not so interesting but the great nature around is a must.
We went horseriding and we booked the tour at the hotel. We got the best horses and guide. It is more expensive then you find in Pucon, but the quality of riding is just great.
You have also some very nice hot springs nearby and also hiking to the volcano.
If you like art deco design you will love this hotel.
We still remember the good smell, the great wine, the design and the friendly staff.
We have been travelling a lot and this hotel is one of our top three in the world.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank KjetilandJohn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Antumaco, Public Relations Manager at Hotel Antumalal, responded to this reviewResponded 7 October 2011

What lovely words!! Thank you so much for taking the time to write this, it really is a wonderful accolade. i will pass your comments into Huepil-Malal about the horse riding you did with them too. Please do continue to tell your felllow travellers about the Antumalal, and we would love to welcome you back any time.

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Additional Information about Hotel Antumalal

Address: Km2 Camino Pucon-Villarrica, Pucon, Chile
Phone Number:
Region: Chile > Araucania Region > Pucon
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Pucon
#3 Romantic Hotel in Pucon
#3 Family Hotel in Pucon
Price Range: £170 - £507 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Antumalal 4*
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
More than just a place to sleep, the Antumalal offers an unforgettable experience. Building began in 1945 fusing vanguard architectural forms with functionality and complete integration with the surroundings. To this day the unique character has been preserved, and all areas offer the amenities of a luxurious boutique hotel. Each of the 22 rooms is paneled with local wood and stone and all materials and furnishings are locally made. The panoramic windows look out over the private park and lake instigating a feeling of calm and total rest. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Antumalal Hotel Pucon

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