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“Beautiful Mountain Lodge”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Refugio Lo Valdes

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Refugio Lo Valdes
Toronto
Level Contributor
17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Beautiful Mountain Lodge”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 December 2012

This lodge provides a great place to spend 2 or 3 days to take in beautiful scenery, hike a couple of trails, and maybe visit thermal baths.
The lodge is accessible via a gravel road from San Gabriel, just beyond the fork to Cajon del Maipo and Banos Morales. We took the bus from (#72) from Bellavista de la Florida Metro Station to San Gabriel, and then negotioated a ride to the Refugio. If you have acccess to a rental car, it would have made for a much easier experience in arriving at the lodge. Our skills in Spanish are limited, and arranging the ride from San Gabriel to Lo Valdes, and also making conversation with staff at the lodge would have been enhanced by better skills in the language.The lady who looked after us at the weekend had excellent english, and was most helpful.
The lodge appears to be very popular at weekends, and was pretty full on our visit. A number of families had kids, but they were mostly well behaved. One of the family groups invited us for a chat and a glass of wine, which was appreciated. If you can manage it, a weekday visit would provide a more serene atmosphere.
The lodge is part hostel, part hotel. The bathrooms/showers are communal, and were kept in a very clean state. We had no problems with waiting for access or queing in our stay. Our private room, although basic, had a hand basin, and double bed, with great mountain views.
The breakfasts (included in the approx. $48 pp rate) were good. Ask for cafe grano, rather than the "instant coffee". Dinners were basic, but wholesome (steak, pork chops, chicken). The wine and beers were very reasonable in price, especially considering the remote location.We asked for a packed lunch for a hike, and there was essentially enough for two, with hearty sandwiches, fruit and juice.
On one of the nights one of the two docile and friendly dogs at the Refugio, decided to bark for a couple of hours. This kept us awake for quite a while (another reviewer noted this, also). Our room was right over the lobby, where the dogs reside. It may be advisable to ask for a room at the opposite end of the lodge.
We walked from the refugio, along the gravel road, to the El Morado trail head near Banos Morales, about half an hour each way. This is an amazing day hike to the laguna, and then on to the base of the glacier. The views are wonderful in any direction.
We didn't go there, but a trip to the Thermal Baths at Banos Colina was highly recommended by other guests.

Room Tip: Try to avoid a room over the lobby, in case the dogs bark during the night.
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  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank melnchris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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33 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 August 2012

I visited el Cajon del Maipo with my brother this month. The Cajon is incredible, actually within the Andes, but the place we stayed at forced me to write this review mostly as a warning to fellow travelers. We picked this place after comparing with other options in the area, specifically because of all the services they provided, according to the webpage: mountain bikes, horseback riding tours, guided trekking tours etc, so we figured the steep price was actually worth it. We called, made the reservation and headed out there. When we arrived we were surprised to find that none of the services that had led us to stay there were actually available! No mountain bikes, no horseback riding tours and no guides (which are very important, since trekking in the Andes can be incredibly dangerous if you, like us, have no experience or knowledge about the place). This changed our whole visit, what we had planned to be short bike rides into the town of Morales turned into hours of walking just to go get something to eat, no horseback riding through the Andes and certainly no guided trekking. We managed to have a great time anyway because we risked trekking on our own, and luckily were able to endure the hours of extra walking, but we could have payed half the price or less at any other place and get what we received there, which was basically a bed to sleep in. So my recommendation would be to stay somewhere in the town of Morales, this way you will pay less, and be close to what the town and Andes have to offer instead of, like us, have to walk almost an hour if you needed something from the town.

Room Tip: If you do stay here and your height is above average make sure to try the bed when you get it, the f...
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank Javier K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Milwaukee, WI
Level Contributor
22 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 January 2012

I feel blessed to have been to stay here...we got a recommendation from a friend in Santiago to stay here and it was well worth it. The view of the Andes is amazing, and the refugio is the perfect retreat. There are miles of hiking paths all around you and the Termas de Colinas (hot springs) are about 30 min farther up the dirt road. The lodge is great - good food options, wonderful breakfast (included), and the staff are very helpful. This makes a great side trip out of Santiago, but I recommend staying at least 2 nights.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank MGlady15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, WA
Level Contributor
62 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 December 2011

Prices are a little steep for a B&B with shared bathrooms and showers ($48 pp/pn); having said that, the next decent lodging is 30 to 40 minutes back towards Santiago down a dirt road.

The lodge is located on the south hill of the valley, just above the village of Lo Valdes, where the creek from the El Morado glacier and the river from El Volcan meet. The views are absolutely stunning, the mountain sides are painted any mineral color you can think of, from yellow to deep red to blue and green!

The lodge looks like an old Swiss home and this time of the year is surrounded by beautiful flowers and lush green vegetation. Inside it's all wood that creaks and cracks as you try to make your way across the hallway. No wifi or other modern amenities, but we knew that when we booked.

The room was small but clean and the bed very comfortable. The comforter was warm and I can see how this works really well during the winter months.

The staff was very helpful and spoke some English. Breakfast (included) was decent and consisted of scrambled eggs, juice, tea/coffee, bread and butter, cheese and jam. They also serve dinner, but that is extra.

We went to Banos Colinas in the evening and stayed to see the stars come out. Very impressive. The water was warm enough the mineral content fantastic (cost $12/pp).

The next day we hiked up to El Morado glacier (8 km/5 m). Well worth it. A gorgeous alpine valley cul-de-saccing into an impressive bowl where the creek manifested itself from underneath the ice shelf!

So, if you're interested in getting away from the hustle and bustle, and you want to experience some amazing natural settings, Refugio Lo Valdes is a great hub to do that from.

Room Tip: the north facing rooms have views of the opposing mountain side
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Benedict D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Salt Lake City, Utah
Level Contributor
29 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 May 2011

The hotel is under new management as of this month, but it doesn't change the previous reviews - this place is fabulous. We arrived during the day and George, the manager, and Rudolpho, the chef, showered us with attention. It helped that we were there from Tuesday to Thursday, as they say it does get crazy on the weekends. George has great stories and is fluent in English. We also had the neighboring national park to ourselves and hiked up to the glacier there. Our room was cozy and about $80 USD/night. Bring a flashlight and enjoy your stay!

Room Tip: Diablo is the largest with a double bed.
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  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank strick52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 February 2011

If you are looking for a little slice of heaven, this is it. (As long as heaven involves fresh air, gorgeous alpine scenery and lots of hiking.) Within an hour of arrival, we were already considering extending our stay. What it lacks in modern amenities - no wifi and power for only a few hours each night before bed - it makes up for with its stunning mountain views and its relaxing atmosphere. The staff is friendly, and they will help you plan hikes or arrange trips to Banos Colinas - a series of hot springs a few miles down the road.

The accomodations met some of our expectations (spare room furnishings, creaky floors, etc.), but other aspects exceeded them (a good supply of hot water for showers). The managers have a couple of dogs that roam the premesis and give the lodge a homey feel, although they barked at night while we were there.

Due to the remoteness of the area, the menu in the restaurant was somewhat limited, but the quality of the food exceeded our expectations. We ordered a bottle of wine with our dinners and ate outside under the watchful eye of Volcan San Jose (a 19,000-foot volcano). Then we followed it up, but lying outside for an hour and watching the stars. If you are looking for similar serene experiences, this place is for you.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank bluestreak5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bakersfield, California
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 January 2011

This was a great place to stay while visiting the hot springs. The place has an excellent lodge atmosphere and the service was very friendly. Spanish, English, and German were all frequently spoken. A bit pricey considering rooms are small and bathrooms are shared, but they do have to run generators for electricity. Beds are comfortable and rooms are very clean - they make everyone take off their hiking boots before walking upstairs to the rooms. Note: no internet or cell phone service, and don't count on having access to power outlets at anytime. Also, they turn off the generators at night so BRING some flashlights in case you need to use the restroom or find something in the middle of the night!

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank demonsavatar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Refugio Lo Valdes

Property: Refugio Lo Valdes
Address: off the Cajon Del Maipo Road just past Banos Morales, San Jose de Maipo, Chile
Region: Chile > Santiago Metropolitan Region > San Jose de Maipo
Hotel Style:
Ranked #17 of 19 Speciality Lodging in San Jose de Maipo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 11
Also Known As:
Refugio Lo Valdes Chile/San Jose De Maipo, O'Higgins Region

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