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“Cozy and clean with friendly staff and decent food.”
Review of Refugio Lo Valdes

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Refugio Lo Valdes
Bakersfield, California
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Cozy and clean with friendly staff and decent food.”
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
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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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33 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
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  • Cleanliness
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
Buenos Aires
Level Contributor
25 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 January 2011

This is a lovely mountain hostel, big stone walls on the outside and interiors floor to ceiling squeaky floorboards! It has a very pretty garden with lots of hollyhocks, some little paths through a copse down to a pond with a bench and spectacular views. There are various options for accommodation - I was there without any sort of mountain equipment and feeling a bit girly so opted for a private room, which was small but clean and had it's own sink and a set of comfy bunk beds. The shared bathroom was excellent and the hot shower was especially welcome.
I had an excellent dinner of pork chops with a wonderful half bottle of Carmenere, then slept the sleep that only really fresh air affords. I was a bit disappointed at being offered instant coffee for breakfast but that's such a small gripe, and the real coffee when I ordered it was superb.
It seems an excellent place for setting off on some serious mountain climbing or walking, either into the El Morado National park, which has a lake you can reach in a couple of hours, or further towards Argentina to the snow-capped Volcan mountain. My impression was that this is what most visitors are there for, and there was advice being given and laminated maps being pored over at reception. As I was kitless, I settled for pootling about walking short circuits around the hostel and pretending from time to time to be Julie Andrews, which suited me just fine!
I did walk across to Banos Morales but found the so-called thermal baths were actually quite chilly, especially as a sudden hailstorm descended from the mountains! Apparently the real hot baths are further up the valley at Banos Colina.
There is a gypsum processing plant in the valley, which generates a bit of noise and dust but it's not intrusive.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank RachelBsAs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kirkland, Washington
Level Contributor
47 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 January 2010

I was here in July of 1998 - after a spur of the moment hop from Dallas to Santiago. Left Dallas in 108F weather, landed in 32F in Santiago.
Took a bus up to San Jose del Maipo, and then hitchhiked (even with a cab...) the remaining distance. Last ride was with "Douglas and Marisol" (regugio hosts at that time), the very same people I'd been trying to reach over the phone w/ no luck.
Sat with backpack and their dog (Laika) in the back of their trusted red Toyota pick-up truck.
Upon arrival they opened up the refugio for the weekend, had a great luch, and then headed (hitchhiking) up to Bano La Colina. The most primitive but absolutely wonderful thermal baths I ever tried. Walked and hitchhiked back to the refugio, to be served a great dinner, and a long evening with the two staff working at the "Refugio" at that time.

Even though in the middle of the winter, I'd say it was around mid-60F during the day and dipped well below freezing at night. I ws VERY lucky since I was not really prepared for any rough winter weather.

This is a "hut" far up in the mountains in a VERY poor valley (cross the river if you do not believe me) but also an amazing place. You get the feel for the grandeur of the Andes by just being there, and there is not much else to do than relax in nature (on foot or horse back if pre-arranged).
If you are looking for something off the beaten path, this is a great stop, but I'd assume there are more like these elsewhere around Chile as well.
I would recommend anyone to take a bus from Santiago to San Jose del Maipo, and then hike and hitch-hike the remaining the way up. You really get to met the locals and make great friends. Just keep an eye out for the trucks rushing down the roads from the numerous gypsum mines. They are both fast and VERY dusty.
All in all, one of the best spur-of-the-moment adventures so far.

  • Stayed July 2007, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Wellcraft19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Knoxville, TN
Level Contributor
79 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 June 2009

Note that my overall rating does not reflect on the facility itself, rather our overall experience described below.

I had heard about Refugio Lo Valdes (Aleman) for years but never stopped there until our recent trip up the Cajon de Maipo. We found the hosts to be very pleasant and helpful, the room was comfortable, the showers hot, the food quite good. However, we did not realize the refugio was so popular with families. It was a holiday weekend (21 de mayo) and most of the rooms were occupied by families with children, including infants, so many they might have outnumbered adults. This made for a lot of noise until late at night (past the 11 PM quiet hours) and early in the morning (6:30 AM) everyday, and some degree of chaos at mealtimes. The refugio is relatively small and open so the sound of a shrieking baby carries to every corner of the building. The day hikes were fantastic, but the nights less than restful. Perhaps we just had bad luck, because the management seemed to realize it was a bit much that weekend. We'd be willing to try again if up that way, but perhaps not on a weekend.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Tom_and_Consuelo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nashville, Tennessee
1 review
Reviewed 8 January 2008

We had gone to the refugio to spend a relaxing weekend and ending up extending our stay 5 days. The owners, Andy and Beni, and all of the staff did everything to make our stay wonderful and went out of their way to make sure that we were comfortable and taken care of. The area is perfect for hiking, rock climbing, horseback riding through the mountians, hot springs... it has something for everyone. We went on an all day ride to the Morado glacier that the refugio set up for us and I can say that that is by far the best way to appreciate the beautiful scenery. Take advantage of everything the area has to offer - or just lounge around and read a book on the terrace. We definately did both during our stay.
The breakfast is great with homemade bread, eggs, ham, cheese, butter and jam, and an assortment of coffee and teas - a great way to start the day. They also serve great lunches and dinners (not the norm for hotels in Chile) and the wine list is small but features some great wines. Also, try the desserts... you won't be dissapointed.
I agree with the other reviewer, it's not a luxury hotel - but it's certainly not roughing it either. We took a shuttle service that leaves from Santiago in the morning and gets there around 10am. At the refugio they can help you with how to get there if you talk to them (they speak English too). All in all a great experience!

  • Liked — Friendly staff and beautiful location.
  • Disliked — The bathrooms are clean, but shared with other guests.
  • Stayed January 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Check-in / front desk
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Helpful?
Thank TravelerLizzy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, WA
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 October 2007

During a three week trip through Chile and Argentina, this was our favorite place to stay. We stayed two nights in a bedroom with an amazing view of the mountains. The refugio is spectacularly located near wonderful hikes and not far from the rustic and unique thermal springs in Banos Colina. Andrew, the host, offered great advice on where to hike or go exploring. We understand that they get very busy in the high season, but they had plenty of room when we were there in October. The restaurant has delicious dinners - hearty meat and lots of fresh vegetables. They also have a great wine list. The lodge is built of stone and wood with a friendly fireplace in the main room. This is not a luxury hotel experience, but if you like rustic, cozy, beautiful mountain accomodations, the refugio is an amazing find. I can't think of a more pleasant way to spend an evening after a good hike than sitting under the flowering trees in the refugio's yard, reading a book and watching the sun go down over the Andes.

The refugio is located near Banos Morales, on the Cajon del Maipo road. You'll need a rental car to get there - we did not have 4 wheel drive, but it would have been helpful. It's a beautiful drive from Santiago (about 2.5 hours).

  • Liked — Great value, beautiful location
  • Disliked — Low water pressure in shower
  • Stayed October 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank wall-king
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 21 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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