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“Magical experience. Fabulous hosts!”

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Estancia Santa Cecilia
Reviewed 22 January 2014

We have stayed several times at Estancia Santa Cecilia over the last 10 years. The first time when my children were very young and the last time when they were quite grown up, in their late teens. We all loved it every time. This is a real and authentic Estancia experience, where you get to stay on a working ranch which takes guests rather than in a hotel which has a few cattle and horses.

The location, hospitality and food are divine, but as other reviewers have said, you are staying in the home of a working rancher, not in a hotel and so expectations have to be reflect that.

But it is all amazing. You can choose to enter as much of the world of the Vaqueros as you chose. So, you can laze around drinking mint juleps and listening to vintage Tango on the verandas of a 19th century mansion; or you can herd cattle with the Vaqueros and live the life of a working cowboy from roping, herding, branding and the whole gamut of chores. Your call, but I can tell you that the first time my children got to drive the cattle to their evening resting place, deemed safe by our Vaquero foreman from the rustlers from across the Paranha river, they loved the experience beyond words.

Silvia and her family will make you welcome and allow you to make your own choices about how deeply you get involved. My young son threw himself into helping with the hard physical work of roping, branding and herding; my daughter locked onto Silvia when she was pricing and trading cattle with local ranchers. My wife has always disliked animals but fell in love with the amazing working ranch dogs and her most patient steed! Kate and 'Puchicio', who is the most huge dog I have ever encountered, struck up an enormous friendship. He seemed to know that Kate was nervous on a horse and anxious about our long daily rides. So, he came out with us every day, trotting alongside my nervous wife, a big, strong safe protector. They became inseperable and she speaks with fondness of her great canine friend to this day!

Charlie, Silvia's son even taught us all to play polo on the lawn, once he believed our horsemanship was sufficiently advanced. Which is quite a feat for West Londoners who a week before our first visit had never sat astride a horse.

If you want authentic, welcoming and an extraordinary life experience with the warmest people you could imagine, then you will love Estancia Santa Cecilia!

Room Tip: The main mansion house is very comfortable. However, you may prefer the 'cottage' next door...
  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Kieron G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3 - 9 of 29 reviews

Reviewed 13 January 2014

We loved staying here but it wouldn't be for everyone. The key thing to understand is that you are staying in someone's home, not a hotel, and it happens to be a real working ranch (estancia).

The main house has great charm and is filled with antique furniture which they use, this is not a gallery in any way. The bed was very comfortable and the bedroom and one sitting room (at least) were air-conditioned, which was definitely necessary as it was very hot and humid. The bathroom was old-fashioned but perfectly usable. I believe that not all bedrooms are en suite, although ours was.

The food is very plentiful and delicious home cooking. There is no menu or choice, but there are pretty much 3 courses at breakfast, lunch (the main meal of the day), and dinner, one of these typically being a salad. The steak - their own of course- was probably the best we have ever eaten anywhere. The wine and beer flowed and were included in the price, plus there was a constant supply of fresh iced tea, mineral water, tea and coffee etc, really anything you might want at any time of the day.

Our hostess, Silvia, was incredibly warm and hospitable. We ate with other visitors and also her family at one point but there is no pressure on you to do anything, she just wants you to have a great time. She arranged a picnic for us out on the ranch on one evening and an excellent barbecue on another day for lunch. The rest of the time we mostly had a table to ourselves on the verandah. We really couldn't ask for a more generous hostess and she went to great trouble to see that we had everything we wanted.

There is a large swimming pool with sun loungers (no cushions currently, although hopefully that will change), parasols and chairs, and they bring drinks out to you.

They have a reasonable wifi signal in the house.

Lastly, the riding. I had several excellent rides out with Jose, across different parts of the farm, on retired gaucho ponies. I had not really done any western style riding before but it didn't matter, the ponies are incredibly calm and Jose is very sensible, checking out both your competence and confidence and not taking any risks. We saw the gauchos at work plus saw different types of cattle, horses etc and felt it was a very authentic experience, definitely not a show for the tourists. He also took us out on the ranch in the evening in the pick-up, so that my husband (who doesn't ride) could see more of the farm too.

We were sad to leave.

Room Tip: They have double and twin rooms but as it is very small, contact them in advance if you have a prefe...
  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank puffpuff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 July 2013

Dusty Rooms, Toilets that splash dirty toilet water back on you (which actually spills over onto the floor), and 20 year-old mattresses, is not what you expect when you are paying $500 per night. Hairs in the food and the maid went #2 in our toilet. On top of that, the owner of the place said she was giving us a steal on our room, when after we booked our trip we found prices on the internet 30% cheaper. On top of that she wants everything in cash or else you have to pay some huge tax- and she won't even give you a receipt.

Room Tip: Find another estanica. This one is not renovated and the owner has no intention of fixing it up- or...
  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank S R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 January 2012

Our stay at Santa Cecilia was truly the highlight of a wonderful trip to Argentina. The beautiful old building with it's fine furniture , set in wonderful grounds was something you would normally only dream about. The owner, Silvia, is a really gracious hostess who treat our stay as though we were house guests rather than strangers. Our room was large and comfortable and as it was a particularly hot period Silvia had ensured that the air conditioning kept our room wonderfully cool. The food and drink was far more than we had envisaged and everyone was eager to offer us as many choices as possible.
Our favourite activity was riding and being escorted around the estate by the extremely knowledgeable Jose who was eager to have us witness as many gaucho activities as possible. After riding a swim in the pool to cool off was pure heaven.
We would advise anyone visiting Buenos Aires to consider staying at Santa Cecilia as they would certainly not be disappointed.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Pamela K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 November 2011

Estancia Santa Cecilia was our home away from home for 5 days in September and I've never before so thoroughly enjoyed a vacation spot. Silvia is a lovely, intelligent and intuitive hostess, providing food and drink aplenty (I ate way more than I should have!) and making sure we had our plans for the day arranged.

The riding was spectacular and Jose spent time with us every day - taking us out on horseback to watch the gauchos at work, down to the river's edge and over to the other side of the ranch. I truly hated to see our time at the estancia come to an end.

This property comes with my highest recommendation.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank AngieB253
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 September 2011

Fantastic place. Beautiful old building in a beautiful garden, with antique furniture but very comfortable and homely. Excellent family meals, plenty of beer or wine and tea! It was chilly when we were there (even a frost one morning) but log fires were burning all the time and extra heaters & cosy quilts were provided.
The horse-riding was really special - we had quite mixed abilities but we were soon all cantering happily across the pampas, and the horses are so agile and responsive they were a pleasure to ride. One day we rode to the far side of the estate and had asado for lunch, it was amazing.
Being a Sunday & bank holiday when we were there, there was no cattle work going on, but Silvia had provided a guide for us who was full of local knowledge.
The ranch is just off the main Posadas to Iguazu road with very frequent buses, so very easy to get to (though Silvia very kindly helped us out with our bags). Don't miss San Ignacio and the English guide - so interesting, one of the best "sights" on our trip.

Room Tip: All fantastic
  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank Rejse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 July 2011

This was truly a memorable stop over on our holiday. Silvia was a warm and gracious host and made us feel part of the family. Tecko was on hand to help us with the riding and was very understanding given our riding experience ranged from zero to advanced. The riding can be as long or short as you want but you are on a working ranch so you ride along with the gauchos. The food was excellent and the wine and beer was plentiful! Apart from the riding we also managed to squeeze in some golf (at Posados golf club) and some Dorado fishing so there is lots to do.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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Thank Familyrea93
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Estancia Santa Cecilia

Address: RN 12, Km 1366 | 30 km from Posadas, Posadas, Argentina
Region: Argentina > Litoral > Province of Misiones > Posadas
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 22 Speciality Lodging in Posadas
Price Range: £148 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 6

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