H2OPat is an adventure vacation with what I would call "glamping-plus" accommodations. It's exceedingly well run by Brian Russell, who also acts as a guide on hikes and rafting. He started the week by reciting a spanish proverb, "the baby who doesn't cry gets no milk" and encourages guests to ask for whatever they want. The staff is very flexible aobut everything and while this isn't like a 5 star hotel where they sit around anticipating your needs, they do genuinely want you to be happy and will go the extra mile to accommodate all requests. Also, the groups tend to be small (our week had 8 people total and that was a busy week for them), which is really nice. They don't overpromise or oversell.
Lodging: Lodging is in tent-like rooms on elevated platforms along the river. Our week was VERY cold and some people had a hard time. The beds are comfy and have huge down comforters, good pillows, etc. A maid comes every day. There are no lights (just battery lamps) and no bathrooms in the room. I really liked the tents and loved being right on the river.
Bathrooms: A short walk away by the main lodge are mens and womens bathrooms with lots of private showers, sinks, etc. One guest in our group slept in the bathroom house (it's quite large) due to the cold (it's heated with a wood stove). There are also more toilets in the main lodge.
Main Lodge: When not rafting or hiking or doing other activities, you hang out in the lodge, a 1500-sq foot yurt-like building with high ceilings and a huge fireplace. There a couches, chairs, tables, etc. Meals are eaten at a long table. Great views, very ski-lodge type atmosphere. There's a hot tub outside which is awesome but wood-fired so the temperature can be too hot or too cold and takes some moderating. It was usually just right.
Meals: Breakfast is continental with weak, lukewarm (bad) coffee and hot tea. Granola, yogurt, cheese, ham, pancakes, etc. Lunches are ususally taken out on the river, or on a hike, etc. Lunches are "weak" and very field-trip like. One day we had cold penne noodles with some kind of salad dressing on it, nothing else. The kitchen brings out appetizers constantly if there are people in the lodge. Great cheese, hummus, bread, empanadas, etc. Wine, drinks, water, etc. Ask and they will bring it. Dinners are huge, multi-course meals, all pretty good. The cook is good. Steaks were WAY, WAY overcooked which surprised me given this is beef country. But overall the food is good and you won't go hungry.
Yoga: They hire a yoga teacher to start every day at 8am. I'm the only one who was experienced at yoga and personally I didn't think he knew what he was doing, and every class was exactly the same. I think inexperienced guests might like it more but it does get boring. It's a nice touch to offer it.
Massage: You get one free 40 minute massage and if you want more you can pay high-end US spa prices. It was pretty good but the pricing for additional massages is way off Chilean exchange rates.
Activities: They offer several things a day, rafting, kayaking, horseback, canyoning, ziplines, etc. Ask and Brian will try to accommdate. The guides are very good and they are very very concenred with safety. The best guides in the world come to the Futa, so the quality is generally good in the region but H20 under Brian hires very good people. Brian is the most conserative of the guides on the river, but you will have a good time.
Overall if you are willing to travel all this way I highly recommend H2O at least as long as Brian R is the manager. I think the manager of a place like this has a big impact on guest comfort and satisfaction and he is very good. In comparison to some of the other big outfitters, the lodge here is the best and none of the others (from what I understand) have the luxury-ish approach to meals, etc. The fireplace and lodge are unique for the area as well. Given the amount of activities, this is a hell of a deal for the money. Also, for singles - there was a single woman on our trip and she had a great time...this place lends itself to singles well.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- H2O Patagonia is an all-inclusive, high-end adventure travel lodge, located in the heart of Northern Patagonia, Chile on the mighty Futaleufu river, one of the premiere whitewater rafting rivers in the world, offering an unbeatable combination of challenge and beauty for active travelers. Guests choose from pure whitewater rafting on the Futaleufu or combine activities such as inflatable kayaking, canyoning, trekking and horseback riding. ... more less