LUGARES MAGAZINE Nro. 51
By: Soledad Gil
Just as the Edén and the Sierras in Córdoba, or the Club Hotel Sierras de la Ventana, the Llao Llao is one of Argentina's past glories. Now revived, it is more glorious than ever. Not even the fires, successive military governments, economic crisis, or stories of courses were enough to prevent the Llao Llao from shining again and to continue its story with every new day. it is wonderful to see it now, as it should always have been, a grand hotel, playing the role for which it was conceived, hack in 1938.
One cannot but admire the discreet way in which everything seems to take place in those wide, wooden hallways, the imperceptible movements that provoke a tingle of excitement as you walk through the spacious and elegant rooms...to imagine that this was how Alejandro Bustillo, the architect who built it, had dreamed it would he, over 60 years ago. The old books in German left behind by guests in the 1940's are now part of the decor. A "touch of living history" carefully placed on new marble tables standing on sensibly carpeted corridors.
The silverware that read "Hotel Llao Llao" in old-fashioned flowery script is now polished and decorating the new restaurant. The bathrooms have hardly been changed ar all, and maintain their refinement with their opaline tiles, their solid shiny taps and the comfortable, almost antique, baths.
The Llao Llao is definitely thinking big. The design of its 160 rooms in an H shaped building is a stroke of genius, making full use of the views over Lake Moreno and Lake Nahuel Huapi in this delightful part of Puerto Pañuelo and the surrounding arca. The Capilla and López Mountains offer overwhelming views that only great, indomitable mountains can Ove. Just draw back the curtains in the morning and there they are: the amazing rocky peaks or the placid mirror of blue lakes with their green peninsulas.
It is almost a duty, either as a guest or a visitor, for every Argentine who is in this part of the country. Stop by and have a coffee in the hotel's winter garden. Or even make a slightly longer stop at the salad bar at midday, without having to spend a fortune. The light stones of the floor - also original - combined with the long tables and rattan chairs, provide a perfect, relaxing corner.
The "hunting lodge" look of the main salon fits in marvellously, just as one imagines Bustillo would have wanted it. The staff are very professional and friendly: waiters, waitresses, receptionists, the girls in the spa,
the golf instructors.... To think that this hotel, in the best spot in Bariloche, had been closed down between 1976 and 1993! But, after its resurrection the Llao Llao is now more than alive, it is in its prime.