LUGARES MAGAZINE Nro. 93
By: Cristina Viturro
Photos: Nacho Calonge
ROCK ON THE LAKE
The black coffee arrives in and old porcelain cup at the rustic coffee table made with hewn blocks of wood in the lobby, where one can be comfortably seated in a Chesterfield armchair, on a striped-upholstering sofa, or on a BKF covered with turquoise cowhide.
The antique crockery, the decor, harmonically combining different elements from different periods and art styles, and the polite service have only one object in mind: making one feel a welcomed guest, treated with warmth and cordiality, and most certainly comfortable.
Everything comes together to achieve this: the interior decoration that bears the signature of Juan Ricci (a detail that is the talk of the town), a relatively small number of guests, the cordial service of the staff, the amenities in the guestrooms, and the many different activities that can be organized.
Inaugurated at the beginning of July, "Peñon del Lago" was born from the total remodeling of a time-sharing complex located on the shores of Nahuel Huapi in grounds covering 8 hectares.
Around the clubhouse that contains the lobby, dining room, gymnasium and other public areas are located the two buildings containing the twenty guestrooms that the complex possesses at the moment. This separation ensures that the lodging areas are quieter and more private, and they come in two kinds: standard rooms and rooms with study areas. The latter come with a loft-type arrangement, with a complete coin cuisine (kitchenette), ready for use, a chaise longue that doubles as a third bed, and wood fireplaces.
The normal type rooms are conventional (only a figure of speech as many of them have a walk-in closet), without a kitchen, and smaller, but maintain the same decor, with an abundance of dark wood, neutral hues and sober modern furniture. The bathrooms are super-comfortable - all of them have sunlamps, towel heaters and hydrozone (aerated) bathtubs. In every case, the studies can be transformed to standard-type bedrooms and together with the other bedroom form a comfortable apartment for a family.
These rooms also provide embroidered sheets, coffee and tea served in the rooms without kitchenette, light blankets one can use as wraps to see the landscape at night or watch TV, and craft soaps with the hotel's coat of arms. This is a very incomplete inventory, as here the watchword is "attention to detail".
The surroundings are used in full for outdoors activities, which are one of the special features of the hotel. The crag after which it is named not only enables a splendid view of Bariloche including the Nahuel Huapi lakeshore, woods and snowcapped peaks, but is the starting point for trekking or cycling tours that can be done within the grounds. At its foot is the jetty where in summer the Bonita, Yurkal and other vessels are moored, available to guests for a sail around the lake, fishing excursions, snorkeling, sail-boarding, kite surf, you name it...
This summer, the offer will include horse treks around the foot of the nearby Mt Campanario, a bicycle excursion on the shores of Lake Moreno and the banks of the Casa de Piedra river (a place that is as beautiful as it is close to the "Peñon") and 4WD tours of the Chalhuaco Valley.
Those who are looking for something more than just outdoors life in this place will find the services of a spa cum sauna, relaxation room (such a green and refreshing place that one wants to spend all day in it) and oriental de-stressing massage. This area is about to expand with the inclusion of a Jacuzzi overlooking the park.
The gymnasium belongs to Vilas Racket Club and offers personalized service. Of course there are also a games room that has everything and a baby-sitting service.
At the "Huelil" restaurant (in summer it will be open to the general public) there are not only freshly baked croissants and prime breakfast coffee, but also tea service, happy hour drinks and dinners served on antique porcelain (like granny's) by candlelight.
"Peñon del Lago" most prized feature may not be found in catalogs and oral commentaries: none of its other virtues can compare with the chance of viewing from a comfortable king-size bed in one of its guestrooms overlooking the lake, the sun rises over the splendid Nahuel Huapi lake..