March 12-14, 2018
The tiny village of Petrohué sits on the banks of the “majestic” Todos los Santos Lake, often touted as the most beautiful lake in the Lake District or even the world. That is if you see it on a clear day.
The Osorno Volcano, which towers above the village, is best seen from a boat looking back towards the village.
It’s a lovely setting with steep forested hills that flow down to the water on all sides, giving the long narrow lake a fiord feel. The deep clear water changes from teal to emerald depending on the sun light. And that is the real questionable part of a visit here, “Will you have good weather?” Judging from the very green vegetation and the weather forecast during our stay, it rains frequently here with low hanging clouds even when it is not raining.
Boat trips to Peulla are very popular in summer. You can do a transfer from Puerto Varas all the way to Bariloche, Argentina. If you just want to take the ferry to Peulla and back you can take the 10:30 catamaran, spend 4 hours around Peulla where they have activities, and return to Petrohué around 6:20PM. If you want to do a shorter trip there are other sight-seeing boats in the harbor, as well as individually owned boats for hire. As the weather was overcast with low clouds in the hills during our stay we did not do a boat trip and did a hike instead. See the following post.
Petrohué Lodge is a beautiful, upscale lodge set on a hill overlooking the village and out to the lake. Unfortunately trees block a lot of the view. The view from the edge of lake, a three minute walk from the hotel, is much better. On a clear day you should be able to see the Osorno Volcano from the lodge through the trees. It was never clear enough during our stay, so I’m not sure of the view.
The wood and stone structure has tons of windows and is filled with light even on the most rainy days, a huge plus in this climate. The rooms and halls are spacious. The well-appointed lounge has a huge fire place and picture windows that overlook the lake.
We upgraded to a superior room with a breakfast nook overlooking the lake. Again, great picture windows. The room is spacious and decorated in medium wood furniture with a wood wainscoting around the room. Radiators keep the room cozy. The bathroom is rather small but functional. Amenities include a safe and hairdryer. The Wifi is inconsistent, often with a very weak signal. The bed is not as comfortable as it should be with a mattress in need of replacing.
Breakfast – On our first morning there were only four couples for breakfast and they served us individually with eggs cooked to order. The second morning, with more guests, they had a buffet with an OK selection of toast and rolls with butter, honey, but no jam, cheese and cold cuts, four kinds of cereal with yogurt, scrambled eggs, cookies and two kinds of cream-topped cakes. To drink, juice, tea and brewed coffee with hot milk are also available.
First Dinner at the Lodge
As there were only four couples at dinner this evening a short menu was offered; two entrees, two mains and two desserts.
The cream of corn soup was a disappointment. Corn is one of Chile’s staples so the soup should have been good at the end of summer but it was way too salty.
The fried mussel salad was good with crispy breaded mussels, cucumber, cornichon and capers.
The options for the main dish were salmon and a stewed beef served with creamy barley and roasted tomatoes. As we had salmon for lunch we both tried the beef. No complaints, the tender beef was well seasoned and the tomatoes here at the end of summer have been excellent. These were no exception. For dessert a choice of an assortment of sliced fruit or a chocolate brownie.
The brownie was a very large portion of a fudge-type brownie – I could only get through a third of it – and was too sweet for my tastes.
Second Dinner at the Lodge
This evening there were more guests than the previous evening and we were given a regular menu to order from.
We started with the smoked salmon tartar. Looked great on the cover of the menu but we were served a cooked salmon salad with mayo formed in a round block like a tartar would be. The accompanying pickled vegetables were way too vinegary.
For mains Don ordered the trout and I the pork chop. Both were served with oven hot roasted potatoes. Both the proteins were well cooked, but the cut of pork chop was tough and gristly.
Service was friendly and attentive even with one server working the entire room.