There are plenty of hotels in and outside of Bariloche, but the Llao Llao is unquestionably the biggest hitter of them all, demanding international fame for its breathtaking position and the view from its golf course. The hotel sits below Mount Lopez on a hill between Lake Nahuel Huapi and Lake Moreno, which looks tantalizingly bluer and bluer the higher you climb.
If ever there was a blade of grass to build on, then this is it. After burning down in 1938, being rebuilt in 1940 by Alejandro Bustillo and then refurbished in 1993, the building looks like a scaled-up version of a ski chalet. Inside the hotel has gone for the classic look: cypress and pine-log walls, stone fireplace, antler chandeliers.
On the downside, with 42 new rooms, the Llao Llao is becoming a little impersonal and, because of its fame, there are a few too many tourists in the car park for our liking. You will, however, be too amazed by the scenery to care.
Bariloche’s ski centre, the Cerro Catedral – where the two separate sides of the mountain have now been linked to each other – is 17 miles away, so the Llao Llao have built another branch up there. For polo in the area, consider the Arelauquen Golf and Country Club (www.arelauquen.com).