*As seen in The Logbook
Featuring seven bedrooms and located within Puerto Varas, in Patagonia, Estancia 440 Hotel Boutique offers guests the warmth and engaging hospitality of the area from the tradition German wooden house that has been converted into a delightful boutique hotel.
We spoke with Andreas Hübner who bought the property from the previous owner in 2012 and set about creating an enriching environment for families visiting Patagonia for the very first time. Having studied hospitality management in Santiago and Switzerland, Andreas and his family, who are originally from Hamburg, Germany, have skilfully integrated the Chilean culture not only into their way of life but also into the fine décor of the hotel.
“There is a great amount of history here,” Andreas, a self-proclaimed history enthusiast says, “Puerto Vara developed when German immigrants arrived in 1853 to the village and prepared the land that was given to them to develop for agriculture. Bringing in the knowledge and machinery they turned this area into a prosperous farming community.”
ESTANCIA 440 THE HOTEL BOUTIQUE
He goes on to explain that the house was built in 1930 and that in today’s incarnation they have striven to keep as many of the original elements as possible. Combining beautiful historic architecture with modern decorative tones and touches, it is a fine example of the beautiful buildings constructed over the years in the X Region of Los Lagos.
Located a short walk from Lago Llanquihne (Lake Llanquihne) and only 500 metres from the city centre, guests can find a number of restaurants, cafes and bars to enjoy. It is wonderfully positioned for those seeking a relaxing stay and the opportunity to enjoy the region’s many treasures at a leisurely pace as well as those looking to get out and have some fun.
As a remodelled house that sleeps seven the rooms don’t feel like hotel rooms at all but rather bedrooms. Each with its own unique look that still manages to keep to the original vintage decoration. There is a double room, a twin room, a single room and a triple.
All of the rooms have heating, WIFI, TVs and satellite channels. They make full use of natural light and come complete with comfortable beds, great pillows and promises of a good night’s sleep. Breakfast is served each morning on the first floor in the cosy common area.
“One of the things that we believe,” Andreas says, “Is that as a host you should always provide guests with a good shower or bath and a good night’s sleep. Everything else comes after.”
HAPPY STAFF. HAPPY GUESTS
Building relationships with staff and reaching them on a person to person basis has enabled their team to gel perfectly, this in turn affects the way in which they work with their guests. Andreas is a firm believer in looking after your staff so that they can look after your guests.
“A happy staff member will result in a happy and looked after guest,” he says.
Every guest is important whether they are travelling for business or are on holiday. Building a good rapport with them begins with responding to e-mails and phone call enquiries as quickly as possible and always offering as many additional pleasures during their stay as you can. This includes extra tips for excursions, restaurants or any other needs they may have.
Andreas explains that he also lives on the property with his family, so he is always on hand to address any needs of the guests. However, ten years in the industry has taught him the importance of seeing the big picture while looking after the little details.
High standards are only good if you keep them, he says, “This is the hospitality industry, lip service is not enough. You have to own your standards.”
This is something that Andreas and the four team members who help run the hotel have taken to heart. It means that when it comes to upkeep, the rooms are cleaned thoroughly, redressed and left looking brand new.
“It is important to us that when guests return to their rooms they are surprised with the neatness and cleanliness,” he says, “You need to impress guests on all the details big and small.”
And this is one of the reasons why Estancia 440 has such congratulatory and personable reviews on their website.
THINGS FOR GUESTS TO KEEP IN MIND
It is a very wet area and it rains a lot at around 200 days a year. Rain coats and trekking shoes are advised as well as patience, because the weather soon improves, and guests are able to see the Osorno and Calbuco Volcano all year round
WHAT TO DO
Happily, when booking on Estancia’s website, guests will find that there is also a well laid out catalogue of different things to do in the area. These range from activities for the family and interest tours, to fine dining and shopping. There is even more available at the tour desk so whether you are travelling as a couple or as a family there is enough to keep everyone entertained.
Andreas tells us that they are developing a new walking city tour in Puerto Varas. Covering such things as the German colonization and visiting the iconic places around the city that hold the most importance to this location’s unique story. This will give guests the opportunity to take full advantage of Andreas’ deep passion for the local history.
There is a lot to be said about the importance of convenience when you’re at a hotel. When you’re saying at a place with your family, the simple conveniences are essential for having a smooth and rejuvenating respite. As an example, at Estancia 440 there is strong WIFI available in all areas free of charge, so children aren’t going to be chewing up data while on their devices. There is free parking on site without the need to reserve, so parents can work that into the logistics of any day trips and know that the search for parking will not be something they will have to endure.
BBQ facilities are on hand outside in the garden, so evenings are essentially sorted around family time. Pets are not allowed and while this means you may not be able to bring the family dog, at least you’re not going to be dealing with someone else’s untrained beast wrecking your food table.
Ironing and laundry services are available along with daily housekeeping and a concierge service. Luggage storage and a tour desk are available as is express check in and check out. Airport shuttle to the El Tepual Airport is also included.
“You’d be surprised at how many apparently family orientated hotels and lodges fall short because they don’t realise a simple principle,” Andreas says, “Great memories come out of smoothly flowing holidays.”
High Season(OCT – MAR): FROM USD 90 TO USD 130
Mid-Season (APR, JUL, SEPT): FROM USD 80 TO USD 100
Low Season (MAY,JUN): FROM USD 70 TO USD 102
ADDRESS: DECHER 440, PUERTO VARAS, CHILE
TELEPHONE NUMBER: +56 65 233921