Sunday, May 2, 2010

Spectacular Vistas of Mountains and Lakes

View From Aldebaran Hotel

By Roy Heale

In San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina the snow-capped Andes mountains and expansive blue-water lakes are a major tourist attraction. In fact the region is known as the Argentina Lake District and covers a very large domain at the gateway to Patagonia.

I stayed at one of the gay-friendly boutique hotels the Aldebaran Hotel and Spa situated 23km, about a 20 minute drive, from the heart of Bariloche on the San Pedro Peninsula. The property is very private and secluded with great views especially at sunset. A car rental is recommended but not essential. The local Remis service---a cheaper form of Taxi where you share the ride and costs with other passengers---is convenient and inexpensive plus readily available.

Aldebaran Hotel Living Room

I booked my room with Cristian Signorelli of Bariloche Gay Travel who is very knowledgeable of the whole Lake District region and an excellent tour guide. There are so many options available to enjoy in this region a local expert tour guide is very helpful to see everything possible or arrange guided tours and boat trips to smaller islands.

Aldebaran was originally a private home until extra rooms were added to make it a ten-bedroom boutique hotel. The warmth and charm of the home still exist with beautiful stone masonry work and wonderful use of local wood. The common areas include a grand living room, small study and computer work station for guests, entertainment lounge, and small bar adjacent to the restaurant.

The rooms are very large with comfortable beds, cozy furnishings plus some great views and balconies overlooking the lake. The hotel grounds include a waterfront jetty, gardens with outdoor solarium, indoor/outdoor swimming pool, jacuzzi, and full spa facilities. Massages are available by appointment. The cozy restaurant serves a buffet breakfast plus lunch and dinner. On special occasions there are gourmet treats like roast suckling pig cooked on the open fire oven.

All of the staff are extremely gay-friendly and speak some English to assist travelers.

Whether it's for a winter ski vacation or a year-round outdoor get-away to nature this hotel is a perfect home-away-from-home with great ambiance.

Bariloche Gay Travel specializes in bookings here and have some special rates available for the LGBT community.

Aldebaran is the name of a giant bright star in the zodiac constellation of Taurus and the Aldebaran Hotel and Spa is the shining star of Bariloche's accommodations.
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