Not 5 Star Standard
Reviewed 10 April, 2020
Stayed here for a couple of nights and were very disappointed with the service. It is most definitely NOT 5 star, and certainly not up to the standards of the Leading Hotels of the World group, of which it is a member. On the positive side: the view is spectacular, down to Ushuaia and the Beagle Channel. On the negative side: the location is a handicap, as it is a 20 minute or so bus ride into town where all the shops and restaurants are and a 20 minute ride back (not including any waiting time). Also, the service was quite poor - on both the restaurant and the bar. Very slow, which seemed to be mostly the fault of the kitchen itself, as the wait staff seemed to be trying, and were quite apologetic about the long waits. The food itself was quite average. Worst of all was the poor upkeep of the exterior of the hotel. The hotel main entrance was not attractive and inviting. Throughout our stay, there was a large piece of plastic packaging laying on the drive, which was not removed until, just before we departed, we notified the staff. There was a bucket outside the door which was full of water and cigarette butts - no one made any attempt to clean it and it looked disgusting. The entrance drive (right outside the door) was full of potholes, which someone should be tasked with fixing.
Very disappointing. Would recommend staying in town as an alternative.
Incompetent Staff and Stuck Up Altitude Made the Stay Lacklustre
Reviewed 7 April, 2020
Stayed here for a night for pre-Antarctica cruise. I had a triple room which is spacious and comfortable, the bath and view are nice, had lunch and breakfast there which are decent. Also had a massage which was up to par and relaxing. The outdoor pools are lovely. Unfortunately this is where all the good end.
Location is up a hill, about 20 mins car from town. There's one shuttle each hour for heading there and back. They are on time but they only used a small van so it happened that if there is a large group, then will have to call a taxi.
My grief lies with the staff, it is the worst I have come across out of around 150 places I have stayed in, and I'm not even comparing Arakur to a hotel of the same calibre, the service of a few of the staff there was appalling, I had much better customer service at accommodations which cost a fraction of their room rate.
- Before arrival I emailed as I wanted to pre-book for a massage, they replied saying that they can only book under the name of the room booking. Whilst I understand their policy that the spa is only for hotel guests and not outsiders, but they are really inflexible and can't think outside the box. I didn't book the room myself but the Antarctica cruise company did which I explained to them. They just kept insisting for the name for the room booking, not helpful. So I contacted the Ushuaia representative of the cruise company myself and Arakur won't even let them make a reservation on my behalf. They could let me book for a massage slot and check that I'm actually a guest staying there when I arrive. Or just ask for my Antarctica voucher, they can cross check with their own cruise ship company bookings. I really can't see any reason for making something this simple so unnecessarily complicated and inconvenient for guests.
- Reception staff, first the check-in time is 2pm, I arrived in the morning but didn't expect early check-in, went back to the reception at 2pm but the room was not ready, ended up waiting for more than 45 minutes before I could get the key to the room. This is quite a basic thing, plus they are a hotel with multiple rooms, guests arrive at different times during the day, they knew I arrived already, they cater to cruise groups so this is something that should have been figured out.
The next day whilst I was sitting at the sofa near the reception desk, a guest was checking out and the staff initiated making fun of tourists from a certain country to her, whilst I'm fully aware how tourists from that country behave and don't even blame them for trashing per se, but please, do it in private, not at the reception desk, utterly not professional and there is absolutely no need to display your racist attitude in public. And just to be clear, this applies no matter what race they feel like discussing about.
- Restaurant staff : I went there before lunch hour and asked when will lunch starts and what's on the menu, the staff brought me a menu so I took a look at it. When I returned during lunch hour later, they inform me they do not serve a la carte that day but only buffet, so why on earth did the staff showed me the menu? Clearly he didn't know what they were serving that day. Otherwise restaurant staff is friendly albeit services a bit a slow.
- Luggage staff : As I arrived early, one of the reception staff took part of my luggage and placed them at this room near the entrance. When I finally got my room and went to retrieve my luggage as I want them asap, the staff there went on about how I should not just leave the lugagge there and they don't know whether those are my luggage. First, it was the reception staff who left my luggage there, it really is not my problem when reception and luggage room staff do not communicate with each other. Second, why something as simple as this can cause them so much grieve, it really is not rocket science, any hotels will just do tags if you want to ensure you know it's the owner of the luggage taking back theirs. The worst part really is the altitude that I could not take, blaming me for your mess and incompetence, I couldn't help to rebut and told him not like I will leave my luggage here again so I really don't give a toss about his thoughts. Btw, they only sit there and make comments, they don't actually help you bring your luggage to your room.
It is very clear that the hotel does not provide training and the staff is confused and does not have guidelines to follow. It is also very clear there is no communication between different departments / amongst the staff. They are unable to handle the simplest things that any hotels can do so with ease, not ok for a hotel of this level and size. But the worst thing is the stuck up altitude of some of the staff despite lack of ability. If the stay is included with your expedition trip, fine, if not, I really cannot fathom a reason to pay and stay here.
Reviewed 28 March, 2020
Stayed here for 2 nights prior to our cruise to Antarctica. Room was warm, comfortable and very spacious. Bathroom had everything you needed. Bed was enormous. Everything was immaculate. Views were spectacular. The pool and outdoor spa were so relaxing and thoroughly enjoyable. Breakfast was plentiful and delicious. Staff were friendly and helpful. The only downside is the location. 20 minutes drive from town on a dirt road by shuttle bus. But it's worth it once you get there. Highly recommended.
ARAKUR HOTEL - STRANGE APPROACHBTO SERVICE
Reviewed 21 March, 2020
Nice hotel with great view but 'the rules' appeared to take priority over customer service. We needed a sandwich to take on a trip to the National Park; the answer was No, we can't do it in less than 30 minutes. After some toing and froing a sandwich was produced but with obvious reluctance. Sandwich was OK but the attitude and aim not to please approach left us feeling less than warmly welcomed. Strange because other members of the staff were very friendly and eager to to anything to help.
Beautifully located hotel, let down by attitude of the reception staff
Reviewed 12 March, 2020
I can't remember when we got a more miserable and snooty reception at a check-in desk - we'd just driven around 500kms from Punta Arenas and were very tired and obviously not dressed up in our Sunday best. We were told "The most important thing to remember is that check-out is at 10am" - Really? The most important thing? Very strange, as breakfast goes on til 11am. I asked if we could please have a room with a view as the hotel is nearly empty - no, that'll cost an extra $70. (I can easily afford this but by this time, I wasn't prepared to give them any more money as it was already 7.45pm.)
I think it's probable that this hotel is so used to group or cruise ship passengers that it has forgotten how to be polite to individual guests.
All very dark and gloomy both in the room and in the corridors. View is gorgeous obviously and beyond the hotel's ability to spoil it with their high-handed approach. (We've just stayed in the Casa de Uco near Mendoza, which cost three times as much and we were happy with that and treated well - Arakur should learn that being a "luxury" establishment should not include talking down to people.)