GTHQ Jaunt Journal – Castle: Estancia La Candelaria – Lobos, Argentina
Location: Ruta Nac. 205 Km. 114,5 Lobos, Argentina – 80 minutes (95 KM) from EZE
A European-styled castle in the middle of Argentina?! Yes please 🙂 The story goes that the original owner in the 1700’s visited France and was so impressed by the Loire region castles that he decided to build his own. We were grateful he did as it was great to experience all the activities on the property and the fabulous food. There were lots of well maintained buildings and some vintage early 1900’s vehicles on the property as well.
There are different room options to choose from: Castle suites and classicals, colonial rooms, Molino 2 level suites located in the park and forest bungalows. At La Candelaria, you book a block of 24 hours (noon to noon) and the costs include lunch, snack, dinner, breakfast and one non-alcoholic drink during the meals. The rooms in the Castle are only for guests older than 10 years.
We rented a Suite in the castle and got upgraded to the main suite probably due to low season.
It had a fantastic balcony which overlooked the property.
The room itself was not extremely luxurious and did not have a lot of amenities (bar of soap and shampoo). The management kept true to the style but could have incorporated a bit more options and decoration as it was very minimalistic.
The balcony was quite large and centrally located. As you stepped out you had a great view of the meticulously maintained lawn.
The rest of the castle had elegant rooms and was kept in very good condition.
The property is a sprawling 100 hectares. The park contains approximately 240 tree species and was designed by Carlos Thays who also designed the Bosques de Palermo, in Buenos Aires and the Iguazú National Park in the province of Misiones. There are many species of trees: pine, palm trees, cedars, and autochthonous ombú trees. There are also a massive amount of paths and trails to enjoy.
Many of the activities are complimentary as they are included with the cost of the 24 hour block. We did some bike riding to see the massive property.
There is also a 30 minute horseback riding session but it is mostly for beginners and is very easy trail through the forest. We also had time for a short soccer game to kill time.
There are some pay activities like polo lessons, carriage rides, “Country days” where you spend a day and not a night on the property, and lastly Gaucho Festivals. The management also does event hosting for business meetings, weddings and social gatherings.
What truly makes this property special is the staff. They were extremely hospitable, welcoming and helpful. I accidentally left my iphone on the public bus we took from Buenos Aires to Lobos. The front office staff coordinated locating my phone and arranging a taxi to bring it to me. I rewarded the person who found it and the staff but I really have to give a great big thanks to the staff for acting so quickly and efficiently.
The second point is that the food was amazing. After visiting about 80 countries, Argentina has the best cuts of meat and taste in general. You can find great tasting meat throughout the world but in Argentina we did not have one single meal where the meat was not great to exceptional. La Candelaria also kept this awesome tradition by bringing every table their own grill with succulent meat – way more than what we could eat and boy did we try to finish it. The portions are generous and the spread of sides, vegetables, deserts and drinks were fantastic.
Breakfast was served in the castle in the morning and consisted of fresh baked pastries.
The next time we are in Argentina (and soon we’ll be 3…) we intend to stay here again on our way down to Patagonia. The normal cost is $290 per 24 hour block in a Castle suite. Other rooms are slightly less costly and start at $200 for double occupancy.
The Good: Staff and food, especially the meat Normal cost: USD$290 Our cost: USD$290
The Bad: Castle rooms could be furnished with a bit more amenities
The Ugly: Nothing in particular