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Design Suites Calafate

4.5 out of 5.0

Recent guest reviews

A 3 star "average" rating deserves an explanation, so let me begin with the good: The hotel staff - super friendly and welcoming, especially the bartender who makes exquisite cocktails :) they welcomed us with a champagne cassis cocktail which was a nice touch. They really try. Hotel design and room view: whoever created the design of the place was something else, the hotel is futuristic/modern/elegant with an imposing entrance hall, wood and glass being the primary materials used. Floor to ceiling windows give the hotel and the junior suites overlooking the lake perfect view. The original design details are impressive and deserve applause, from the lamps made of wood to the room lighting from behind wooden/glass panels in the room to the large wooden bathroom cabinet, all were beautifully made. The hotel food - we had lunch twice - was delicious, regardless of the reviews i have read here, i can promise that the lamb burger, the steak, even the snitzel with pumpkin purée are very tasty. Flan desert is delicious. Now for the not so good, and these overwhelm the good aspects, hence the average rating. Firstly the age of the place is showing, badly. You get missing front glass door (had a hastily made wood plank instead), followed by cracks or various degree of severity almost everywhere you look. Really dirty windows, which when considering these are floor to ceiling and the calling card of the hotel is kind of sad. The wood is either bloated by water, or cracked or shows tear and wear. Our room had two broken bed lamps, those things were barely not falling off, two single beds made into a queen bed with swollen mattresses and really feeling the hap between the beds. And that's just at first glance, i mean the pool is unusable - the tiles there have dangerous shades of mushroom green and brown, with a caved in window just above the left mid section of the pool. Something massive must have fallen on it. We couldn't use the saunas because of painting being done in the are before the sauna doors, but by now that should be clear. Noise isolation seems to be a problem in most hotels nowadays, this one being no different- we could clearly hear people coughing and talking next door. Internet was almost nonexistent. Location is very remote, which we knew, but at least offer a decent shuttle service. It's twice a day at times that make no sense. It's just sad to see such a beautiful place so poorly managed. It could easily be the best place in Calafate, is has all the potential to be, instead it feels halfway abandoned, clinging to life. Forgot the breakfast - poor variety and tasteless.

Beautiful, well decorated, very friendly staff, great service! The room is very spacious, with a stunning view of the Lake Argentina making our experience even better. The hotel had a small nice pool, wet and dry sauna, a fitness room and a delicious breakfast! If you are looking for a sophisticated hotel, Design hotel will definitively serve you well!

Stayed 3 nights in this hotel. Comfortable rooms all overlooking Lago Argentino. Superbly designed. has a small pool, wet and dry sauna, fitness center and massage service. Outside the city of El Calafate but within a lovely one hour walk to it.

Great hotel and value if you have a Lake View Suite, the panoramic views are amazing and we enjoyed at the end of the day coming back to the suite for a hot jacuzzi watching the sunset from our suite. It is a seasonal hotel and seems they don't care too much for keeping it in perfect condition... the swimming pool is in bad maintenance and water seems dirty, the steam room is non operational. Breakfast service can easily be improved with a bit of love and training of the team. I got a feeling there is no general manager or person in charge of running the hotel, just employees dotted around doing the best they can. Overall was a good base for our time in El Calafate and we consider was a good value for what we paid... is a very nice 3 stars hotel with a great view.

We came in late at night and it was dark on the dirty road. It was hard to find the way to the lobby. The staffs were very nice and friendly. Very impressive with the first look at the lobby. When we first got to the room , it was nice to see all the the modern furniture and lamps. But after we took a closer look, every thing seems like cracks down. From the floor , the carpet, the wall and the closet all need to refurbish or fix. The toilet location is very strange, it is right in front of the sink and no space between them . It is a nice hotel at first I think, but everything had been worn out. However, the hotel has a very beautiful view. The breakfast was ok.

When you first walk through the front doors of this hotel, it is hard not to be impressed. The views across the lake through the massive front windows are astounding, and the architecture is indeed something to behold. But then you get to your room and start taking a closer look. While everything is superficially still very stylish, a closer look shows that this place is really starting to show its age. Carpets are frayed, tiles are cracked, taps are leaky, windows are foggy etc. etc. And the pool - which I imagine was quite impressive when the hotel first opened - is all kinds of gross at this point. It all just feels a little... over-used. Also, the food in the restaurant (we only had breakfast and lunch) was terrible. If someone could just give this place a thorough refresh (while maintaining the overall design aesthetic) and hire a capable chef, it could be a real contender, not just in El Calafate, but in Argentina over all. As it is, however, it is hard to ignore the wear and tear. Also, worst wi-fi ever (which I recognize is partly b/c of where the hotel is located, though we had better wi-fi in El Chalten, which is far more off the grid than this place). Also be aware that this hotel is a 40 minute walk from town, so if you don't have a car, be prepared for a little exercise if you want to eat somewhere other than in the hotel dining room. I will say that the front desk staff were wonderful and very very helpful.

Design Suites has an amazing view of the lake! Lots of glass and wood, with a lodge kind of feel. Unfortunately, the hotel needs so much updating. The glass has a huge crack in the front, floors are discolored, carpets are stained. The heat radiated from the floor in our room the entire stay, even though we asked them to turn it off several times. The rooms not facing the lake don't have air conditioners, so it was uncomfortable with heat coming from floor. The staff also need to be more personable. The employees at desk were nice, but bartender never smiled. It's a shame to see a hotel with so much potential, go down, but this hotel needs help.

The interior design of the hotel belies the fact that the rooms on the second floor get extremely hot during the day. The sun hits horizontally at the floor to ceiling windows and the curtains do nothing to block the heat. My room was consistently over 90 degrees F even with my weak air-conditioner on full blast. I ordered box lunch for one of day excursions. After having the breakfast at the hotel and their box lunch, I ended up violently vomiting all afternoon. I had no food or drink from anywhere else outside of this hotel that day. I attribute the food poisoning to either the hotel breakfast or their box lunch (Option 3: jamon crudo y queso). The fireplace in the hotel lobby looks great but it was never lit up because the hotel management never had firewood. We asked repeatedly over the course of two days and finally gave up. The hotel overlooks Lake Argentina but is remote from the downtown main street. So much so that there are no paved roads leading to the hotel. The indoor pool is narrow and surrounded by windows on three sides. The lining of the pool shows tiles that have fallen off over time. The frontdesk employees did not communicate with each other between shifts because our taxi to the airport never came and we had to remind them to call for another taxi. Needless of say, we arrived nail-bitingly late to the airport. On a positive note, the jacuzzi bathtub in my room did work. Note that it will take at least 30 minutes to fill the tub with enough water.

We stayed in Calafate at Design Suites for a 3-day weekend to explore Glacier Park, while living in Buenos Aires for a few months. Beautifully situated hotel with lovely views of Lake Argentina from public spaces and room. Friendly and responsive staff but the hotel feels neglected. Hot water needed to be turned on the first night to our jacuzzi tub; spotty wifi; horrible TV reception; wind came through windows: visibly cracked windows throughout; massage in 'spa' provided in a screened-in area next to pool so it was noisy and no 'spa' music piped in to provide atmosphere; piped-in music comes from small poor quality speakers, so why bother; could. Or sleep the first night because of loud TV noise from adjoining room; and breakfast was below average. Felt like the owners had a vision when the place was built, but have been ignoring this property. Not recommended.

We just visited El Calafate with my wife in early March, and stayed for 3 nights. We had read some of the bad reviews in here, so were a bit cautious especially after our travel agent had suggested it to us as an alternative. Design Suites is about a 30-40 minute walk from the center of El Calafate. It is on a hill right in from tof Lago Argentino and Junior Suites are the best as you get 360 degree views of the lake and andean landscape. Amazing, especially on a clear sky night! The hotel has been operating for several years now and it does look a little tired here or there. In our case, we came here to do sightseeing, and with most tour operators picking us up at 7am and coming back at 6pm, we welcomed the warmths and great service in the hotel. Staff speak perfect english, and I'd like to mention how fabulous Ariel, Tony, Paulo and Sonia were in accomodating our every request as well as suggesting places to go out for dinner (Mi Rancho does spectacular local foods in a very rustic, local and warm setting). The breakfast were fantastic, plenty of everything from continental style breakfast to argentinean style, including breads and pastries made at the hotel - the medialunas (croissants) were awesome. Paulo and his staff were always willing to help out and nothing was a problem to them. On the last night we were so tired from a day of trekking that we decided to eat in our room with a bottle of red wine. The food was fresh, well cooked and very reasonably priced considering room service. The one thing that worked against them is internet: the wifi was horrendously slow, clearly this aspect of their infrastructure is very old and cannot cope with new devices and current speeds. But on the nights we went into town, we managed to use wifi in other establishments to upload our pics to Facebook. If you have teenagers though, you're in for some sad faces! All in all I feel this hotel is fantastic for the price, would recommend it and would definitely come back again if I ever make it back to this wonderful place on earth. Thumbs up from me!

Calle 94 N 190 El Calafate Santa Cruz

Design Suites Calafate places you within a 10-minute stroll of Laguna Nimez and El Calafate Regional Museum. This 60-room, 4.5-star hotel welcomes guests with conveniences like an indoor pool, free in-room WiFi, and free self parking. El Calafate Historical Interpretation Center and Calafate History Exhibition Hall are a short walk away.


Free buffet breakfast is served each morning from 6:30 AM to 10:30 AM. Enjoy a bite to eat at the hotel's restaurant, or relax with a drink at the bar/lounge. Savor a meal from the privacy of your room with room service, or get a pick-me-up at the coffee shop/café.

All 60 rooms feature minibars, laptop-compatible safes, and phones. Guests can expect to find free WiFi and flat-screen TVs with cable channels. Bathrooms offer jetted tubs, hair dryers, and free toiletries. Desks are also available.


At Design Suites Calafate, guests enjoy features like an indoor pool, a health club, and a sauna. You can take advantage of free parking, along with a shuttle from the hotel to the airport (available 24 hours) for USD 30 per vehicle roundtrip. Multilingual staff at the front desk are standing by 24/7 to help with dry cleaning/laundry, concierge services, and luggage storage. Other amenities at this luxury hotel include free WiFi in public areas, a meeting room, and a business center.

Property features

Room options

Junior Suite

Queen 1 | Twin 2 | Sleeps 3

Suite (Estepa)

Queen 1 | Twin 2 | Sleeps 3

Suite, Lake View

Queen 1 | Twin 2 | Sleeps 3

Reviews from Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor aggregated rating

74% of guests recommend this hotel

Total of 978 reviews