Since places in Patagonia were quite expensive, we did a lot of research to find the best places at the best possible prices. Fortunately, we were able to find a discounted rate room at Hosteria Los Gnomos through Booking.com.
The hotel was paid with our credit card when we booked it, a rarity as many hostels require cash payments when you arrive. We were thrilled to be able to use our credit card as we earn airline miles which we apply to flights that we take throughout our trip.
Hosteria Los Gnomos – Room #11
We were given room #11 which was located right off the staircase on the second floor.
The room was pretty warm, even for us, but opening a window quickly cooled the room down to a more comfortable temperature. After our last hostel in Puerto Natales where our room was cold the entire time, we couldn’t really complain about our current room being too warm.
The room was clean and had tons of storage space for all of our gear. The bed was pretty average, but for the 2 nights that we were there was perfectly fine.
We were happy when we took showers as the water was consistently hot and the water pressure was pretty amazing.
The bathroom included a bidet, something that we are coming to realize is standard in Argentina. I was curious how it worked and turned it on. Since the water pressure was so high at the hostel, it shot the ceiling. I turned it off and realized that I wasn’t quite ready yet.
Hosteria Los Gnomos – Amenities
Before we arrived in El Calafate, the hostel had sent us some tour information. They encouraged us to review the information and make the decision before we arrived. Since it was high season when we were there, they wanted to ensure that there was room on whatever tour we wanted.
There were options to hike on a glacier as well as visit the most famous glacier in the area, Glaciar Perito Moreno. We decided to go on the XL tour which took a road less traveled to Glaciar Perito Moreno. Not only did it seem like the best fit for us, it was also a fraction of the cost of hiking on one of the glaciers.
While the hotel accepted our credit card when we booked the room, it required cash for our tour.
The breakfast was pretty average. It included rolls with jams and butter, fruit, cereal and muffins. We enjoyed some cereal as the milk was actually cold, something that you don’t find too frequently at hostel breakfasts.
When we left to catch an early bus on our final day, we were happy to see that the breakfast was set up quite early. While we would have been nice to have sit down and had breakfast, we had to leave to catch the bus. Fortunately they had muffins which were the perfect thing to grab and eat on the way to the bus station.
The hostel offered lunch boxes for tours at a price of 150 pesos or $13. We thought that seemed high for a sandwich, fruit and bottle of water so we searched for our own replacements. After searching high and low for a decent sandwich, always a challenge in South America, we found a bakery which had a variety of different sandwiches. We were able to purchase a sandwich there for about $5, a much better price.
I don’t think that the hostel was thrilled to store our sandwiches, but we arrived with them in hand so there wasn’t much they could really do. We left early the next day for our glacier tour so they didn’t have to store the sandwiches too long.
Even though the hostel doesn’t have an official dog, there are a number of dogs that spend time by the hostel. We were welcomed to El Calafate by a dog that followed us all the way from the bus station to the hostel. Another night when we were walking to town, we were accompanied by another dog who wanted nothing more than to play fetch with us.
I had read online that the hostel was not in the center of town. People complained about the walk but I just assumed that it was people that complain about everything. Once we arrived, I realized that the hostel is really far removed from town.
To get from the hostel to the bus station or town was a 20 minute walk, which is a little further from town than I would ideally want to be. The walk is doable, never taking a taxi where we were going, but towards the end was always longer than we thought it would be.
While the room itself was nice and reasonably priced, if I were to go back to El Calafate I would stay at a more centrally located hostel. That being said, money talks so if a hostel in town was just as nice, it would be a struggle for me to pay more than we paid.