“It was like discovering a brilliant.” This is how the Hotel Llao Llao, symbol of the Argentine aristocracy, reappeared – LA NACION

29 Dec 202202:24

SAN CARLOS DE BARILOCHE.- “We arrived in Bariloche and we got fully into the task of locating the hotel. We quickly toured the town that, in that sense, did not cause us any temptation. We then continued to Llao Llao, where Alejandro, like someone who discovers a diamond, did not hesitate for a single minute and ruling out any other location, advised a small plateau covered with burnt forest as the right place to build the hotel”. In his book

The awakening of Bariloche, of 1968, Exequiel Bustillo (1893-1973) thus explains the day in which, together with his brother Alejandro, they chose the perfect location for a hotel that would be legendary.

It was 1934 and Bustillo began his term as president of the Directorate of National Parks. After the creation of the Nahuel Huapi Park, he made it a priority to build a large hotel to attract visitors and consolidate the city’s tourist profile. He then summoned his brother, his architect, and Alberto del Solar Dorrego, an expert in golf. Puerto Pañuelo dominated the bay in front of the future hotel, to the west stood out Lake Moreno, the surrounding hills and, as a backdrop, the imposing mount Thundering, covered with glaciers. Once the perfect place was defined, construction began in mid-1935, which would employ some 200 workers and take two and a half years. Built almost entirely in wood and carved stone, the Llao hotel is It was inaugurated on January 9, 1938 and had a covered area of ​​16,000 m2: originally it had 169 rooms and 147 private bathrooms, a large double-height dining room with capacity for 400 diners, a presidential suite of 168 m2, children’s dining room, microcinema, dance hall, hairdresser’s, solarium, shopping arcade, bakery, soda factory, washing and ironing area, power plant, mechanical workshop, stables and a small printing press.

As rescued by the CONICET researcher Liliana Lolich in hotel Llao through time,

also had a telegraph trick, library , post office, bank branch, pharmacy and infirmary , as well as piers for navigation, golf courses and tennis.

The majestic dining room of the hotel Llao in the first years of operation

A before and after in hospitality

With the Llao running successfully, the director of National Parks decided to give it the concession to the Plaza hotel in Buenos Aires. “Bustillo and his collaborators rightly intuited that the tourism development model they proposed for the region would only be feasible if the infrastructure and services required for such an ambitious project were adequately planned. And they were not wrong.

In a few years, it acquired international renown, becoming one of the most emblematic images of the region of the southern lakes,” says Eduardo Bessera, royal division chief in National Parks. And he concludes: “It is appropriate to say that there is a before and after in the Argentine hotel industry from the emergence of the hotel Llao Llao”.

In turn, together with the various infrastructure works that Bustillo dreamed of for Bariloche, the hotel was key to consolidating the new regional identity. In fact, in 1939 the arrival of tourists to the area was more than double that of the previous year. It attracted members of the regional and foreign aristocracy, at the same time that it functioned as a magnet for the world of diplomacy.

El golf siempre fue un símbolo del Llao Llao

El majestuoso salón comedor del Hotel Llao Llao en los primeros años de funcionamiento The emblematic hotel of Bariloche, under construction

In full swing, on October 26, 1939, the great hotel would be

devoured by a fire. The fire made the structure almost completely disappear, while reduced the furniture -created by the French designer Jean Michel Frank- to ashes. However, the promoters of the project did not hesitate in planning its immediate reconstruction: in record time, the hotel reopened. It reopened on December 15, 1940. The new building retained the initial style, although it was made of masonry with a reinforced concrete structure and an external stone base. Wood was only used for interior and exterior cladding and roof structures. From the reopening, the image of the Llao did nothing but grow. Over the next decade, the Nahuel Huapi National Park would quadruple the number of visitors.

In 1955, the hotel would be remodeled to allow the operation of a gambling establishment. In the hands of successive dealers, in the middle of the following decade, the service began to decline. Among the factors that defined his years of decline were the adverse national situation and some bad political decisions. National Parks made several attempts to privatize the Llao Llao, but they did not materialize. In turn, other tourist priorities were tarnishing it.

It came to depend, in 1974, on the Ministry of Social Welfare . But the low investment and maintenance of various administrations condemned the hotel to its closure, in 1978 Looting and abandonment would mark the next 15 years.

In the mid-1980s , the National Parks Administration once again became freight of the hotel. After calling for international public bidding, it was awarded to the company Llao Holding SA, which quickly began the reconstruction and remodeling of the place.

El golf siempre fue un símbolo del Llao Llao

Golf has always been a symbol of Llao Llao

The iconic place was inaugurated for the third time on July 3, 1993 as

Llao hotel & & Resort, Golf-Spa. Four years later it was acquired by its current owners, the IRSA group and the Sutton group. The return to splendor marked these years.

In December 2007, the Moreno wing opened, adding 43 new rooms , between luxury suites, master suites and a royal suite of 130 m2, where Barack Obama stayed in 2016.

Currently, the 5-star resort s has 162 rooms in the Bustillo wing (in addition to the 43 in the Moreno wing ), an 18-hole golf course, marina, beach, solarium, indoor and outdoor heated infinity pool, health spa, sauna and gym, as well as offering multiple activities to its guests such as archery, tennis, traveling and mountain biking. Gastronomy is another of its attractions: it has four restaurants that offer guide-level dishes.

Some rooms at the The Bustillo building, the initial one, is being remodeled, although it will retain the initial imprint. In addition to the rooms, studios and suites, the Llao offers the possibility of staying in the picturesque Lago Moreno cabin: in its 53 m2 it has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, living room with fireplace and deck.

Each of the corners of the luxurious resort tells a story. Kings passed through these carpets, like Juan Carlos of Spain, and leaders such as Dwight Eisenhower, Hu Jintao, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chávez, Evo Morales, Rafael Correa, Álvaro Uribe, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Michelle Bachelet and Tabaré Vázquez. Also hundreds of stars places and foreign, many of which are registered with fancy names to go unnoticed. Among the most recent -although that visit did generate reactions- was the Russian influencer Hasbulla Magomedov.

El Llao is one of the most select destinations in Argentina

The legendary H-shaped building also breathes family stories: the hotel stands out for the number of frequent guests, who They come back every year and even pass the tradition from generation to generation. This has even created bonds of friendship between various guests and the oldest employees of the place. Some have been working there for more than 30 years and feel it as their home, as do many of the regulars. They have a thousand anecdotes, many

emotional(such as being surprised by Armando Manzanero playing the piano without an audience) and many others curious and irreproducible, which will be kept forever within the walls of the hotel.

El Llao was for many years the most expensive in Argentina. Today, with dollarized rates, that is just a myth. In any case, it continues to stand out for the experience it offers, with rates ranging this summer from US$320 to US$3,000 plus VAT, leaving behind the title of hotel to become a resort, that is, a place-destination.

Those who stay there do not need to move to get what they need. Excellent services and an unbeatable environment. Its creator already knew it when he toured that elevated location in 1934: “Some wanted to do it on a hill; others, elsewhere. When we went down to the port I saw the perfect place. First they didn’t want to know anything.

There was a viewpoint on a hill. We went to see from there, and Right there I drew the hotel for them. So they accepted”.

El Llao Llao es uno de los destinos más selectos de la Argentina Get to know The Trust Project

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