Peuma Hue means ‘Place of Dreams’ in the language of the indigenous Mapuche people of southwestern Argentina. Certainly, the name Peuma Hue sets a pretty lofty standard of expectations. So, does Estancia Peuma Hue live up to its name?
A short 30-minute drive from the European-flavored town of Bariloche, Argentina, Peuma Hue reveals itself like a sparkling vision on the shore of Lake Gutiérrez. Guests are first welcomed by a bouncing band of blissful canines, then, by one of Puema Hue’s smiling staff members, who is, most often, waiving from the front porch of the main lodge.
The living room of the main lodge is the heart of the Peuma Hue guest experience: a loungey, warm place with show stopping views through huge picture windows to the lake and surrounding jagged mountains. The door to the kitchen is always open, the blaze of the fireplace is comforting, and the immediate feeling is one of being at home.
Guest accommodations at Peuma Hue are provided in the main lodge and several satellite cabins. All rooms feature hewn-log construction, earth-tone decor and large windows, reinforcing the guest connection to the extraordinary natural setting. Several quarters feature wood-burning fireplaces and kitchen facilities; many readily accommodate families or couples traveling together. Invisible housekeeping fairies refresh the guest chambers routinely, leaving homemade chocolate treats bedside with the evening turndown.
Peuma Hue is a place of well-being, both active and sedate. Days are spent trekking, horseback riding, kayaking, fishing, bird watching, and, in season, white water rafting or skiing. Yoga, massage, cooking lessons, and meditation in the on-site non-denominational temple are also on order.
Regardless of the day’s endeavors, guests gravitate to the living room of the main lodge at cocktail hour for canapés and bottomless glasses of fine Argentine wine. Guests may arrive at Peuma Hue as strangers, but camaraderie evolves quickly, as experiences are eagerly shared among the kindred spirits who are drawn here from around the world. Every evening, staff members artfully query guests to affirm satisfaction with the day’s pursuits and confirm intentions for the coming day.
Puema Hue’s talented kitchen staff embraces the wellness theme. Meals are healthy, fresh and creatively prepared, often featuring the bounty of Peuma Hue’s own organic garden. Dinners are elegant affairs, served on the owner’s family china, accompanied by heirloom silver. Breakfasts are more informal, with a colorful buffet spread in the homey kitchen, where guests circulate to survey and partake of the edible bonanza.
The real magic of the Puema Hue experience is revealed when exploring the estancia’s 500-acre grounds, or venturing into the adjoining Nahuel Huapi National Park. The lake water is startlingly clear. The dramatic mountains bear no scars of human exploit. Horses wander freely, and, despite being working animals, openly welcome the approach of guests. Dogs tag along on outings like old friends. Cats greet strangers with sleepy eyes from lounging posts in the barn or at the foot of the rope bridge. Birds, including hawks, geese, and some funky looking ibis, are so indifferent to human proximity that they seem to have migrated straight from the Galapagos. Rabbits, with laughably long ears, pop out unexpectedly from underfoot, but amble off at a leisurely, almost playful, pace. Peuma Hue is a place where creatures, people and the environment are in harmony.
So, is Peuma Hue a place of dreams? That depends on the essence of your dreams. If you long for isolation in a Four Seasons-like cocoon, or wish to experience mind-bending nightlife, Peuma Hue is probably your nightmare. But if you hunger for a destination where you can make a genuine connection with nature, creatures, and your fellow guests – and in the process, get reacquainted with yourself – then Peuma Hue is truly a ‘Place of Dreams’.
Estancia Puema Hue: www.peuma-hue.com