The Hotel Termas de Puyehue was designed by the German architect Eugenio Freitag. Construction began in 1937 and was completed in 1942. The initial project was to provide a high-end hot springs and spa for the then Chilean “ruling class”. And, indeed, the better off Chileans came here to enjoy the stunning scenery and bathe in natural, health-providing thermal spring waters.
Today, after an extensive investment program the hotel has been transformed, once again, into a high-end, quality health spa.
From our point of view, for those on a general Chilean Lake itinerary, a stay at Hotel Termas de Puyehue for a few nights will not only provide a great relaxation point, but it will introduce you to Chile’s wonderful natural hot springs (albeit at the hotel the spring water is in indoor and outdoor specialty-pools), but the enormity of the building and stunningly beautiful, natural surroundings offer a truly “good feel” experience.
The actual building the hotel occupies is impressively large. Looking front on, the entrance is an extremely grand, almost like a tower, with a gigantic, high archway. The style is very much like the statement architecture of some buildings built by the Germans around the time of World War II.
The hotel still is very large and spacious inside.
The ownership has changed hands many times starting, initially with the “Sociedad Termas de Puyehue”, partnered with the “Sociedad Turismo y Hoteles de Chile”. This then changed in 1949 when the hotel was taken over by the Banco de Chile, until 1953 when the bank decided to sell the property. People who lived in the nearest city of Osorno appreciated the value of the hotel and created a society to buy it from the bank. The society comprised 10,000 shareholders under the company name of “Termas de Puyehue Osorno Ltda”. But, unfortunately, in 1957 a fire destroyed part of the hotel and from that moment it became difficult to manage as a viable operation.
It was then, in the late 1980’s, when Guillermo Schiess bought 50% of the shares from the holding company with a view to re-establishing Hotel Termas de Puyehue back to its former glory. Guillermo instigated a strategic plan to reopen the hotel and make it a viable business.
Firstly, he opened access to the hot springs during the summer months. He then complimented the summer season by offering accommodation to people who wanted to ski at the nearby Antillanca ski centre – a few kms further up the side of the nearby Casablanca volcano.
Then the hotel underwent a radical renovation and upgrade program that occupied a five-year period and today the hotel is, indeed, a luxury looking, high-end hotel and health spa.
The interior, benefits from well-selected natural wood in as many places as possible, combined with soft lighting, which creates a “warm” and cosy environment.
Space is then occupied with a restaurant, bar, games room and many rest areas.