Vicky Johnson Guest House

1128 Reviews

Star Travel Rating


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Date of travel

Nov, 2008

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Reasons for trip

Culture / Sightseeing

We had a week booked at Vicky Johnson Guesthouse in Puerto Varas, which is close to the centre of the town and shops.

This was a disappointment and the one place during a five week trip around Argentina and Chile that fell well short of our expectations and what is promised on their web site.

We got off to a bad start as we arrived as the school opposite was finishing and had to push our way through school kids lounging all over the front steps. There was a strident loudspeaker in the school gym (with repeat performances in the morning).

It is a delightful wooden building built about 1926 by a wealthy family and great effort has been taken to present an image of shabby gentility. Entry is into an open plan area with lounge at one end and dining room at the other with kitchen off. There was a large wooden staircase to the first floor with rooms arranged off a large landing area with old trunks and suitcases tastefully scattered around with other old impedimenta.

It has all the problems of a house of this age, including dodgy hot water supply and ventilation in the rooms. There was no obvious smoke detection or fire escape, a major omission in a wooden building with an open staircase. Hot water took 10 minutes to run hot and would then suddenly run cold for long periods without warning (probably a plumbing issue – when hot the water was scalding).

Superficially our room looked pretty with extra cushions piled on the bed, a chocolate on the pillow, teddy bear and nicknacks. It was a small room and there was little space to move around. There was no hanging space apart from 3 hooks on the back of the door and another 3 on a wall. After a short while the nicknacks rapidly felt like clutter as there was nowhere to get rid of them and no space for our belongings or suitcases. The bed was comfortable but pillows were made of what felt like foam lumps which were incredibly uncomfortable. The only ventilation possible was by opening a window to 90° and fastening it with a small catch which blew loose if windy and the window either blew back against its hinges or slammed shut.

The room was serviced daily but shampoo, soap and towels were not always replaced. (The chocolate on the pillow wasn’t either…)

Breakfast was average and service was slow.

Apart from the last day when a young American appeared, staff had no English so attempts to resolve the hot water problem defeated us. They were delightful and very keen to help despite language barriers. There were pictures and framed press cuttings of Vicky Johnson, the owner, everywhere but even though she was in town she was conspicuous by her absence the week we were there.

There is secure parking in the garden down the side of the house through a big wooden gate. You park lined up nose to tail beside the house – a potential problem for those (like us) wanting to be out early. Thoughtless street parking by people for the school could make driving out difficult if not impossible.

Looking at feedback elsewhere, views are polarised into those who love this place (often 1 or 2 nighters) or those like us who were disappointed. By the end of the week all the little niggles were really beginning to irritate.


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