Concierge.com's insider take:
El Calafate is a dusty Patagonian steppe town on Lake Argentina, close to the three-mile-wide Perito Moreno glacier, one of 13 that flow into Argentina's two-million-acre Los Glaciares National Park. Each morning, hundreds of tourists drive out to gawk and gasp as huge columns of ice calve and collapse into turquoise meltwaters. But when the day-trippers start on the 50-mile return trip, guests at Los Notros—the only hotel in the national park area that faces the glacier—simply sit back and watch as the setting sun purples the ice. The hotel's cypress and pine exterior blends well with the surrounding Valdivian forest; inside are 32 Jacuzzi-equipped, discreetly decorated rooms and an award-winning restaurant specializing in hearty servings of Patagonian game. The outstanding view and guided excursions—including horseback riding across the steppe, sailing among icebergs, or donning crampons to clamber onto Perito Moreno's crevasse-scythed surface—partly justify the hotel's hefty price tag, but it's still a lot to pay for indifferently decorated rooms and inexperienced staff.