Jude Vargas

La Isla

  • Where:
  • Why:When you get an invitation from Francis Mallmann, the only response is yes
  • When:April 2022
  • Who:Myself and a friend

"Satisfying all the senses"

AT A GLANCE: On a small private island in the middle of a gorgeous lake sits La Isla, the brainchild of Argentinian celebrity chef Francis Mallmann. This house-turned-hotel is perfect for those looking for a remote retreat. Still, this remoteness does not come without being far removed, so be prepared for a long journey to get here. This nature retreat shines with its gastronomic offerings; expect superb fresh farm-to-table style meals and a fantastic breakfast. Lastly, you will need to reach out to a travel agency to book, as the property likes to be under the radar. 

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La Isla The adventure begins here, crossing from the Atlantic ocean almost to the border of Chile

The adventure begins here, crossing from the Atlantic ocean almost to the border of Chile

La Isla April equals fall in Argentina and OMG the colors were mesmerizing!

April equals fall in Argentina and OMG the colors were mesmerizing!

La Isla First site of La Isla

First site of La Isla

La Isla A postcard to send home

A postcard to send home

La Isla Our first hike and our personal tour guide, celebrity chef Francis Mallmann

Our first hike and our personal tour guide, celebrity chef Francis Mallmann

La Isla The rock that continues to weep

The rock that continues to weep

La Isla Ms. Canela who constantly keeps a lookout for us

Ms. Canela who constantly keeps a lookout for us

La Isla Don't you just love fresh lemons and afternoon tea?

Don't you just love fresh lemons and afternoon tea?

La Isla This! So many vegetables, a nice surprise

This! So many vegetables, a nice surprise

La Isla A Nightly Feast

A Nightly Feast

La Isla The man is still in awe with his home and the surrounding nature. On this hike, we learned about peat and a little history on scotch. Google Francis Mallmann and scotch ;)

The man is still in awe with his home and the surrounding nature. On this hike, we learned about peat and a little history on scotch. Google Francis Mallmann and scotch ;)

La Isla Our Captain

Our Captain

La Isla After 2 hours of hiking, it was worth it just for the views. But the lunch was a bonus too

After 2 hours of hiking, it was worth it just for the views. But the lunch was a bonus too

La Isla The ring of fire, Mallmann style!

The ring of fire, Mallmann style!

La Isla Dive into Francis's personal collection of good reads found in the living room

Dive into Francis's personal collection of good reads found in the living room

La Isla One of the six rooms you can call home while visiting

One of the six rooms you can call home while visiting

La Isla Even the bathrooms make you want to spend a little time watching nature. The windows!

Even the bathrooms make you want to spend a little time watching nature. The windows!

La Isla The details

The details

La Isla A little more reading material

A little more reading material

La Isla Really should have taken a better shot of this one. Classic!

Really should have taken a better shot of this one. Classic!

La Isla Where some of the magic happens

Where some of the magic happens

La Isla Drinks anyone?

Drinks anyone?

La Isla And of course backgammon. And yes we did play!

And of course backgammon. And yes we did play!

La Isla The prep for lunch and what an epic lunch it was

The prep for lunch and what an epic lunch it was

La Isla The making of flatbread, traditional gaucho style

The making of flatbread, traditional gaucho style

La Isla A perfect lunch for a perfect day

A perfect lunch for a perfect day

La Isla Maria, the woman who keeps La Isla going

Maria, the woman who keeps La Isla going

La Isla Canela aka your best friend while you are visiting, especially if you drop food

Canela aka your best friend while you are visiting, especially if you drop food

La Isla A photobomb by Francis, a sense of humor is the key to a happy life

A photobomb by Francis, a sense of humor is the key to a happy life

La Isla The morning mist rising from the lake. Silence a true luxury

The morning mist rising from the lake. Silence a true luxury

La Isla Did we mention the island is powered by the sun?

Did we mention the island is powered by the sun?

La Isla Francis Mallman and his famous berets. The man has style

Francis Mallman and his famous berets. The man has style

La Isla The fancy way to leave the island

The fancy way to leave the island

Highs & Lows

  • Sitting down with Francis Mallmann or watching him prepare a dish at La Isla

  • Shutting off my laptop!

  • Watching the team cook in the open kitchen

  • Savoring every bite of the most delicate ratatouille I have ever tasted

  • Spending an afternoon by a waterfall, and sitting around a large table with everyone to take lunch

  • Hiking up the mountain, and being rewarded with a lunch cooked over open fire

  • Even the six-hour van ride to the lake after the flight from Buenos Aires was worth it, the last 90 minutes was absolutely stunning

  • Being there to watch the colors of the leaves intensify each day, turning a deep red

  • They don't have a website, they like to keep it a bit under the radar. You will need to reach out to a travel agency to book

La Isla Our Captain

The Barometer

  • Design
  • Location
  • Future Forward
  • Night's Sleep
  • Service
  • Amenities
  • Takeable Treats
  • Refer a Friend
  • Overall Value
  • Life Changing
Total: 50/50
La Isla The morning mist rising from the lake. Silence a true luxury

Important Bits

  • Type

    House turned hotel

  • Vibe

    Comfortable and cozy

  • Location

    On a small island in the middle of a gorgeous lake

  • Rooms

    Six

  • Pre-Arrival & Arrival Experience

    Everything was incredibly smooth

  • Future Forward

    Plastic free, everything gets composted and the island runs on solar power

  • Music

    Nostalgic

  • Year Opened

    2017 for guests

  • Designed By

    Francis Mallmann himself

  • Health & Wellness

    The surrounding lakes and mountains

  • Food

    The reason you go!

  • Bar, Events & Nightlife

    Fireside chats

  • Minibar & Retail

    Not needed here

  • Accessibility

    Not ideal for those who are disabled

  • Pet Friendly

    Yes, depending on the size and if house trained

  • Children

    Yes

  • Price

    If you value food, nature, good conversation, and slowing down, then the hefty price tag is worth it 100%!

  • Tel.

    They keep this hidden

  • Website

    Visit website

La Isla

La Isla

Lago Plata, Chubut Province, Argentina

Hiking

Hiking

Lago de la Plata, Chubut Province, Argentina

Swimming

Swimming

Lago de la Plata, Chubut Province, Argentina

Fishing

Fishing

Lago de la Plata, Chubut Province, Argentina

In the Area

Hotel Location Lago Plata, Chubut Province, Argentina

La Isla, the private island of Francis Mallmann, is located in the very south of Patagonia in Argentina. It took two days to finally step foot on the island, where two dogs were at the edge of the dock to welcome us. I was coming from Mexico, so two flights to Buenos Aires, then another flight to Comodoro followed by a six-hour drive and eventually an hour boat ride. AND I would do it again!

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