Portillo - Reviews

Portillo Chile

Joanne McAuley
18/07/2018
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    N/A
  • Rider Level
    N/A
  • Rider Age
    N/A
Portillo is a good three hours drive on excellent roads from Santiago Chile. The lift ticket is best with the lunch option as the 4 course lunch is a really good deal. The two areas to ski surround the lovely small Lake of the Incas. We were disappointed at the small ski area, yes the runs are lovely but short. Riding a lift over the main highway was unique but for the long drive, I would recommend staying closer to Santiago, near Colorado or Valle Nevada where the skiing takes your breath away!

Unreal

Will
15/09/2015
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    18-35
Powder for days!!! Went down for a ski week this summer. I skied 4 ft of fresh powder on a 55 degree day.

Killer steep terrain that is easily accessed via traverse. No crowds, tons of pro skiers to ask for advice, unreal nightlife at the hot tub and the locals bar.

Just a fantastic atmosphere with great people.

Portillo - skiing in the high Andes

Mark
04/07/2015
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Telemarker
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
Big and rugged country. Beyond the typical runs and lift access is some jagged and complicated side country that with the right conditions would make for some exciting skiing if you had the time. We spent a single day enjoying Portillo. The upside was that we weren't stuck there for a whole week and experienced more of what Chile had to offer elsewhere with our limited time. It also allowed us to seek better conditions. the Andes are prone to high winds, dry spells, ice, and debilitating whiteouts, so a single day allowed us the flexibility to seek the best conditions. The downside of spending a single day was dealing with the more complicated logistics for transportation and lodging. It's remote and only the resort amenities are available at the base which require a week long commitment to the resort, much like a cruise ship. The other downside of a single day trip is not having access to the sweet looking pool. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure a week there would be great, especially if the conditions were good, but I'm glad we did it as a day trip given the conditions we had during our trip to Chile.

Good People

Jake DeSantis
02/07/2015
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    N/A
  • Rider Level
    N/A
  • Rider Age
    36-50
My family (46y, 41y, 13y, 11mo) dropped in before the snow started to fall this season - just to see the famous Portillo. We were welcomed with a last-minute room for the night - even though the hotel was officially still closed. We were entertained with fascinating stories from owners Henry & Ellen, and director of operations (director of skiing...?) Michael Rogan.

What started as a disappointing trip to Chile due to lack of early season snow ended as the highlight of our trip owing to the owner / management of Portillo taking genuine interest in their wayward guests. Michael even arranged for loaner equipment and a hike up the small early-season snowpatch for our 13yr-old so he was able to make some turns before leaving.

Can't say enough about how well we were treated by these folks. I imagine these three set a visitor-friendly tone "from the top."

Roca Jack, Lake Views, and Couloirs!

Kyle Ragan
26/06/2015
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    18-35
As many know, Portillo in Chile is a pretty iconic place. The bright yellow hotel over looking Laguna del Inca sitting high in the Andes is quite a site. I did not get an opportunity to experience the resort as a whole since I was on a guided tour that was not staying at the resort. However, we did ski here for 2-days.

One of the first things that you will notice about Portillo is the crowds or, better put, lack thereof. The primary reason for this is that there is very limited accommodations near by and the hotel can only accommodate about 400 guests. Of course this is a major advantage as you spend little to no time in lift lines.

Speaking of lifts ... they have the craziest lifts I have ever seen. South American ski resorts already have a lot of long surface lifts, but Portillo takes the cake. They have 3 mulit-person surface lifts that slingshot you straight up the mountain. Before booking a trip here, do yourself a favor and check the web for some videos (search for Roca Jack) to prepare yourself. The nice part about these lifts is that they are never closed and get you right to some of the best skiing at the resort.

So that brings me to the skiing itself. There is definitely something for everyone here. Unfortunately, we did not have the best snow as the temperatures were quite warm. We made the best of it and hiked a bit off of the Roca Jack to hit one of the couloirs and hiked back out after skiing the Lake Run (both are absolute must dos!). There was a race camp going on while I was there and they seemed to have plenty of activities for the kids.

The best endorsement that I would give this place is that I would go back there in a second. I can only imagine how great the skiing would be with fresh snow. My favorite North American resort is Vail because I love the open bowls. I imagine that with some fresh, the snow fields here would be pretty great with some incredible "hike to" skiing off of the lifts.

Put this place on your bucket list.

Craig
02/09/2014
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    51-70
Got lucky with some fresh powder in late August 2014 and had a truly amazing week. The hotel 'ski week' is expensive but includes room, ski passes, 3 gourmet restaurant meals plus afternoon tea per day & numerous off mountain activities if skiing is not an option. The Hotel nightlife with bars, live bands & disco's will keep any socialising marsupial party animal happy.

Don't be fooled by the relatively limited off piste vertical as daily totals will keep anyone happy with fast quad poma's (1,000ft in 1min) & steep, uncrowded slopes. Heard reports of poor snow condition in the 3-4 weeks up to our arrival so recommend planning once good snow is confirmed, if possible. Weather is very changeable & snow forecasts were unreliable.

Hotel itself is like something akin to 'The grand Budapest' in it's day. If you are an avid skier / boarder with some cash to spare, put this place on your to do list. When it's going off it's one of a kind.

Everyone should go once.

John Kimbrough
20/03/2014
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    51-70
One of the most beautiful places on earth. That said it can be a really mixed bag. Continuing with the good, the food & drink are excellent. You must stop and eat at the on Mt. "Tio Bobs". The two times I have visited it was not crowded at all.

Now the other side of the coin. The price of food and lodging is not cheap and getting in and out the place depending on the weather can be tough. It is one of the strangest mountains in the world, in that there is not much intermediate/advanced terrain and you can ski it out very quickly. It's great for experts and beginners however.

My suggestion would be try and make it a day trip and not book for a whole week.

Portillo Chile

POWDERHOUNDS.COM
19/09/2013
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    36-50
When the Portillo ski resort in Chile is going off it’s really going off. With amazing steep slopes and big storms that bring deep dry powder, Portillo can be nirvana for powder hounds and expert skiers.

However when Portillo isn’t going off and temperatures rise, it can become a small ski area. Avalanche risk is difficult for them to control with blasting as there are many rocky outcrops above the ski area, so the primary mitigation strategy is to close all the black runs. This leaves very little ski area to play on.

Most people adore the cruise ship feel of the place and the amazing social aspects of Portillo whereby nearly all dining, drinking and activities are in the one building. Conversely, a small proportion of people may get cabin fever, especially during a storm.

Other pros: no crowds on the slopes; fabulous service from all staff involved in the operation; they cater well to gringos; and the views are spectacular – Portillo makes the Tres Valles resorts look like pre-school hills.

Cons: limited flexibility regarding duration and commencement of stay; incredibly varied temperatures and snow conditions; lots of traversing that snowboarders may not enjoy; and limited intermediate terrain.

Accommodation does not come cheaply but you get good value for money if you enjoy eating an abundance of quality food.

So Much Fun

Pete
13/04/2013
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    18-35
Portillo has some amazingly wicked terrain and the perfect spot to some summer skiing.

The whole experience is so much fun and you're sure to make some life long friends at Portillo.

Despite it being incredibly social for adults, its also surprisingly family friendly.