Food & Nightlife

In line with South American culture, dinner at Portillo is late, the nightlife can be festive and there’s no pressure to get up early in the morning – unless of course it’s a powder day.

Portillo Dining Portillo Hotel RestaurantThe guests of Hotel Portillo and Octagon Lodge have four meals a day (breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner) in the dining room included in the full board package.

The décor of the dining room is dominated by the leather panelled walls that give the feel of historic elegance, and the views across the lake and the ski area are stunning.

The Portillo dining room is generally abuzz with conversation and is a major social centre of the hotel. The tables come in a variety of configurations so you can form groups (after consultation with Quan, the head honcho of the dining room) or if you want to have a romantic dinner for two that’s also fine.

Lunch and dinner are 3-course affairs with set menus that change daily. There are a few choices for each course, and in the unlikely event that these choices don’t take your fancy, they also have a few simple options such as cheeseburgers available. Alcoholic beverages are an extra charge and they have a huge wine list including a small selection of vina de copa.

Now this is a ski lunch!At dinner time there are two sittings. The first sitting is generally reserved for families, as the kids not used to staying up late are already yawning. The second sitting is at 9:45pm which can be a killer if you’re used to eating much earlier, or you normally ski hard and go to bed early. Dinner is an amazing production, especially at the cross-over time between sittings. There is a flurry of red and white uniforms as the waiters go pronto pronto around the dining room. It’s not a relaxed environment in which to dine, but you get used to the fast pace of the organised chaos.

There is supposedly a dress code for dinner of trousers and collared shirts for men, but it’s commonly not adhered to. Some gringoes dress in jeans, t-shirts, or singlets, and some are even cheeky enough to wear shorts, thongs and a beanie to the dinner table. Sacrilege!

CafeteriaFor guests of the Inca Lodge, four meals a day are served in the self-service cafeteria. The food is good; it’s just simpler than the fare in the dining room. Dinner here also starts at 8:30pm.

The bar at Portillo Hotel also serves meals in case you’re too hungry to wait for your dinner sitting.

Posada RestaurantThe Posada Restaurant is a few minutes walk from the hotel over the road from the entrance to the Portillo ski resort. It’s a very economical dinner choice for day trippers or those that want an alternative to the dining room.

The hotel usually organises a dinner at Tio Bob’s on Friday nights. This is normally a very big party occasion, so sign up early to get a spot. They take dinner guests up to the restaurant via the combination of the chair lift and a snowcat, and thankfully you don’t have to ski down after dinner (and mucho drinks) considering it’s a double black diamond run to get down!

Portillo Nightlife The degree of Portillo nightlife and party action varies depending on the crowd there at the time. In family weeks the nightlife can be pretty mellow, whilst during friends week it can go off!

Apre's at Tio Bobs. PortilloTio Bob’s is an incredibly picturesque spot to perch for après drinks, although it’s only open until 4:30pm so après can’t get too festive.

From there guests usually head to afternoon tea, the pool, or the Portillo bar although the bar doesn’t really fire up until about 7:30pm when guests arrive for pre-dinner drinks. The Portillo bar has a good range of beers, Chilean wines and a very lovely version of the pisco sour. Every round of drinks arrives with snacks which we devoured due to pre-dinner hunger pangs!  

Portillo Hotel BarThe bar has live music that can be incredibly entertaining. Earlier in the week the entertainment might be a fraction dodgy, but as the week progresses the quality of the bands improves and the place absolutely rocks.

The discotheque down in the basement is open for drinks from après time, but the DJ doesn’t start until about 11:30pm. There is plenty of seating around the dance floor which is great for watching the dance moves after too many pisco sours.

The Posada Restaurant also doubles as a bar, and the parties and nightlife here can be very vibrant with a young crowd.