Hotel Yachting Club: One of the Worst Hotels at Which I Have Ever Stayed
I recently found myself in Tongoy, which is a town on a peninsula along the coast of Chile that is located approximately 426 kilometers north of Santiago. The duration of the drive from there is just short of four hours and 30 minutes. I had just completed that long and mostly boring drive when I arrived.
Hotel Yachting Club: One of the Worst Hotels at Which I Have Ever Stayed
The hotel at which I stayed is Hotel Yachting Club. Very few choices of lodging in this area of Chile were available on the day which I stayed.
A restaurant and bar are included in the hotel…
…which is located on a dirt road right by the Pacific Ocean.
I parked my rental car on the dirt road along the shore and walked up the steps.
How many hotel properties have you stayed at which have icons crudely painted on its exterior? I am not even sure what at least two of them represent.
The photograph on the left shows the stairs to the lobby. The stairs in the photograph on the right — with the broken tiles — lead to the rooms.
This is the street corner on which the hotel property is located in Tongoy. The green fence hides the parking lot, which is mentioned in more detail later in this article.
The front desk is located straight ahead when walking into the lobby area.
The office of the proprietor — I forgot his name, but I believe he told me that his name was Ira — is behind the door on the left. To the right of that door is where the keys to the rooms hang. When he found out that I was from the United States, he claimed that many of his guests were also from the United States — from such states as Kentucky.
The television was on as loud music playing covers of timeless standards from the United States flooded the lobby area, which contributed to the depressing atmosphere.
This is the area where I sat to access the Internet via Wi-Fi, which the proprietor told me was only available in the lobby area and not in the room — even though this hotel property advertises free Wi-Fi. This area had the only working electrical outlet in the entire lobby, which was cold because even though it is indoors, no door is present at the two entrances.
The Wi-Fi quit out on me after approximately ten minutes due to technical issues; so it was useless anyway.
This is the key to Room 39, which was given to me by the proprietor of the hotel property.
This bank of rooms is located on the level of the lobby. My room was located one level up the stairs; so I needed to pass this tier to get to it.
Room 39 is the closest one in the photograph. I am not sure why it did not have a table and chairs outside of it, as the other rooms seem to have.
I opened the door and saw the barest of furnishings — two beds and a night table — in the cramped space of the sparsely decorated tiny room. This room was promoted as a triple room, which conjures a vision of a room which should have been at least a reasonable size.
I really liked the coordinated decor — especially the covers of the beds, which appeared to be manufactured with two completely different materials of fabric. At least the bed sheets were clean after an inspection. I chose to sleep on the larger bed; and I must admit that it was just barely comfortable enough on which to sleep.
An armoire of sorts was about as close to a closet as one can get. The door of the entrance to the hotel room is on the right in the photograph on the left — note how it is bent towards the bottom — and the door to the bathroom is on the left in the photograph on the right. Yes, I should have switched the placement of these two photographs.
The lone outlet in the room — other than the one in the bathroom — had an extension plugged into it so that additional devices can be plugged in. I initially could not find the light switch to the room — the reason was because it was hidden by two of the plugs. Look carefully and you will see the light switch on the upper half of the faceplate.
By the way, the light was nothing more than a bare fluorescent bulb in the ceiling with no fixture covering it.
Does this count as a flat-screen television? I thought about it and cannot recall the last time a tube television was in a hotel room in which I stayed — not that I watched any television. Judging by the numerous satellite dishes outside, guests apparently have a plethora of television programming — probably to keep their minds off of where they are staying for the night.
The front door did not open and close properly because the bottom part bent too much to even close, as it did not fit in the frame itself. Pieces of concrete were crumbling from the wall past the door in the rear. The workmanship of the construction of the room — and of the hotel property itself overall — left a lot to be desired. It seemed to be in a sad state of disrepair.
The curtains did not meet in the center; and they failed to keep out all of the light. No other curtains, shades or blinds were available to completely block out the light. Fortunately, the season was winter; so night time did not arrive too late.
Because the season was winter, the low temperature was expected to be in the 40s Fahrenheit; and I could not find a heater or thermostat of any type in the room. I am warm blooded and can usually keep myself rather warm, this room was close to freezing. I was forced to close the bathroom door because of the windowless open grate. I asked the proprietor if the room was equipped with a heater; and he said “no” because the hotel property was not typically open in the winter and will be closed again until December. After complaining about having no heat at all, he brought in his own personal heater from his office off of the lobby. Although I thought that that was a nice gesture on his part, the room should have been equipped with some form of a climate control system.
I still slept fully clothed to maximize warmth under the covers.
The bathroom contained a dilapidated toilet with a loose seat and a roll of toilet paper which seems to have seen better days — as well as a shower and a sink. Above the toilet is a square cut out in the concrete wall with nothing but a grate with no window of any kind or window covering.
Every time I used the sink, water from the basin would profusely leak to the floor on the left between the sink and the shower. Because of this, I could not leave the water running continuously for a long time without flooding the floor of the bathroom. Notice the blue and green Tongoy tile in the shower area in the photograph on the left.
At least the shower head did eventually spray hot water. The shower stall itself did not appear to be clean — judging by such areas as the soap dish which is built into the wall.
I also did not realize that exposed plaster work in the upper part of the wall was a style of sorts.
Each room inexplicably seemed to have its own wooden balcony of sorts along a shared concrete walkway. The wood appeared to be too weak to support anything substantial, which is probably why none of the tables and chairs are placed on them.
The corrugated roof of the rooms on the level below and the slanted roof of the lobby tend to block the view of the cove and its beach.
The poorly constructed roofs of additional parts of the hotel property block what is otherwise quite a decent view.
I was not sure; but I believe this caged structure was once an aviary. Nothing alive was inside of it. I guess a bird needs to rely on a wing and a prayer to stay at this place.
This dry hole was once a swimming pool. Perhaps it was not filled because the season was winter at the time I stayed at this hotel property; but it almost seemed like it had been neglected for years.
The Parking Lot
The entire parking lot is shown in this photograph. I normally do not highlight a parking lot in a review; but this one is small and oddly shaped.
This area allows passage between the parking lot and the lobby, which is located behind this part of the building.
The parking lot resembles a junk yard. The vintage Volkswagen microbus is gutted; and the car immediately next to it behind the white car seemed to be permanently disabled.
Security of the parking lot is rather lax with the wide open gate. The hotel property was advertised to include a secure parking lot. I am not sure if this gate was closed or locked at night; but I never saw it closed.
This fence of the parking lot blocks the view of the cove and the beach.
The passageway between the lobby and the parking lot is covered with palm fronds or straw of some type.
Had the proprietor not told me about the parking lot, I would have never known to park in it. I would have thought instead that it was a small private junkyard. The white car is my rental car.
The parking lot of the hotel property is on the right in this photograph, which shows just how small it is. I cannot imagine that more than eight vehicles can fit in it — and that includes the two junked vehicles.
The parking lot is shown on the left in this photograph on this dirt side street going uphill.
The restaurant is located adjacent to the lobby.
The restaurant is decorated with eclectic items — including posters of American movies such as The Godfather and an old typewriter.
Breakfast is included in the room rate and already set out on each table in the morning.
The orange juice tasted like wet sugar, as it was way too sweet and did not seem to contain any trace of real orange. The bread was hard and tasteless. I do not eat ham or cheese; but they both looked disgusting.
Needless to say, I skipped breakfast.
Hotel Yachting Club cannot be found on Google Maps using its address — in fact, Google Maps tends to place it almost 50 kilometers away north northeast in the city of Coquimbo — so I selected Restoran Panquecon in Tongoy as the location instead, as Hotel Yachting Club is located just to the north on the corner. The hotel property is actually rather easy to get to by car via Ruta 5, which is the main north-south highway in Chile that is also known as the Panamericana Norte.
I booked the reservation for Hotel Yachting Club through Booking.com. The room rate was advertised at Booking.com to be $89.25 in United States dollars — that rate was even printed on a sheet on the front desk, so currency conversion was not supposed to be a factor — but my credit card was inexplicably charged $90.10. I have no idea why I was charged an extra 85 cents for a room that was not even worth half of the advertised room rate.
Despite the mostly negative review, the hotel property did serve its purpose, as I did eventually get to sleep for the night — and the proprietor tried to be accommodating with what little he had at his disposal.
Although it has a long way to go to be a decent hotel property, Hotel Yachting Club has the potential to be a great place to stay — it probably enjoyed its heyday decades ago — but I sadly cannot recommend staying at this hotel property.
Hotel Yachting Club
Avenida Costanera 20
+56 51 239 1259 Telephone
All photographs ©2019 by Brian Cohen.