Thursday, August 4, 2011

Panic in Portillo

Today's typical exchange at the reception desk:
"I need to know about the road closures tomorrow."
"Portillo is not responsible for the maintenance of the roads."
"So will the road to Santiago be closed?!"
"Portillo is not responsible for the maintenance of the roads. But based on the forecast it's highly possible..."
"So they`re definitely going to close the pass then?! TELL US!
"Sir, I don't have the answers you're looking for..."

     The truth is, I understand why guests panic. We're three hours from Santiago via a pretty wild and curvy mountain pass. With even a little snow, the road can get shut down. This leaves people stranded at the hotel, unable to get to Santiago where their planes home await them. So the panicked guest is common and absolutely understandable. I get it.
     However, receptionists can't predict the weather and we definitely can`t predict road closures. Will twelve centimeters close the road? Probably. But like I said, we don't clear the roads, the municipality of Los Andes does. In other words, it's up to the Chilean government, so there's really no telling when the road will open, regardless of how much snow falls... My apologies. All I can recomend is that guests plan accordingly. Reception will keep you informed, I swear. If you're worried, leave early. If you want to stick it out (and pay for the extra night), please do. Is that the answer you're looking for?

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