Hotel del Lago, San Bernadino


Two more short bus journeys, brings us to San Bernadino and we are languishing in the delightful, charming yet faded lakeside hotel. Hotel del Lago hangs its history on the walls. For instance, Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo and Joan Crawford stayed here in 1935.

Less publicised is the suicide here in 1889 of the German supremacist Dr Bernhardt Forster after his failure to establish a model Aryan settlement elsewhere in Paraguay.

On Sunday this place was buzzing. Families enjoyed a buffet in the bohemian dining room accompanied by an opera singer. But today, we have the terraces – with their overhead whirling fans  – and the small swimming pool pretty well all to ourselves. Close your eyes and you can imagine the heat and jungle vegetation swallowing up this history. We hope not, this place is very special.



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