Carmen de Patagones actually has more shoestring options, but Residencial Río Mar (Rivadavia and Santa Rosa, tel. 02920/42-4188, US$23 s, US$33 d) is good enough.
Under new ownership, Hotel El Vasco (25 de Mayo 174, tel. 02920/43-0459, www.elvascohotel.com.ar, US$30 s, US$45 d) is no longer a spa hotel, but both the rooms (some of them small) and the common areas have been spruced up, and prices are reasonable.
Overlooking Plaza Alsina, no-frills Hotel Peumayén (Buenos Aires 334, tel. 02920/42-5222, www.hotelpeumayen.com.ar, US$32 s, US$47 d) is a decent choice with carpeted rooms, air-conditioning, parking, and TV, with cash discounts.
Friendly Hotel Nijar (Mitre 490, tel. 02920/42-2833, www.hotelnijar.com, US$37 s, US$55 d) is a modern hotel with good service, parking, and other amenities, including Wi-Fi that reaches some upstairs rooms. Over the last few years it has suffered a bit of wear, but it’s still a good value.
Overlooking the river, there’s Hotel Austral (Avenida Villarino 292, tel. 02920/42-2615, www.hotelesaustral.com.ar, US$51–60 s, US$66–75 d), which has similar amenities but a better location than the Nijar.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Argentina, 3rd edition