Pros: All inclusive, excellent terrain, beautiful location
We are not the sort of people to spend all that money on an airfare just to go to one place only, so the thought of staying here for 7 days straight, in on Saturday out on Saturday, didn't sit right ... but we did it anyway, and we included a day trip into Argentina to see Mt. Aconcagua, and a day in Santiago on the end of the trip.
I must say, I enjoyed every day skiing at Portillo, and every moment of the hotel experience. We stayed in the main hotel, facing the lake. There are different tiers of pricing, with other options being in the hotel but facing away from the lake, or in the Roundhouse (4 to a room), or in the Backpackers lodge. Hotel folks eat in the dining room every meal, while Roundhousers get a combo of dining room and cafeteria, and the Backpackers get to eat in the cafeteria to keep their costs down. Everyone gets to enjoy the bars and live entertainment. If you want a complete change of scene, take a walk down to the local resort workers' settlement and eat in their local bar/restaurant. You'll get the real Chilean food there, and an authentic no-frills experience. The workers will appreciate the business too. Take cash.
As of the skiing ... ahhh, what can I say? You won't be able to extract yourself from those avalanche chutes ... or the va-et-vient lifts. These are part of the Portillo experience. (Va-et-Vient is French for Go-&-Come). They work like a Poma lift, but instead of one person, they're built for five. Yes, 5 people in a row, standing on skis with a disc between their legs pulling them up a very steep incline. Don't even think about how you'd get off this thing if you're the one in the middle - somehow it just works. These lifts are the best and most economical solution considering the number of avalanches in Portillo's history, as the ski area has lost lifts before (most notably just before they were to host a World Cup event many years ago). The snow is monitored and avalanche danger is well controlled these days, and they won't run them if there's a danger. On such days, you just won't be able to ski Roca Jack or Caracara, or their counterparts on the other side.
While up on the mountain don't miss a lunch or two (or three) up at Tio Bob's - but be careful on the way down, especially if you've had a wine or two (or three) - Garganta could be a tall order.
The main dining room in the hotel is top shelf, fine dining at it's best. Silver service and linen. Waiters with manners. Each room/guest is designated an area of the dining room to use - just an area, not necessarily the same table. That way you get to see some familiar faces during the week, including your wait staff (some of whom don't speak much English at all, but that's OK, it's all part of the experience, you're in another country). The food choices were excellent day after day, meal after meal.
We found the nightly entertainment to be excellent - singers and bands visit from Santiago and other places weekly, to provide a good all-round variety of evening listening in the bars so the guests don't get bored hearing the same thing every night. The evening dining and bar attendance should be complemented by some nicer garb than just jeans and t-shirts - there's quite the international crowd here - Argentina, Brazil, European countries, Australia - and as in their own countries, they all dress up for evening activities. So throw in a couple of nice shirts, some pretty tops, pair of nice shoes, and a bit of bling!
Bring your swimsuits too - there's an outdoor heated pool, and hot tubs.
One last thing: getting there and back. The hotel will arrange an airport pick-up to coincide with your flight arrival time. The fleet of small shuttle buses runs all day Saturdays, back and forth - bringing last week's guests back to the airport, or into Santiago, then picking up the new guests. Even though it will look like chaos when you arrive and leave, it's actually a very well-oiled operation.