Patagonia, Chile

Explora Patagonia

Rates from (ex tax)$1,204.66

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (USD1,433.55), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

South American Scandi

Setting

No pleasure without Paine

Anchored to the shores of mountain-mirroring Lake Pehoé, luxury hotel Explora Patagonia hunkers down into the craggy landscape of the Torres del Paine National Park. It’s surrounded by a dramatic granite amphitheatre of jagged mountains. Stays here are an indoor-outdoor affair, on foot, horseback or in comfort of the hotel’s open-air Jacuzzis. You also have a front-row seat for views of Cordillera Paine and its hardy animal population: a brace of black-breasted eagles, or a lonely guanaco. Back indoors, roaring fires and Scandi-lite interiors ensure Explora’s brand of humble luxury softens the edges of this remote and rugged region.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A 30-minute massage a person, each stay

Facilities

Photos Explora Patagonia facilities

Need to know

Rooms

49, including six suites.

Check–Out

3pm, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 12 noon.

Rates

Double rooms from $1204.66, excluding tax at 19 per cent.

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (USD1,433.55), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates include all meals, drinks, transfers, guided excursions and spa access.

Also

Don’t hold back on getting a thorough drenching in Patagonia’s famous four-seasons-in-one-day weather: the hotel has warming racks for drying gear so your waterproofs will be toasty the following day.

At the hotel

Spa, boutique, working ranch, guides and free WiFi. In rooms: a seriously impressive view, hydromassage bath tub.

Our favourite rooms

Each of the rooms is a study in rugged luxury, with clean modern lines, Mapuche-style patterned textiles, softly curving blonde-beech walls and slate-tiled bathrooms. Interior design elements are somewhat secondary when the view is this good; there’s a band of windows wrapping around the full front of the building, bestowing each room with glorious panorama. Don’t be shy and keep your curtains open on the first night of your stay, so you’ll wake up to the view. Exploradores Suites are especially blessed, overlooking Macizo del Paine; the Salto Chico Rooms have calming waterfall views. There are no TVs or air-conditioning, but hydromassage bath tubs in each room provide enough entertainment and relieve post-hike muscle soreness, and heating ensures you won’t get – ahem – chilly in Chile.

Poolside

The wood-clad, indoor heated pool feels like an alpine hideaway – it’s more of a lap pool than a spot for posing. There’s a mini fridge so you can enjoy champagne in the hot tubs, too.

Spa

An outside dash is required to reach the Ona spa, located 100 metres from the main building connected by a sloped wooden path. After a strenuous hike, there’s nothing more soothing than slipping into the waters of the heated, covered pool or warming tired limbs in the sauna. The four open-air Jacuzzis have views of the Paine River and massages with essential oils can be tailored to relax or energise.

Packing tips

Look to rugged outdoorsy brands for gear that looks good and protects you from the elements.

Also

Wheelchair access is limited due to the terrain.

Children

All ages are welcome, though there are no facilities or menus for kids. Rather, bring older, outdoorsy kids for ‘guess-what-I-did-on-holiday’ bragging rights. One extra bed (for ages 12 and under) can be added to all rooms, on request.

Eco‐friendly

Where possible, the hotel uses indigenous materials and local produce. The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) body has recognised the hotel’s many efforts to promote sustainability, including its award-winning architecture that negates the need for air-conditioning.

Food and Drink

Photos Explora Patagonia food and drink

Top Table

A ribbon of windows around the front of the hotel ensures all tables have a distracting view of the lake below.

Dress Code

Nobody’s judging what you’re wearing: chinos and a shirt for him and her will fit in just fine.

Hotel restaurant

Despite being five hours from the nearest conurbation, the hotel’s fresh sustenance belies its isolated setting. Much of the food is locally sourced and dependent on the season, though lamb is a stand-out dish year-round. The ever-changing menu is packed with Chilean classics and all meals are accompanied by robust and full-bodied wines. If the weather permits, make sure you get your name down for the spit-roasted lamb, served alfresco at the quincho (an outdoor kitchen and barbecue). Share a mate with the huasos and listen to their stories before tucking in.  

Hotel bar

The Explorer’s Bar is the place to congregate in the evening to discuss plans for the following day with guides and guests alike. Local liqueurs, Chilean wines and cocktails – an especially piquant Pisco sour – make up the menu, with nibble-y bar snacks on offer. And as you’re in Chile, you can be certain that the vino is muy, muy bueno.

Last orders

Dine in the restaurant from 7am to 10pm. Drinks are poured in the bar from 7am to 11pm.

Location

Photos Explora Patagonia location
Address
Explora Patagonia
Región de Magallanes y de la Antártica Chilena
Torres de Paine
Torres de Paine
Chile

Planes

British Airways (www.britishairways.com) flies direct to Santiago from the UK; indirect flights are with Alitalia via Rome and Aeroméxico via Mexico City, both from Heathrow. United (www.united.com) and American Airlines (www.aa.com) fly from a variety of US airports, such as Houston and Miami. You’ll then need to fly to Punta Arenas, the closest airport to Explora Patagonia; there are direct flights operated by Latam (www.lan.com) and Sky airlines (www.skyairline.cl).

Automobiles

The hotel can arrange free transfers from Punta Arenas (a five-hour drive), Puerto Natales (a two-hour drive, available in high season only) and Cerro Castillo (a four-and-a-half-hour drive) on the border with Argentina. The minibus will be waiting for you when your flight lands. Distances in this part of the world are vast, but if you’re determined to drive you’ll need a four-wheel drive and brace yourself for bumpy terrain. You can break up the journey by stopping at the Milodón Cave (where you can learn about Patagonia’s prehistoric residents), about three hours from Punta Arenas and 30 minutes from Puerto Natales. Once you eventually arrive, on-site parking is free.

Worth getting out of bed for

When staying here, you’re five hours from the nearest town at the bottom of South America, but there’s plenty to do once you get there. Explora Patagonia offers more than 40 different activities to keep you occupied from dawn to dusk – there are no restaurants and cafés to distract here, just the great outdoors to get explore on foot, horseback or by car. The hotel’s guides are bilingual and thought to be the best in the Torres del Paine, leading groups of no more than eight on gentle walks, horseback treks or hikes. Every evening they’ll discuss the following day’s plans with guests over dinner.. Trek to the Grey Glacier; gallop through lenga trees and across the pampas with the huasos (Chilean cowboys); explore the lake on board the hotel’s catamaran; or spot wildlife like guanacos, condors and pumas on a scenic stroll. There are excursions for all fitness levels, from soft treks to hardcore hikes, so you won’t find yourself too out of puff. At the hotel’s Estancia, 2 de Enero, located 53 kilometres from the lodge, you can learn as well as explore. Sheep shearing, driving livestock and breaking-in horses might not be skills you’ll find much use for at home, but when else are you going to get the chance to ‘rope a steer’ on a 6,000-hectare ranch? Horse-lovers can enjoy the company of Explora’s 26 Patagonian steeds, each one raised on the Ibáñez family estate in central Chile and selected for their ability to traverse the terrain.

Reviews

Photos Explora Patagonia reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this elegant estancia in Torres del Paine and dusted off their riding boots, a full account of their luxury mountain break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Explora Patagonia in Chile

 

It’s a long old trek to luxury hotel Explora Patagonia, past skyscraper-besting granite bluffs and through swaying Pampas lowlands that stretch as far as the eye can see. If – after five hours of driving – you’re certain you never want to see a car again, then you’re in the right place; the best way to see the sights is by foot or hoof. After all, the landscape is really rather riveting, with toothpaste-blue glaciers, wildflower meadows, jagged mountains and winding ribbons of river. Explora is a sight in itself, with its award-winning minimalist architecture and beautiful views from inside and out of the Paine massif and thundering Salto Chico waterfall. Sticking true to Explora properties’ trademarks (phenomenal hotels, incredible locations) you can expect pared-back design using natural materials like slate, almond wood and copper: a deliberate choice, because when the views outside are this good, why compete?

 

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith Hotel with us, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Explora Patagonia’s Guestbook below.
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