Explora vs Tierra vs Singular vs Remota vs Indigo…..

Storm clearing on the Cuernos del Paine

The lodging options in the Torres del Paine region of southern Chile keep getting better. A few years ago, I praised nearby Puerto Natales for its forward-thinking hoteliers and jaw-dropping, avant-garde style. The architecture of these places is so modern and ground-breaking, the ante just keeps going up and up. In the past two years, two more mind-boggling properties have come in to the scene – there’s room for everybody and more.

The Singular is a bit of a whacked-out trip. It’s a five-star hotel inside a refurbished slaughterhouse/meat refrigeration-packing complex on the shores of Puerto Bories, just outside the town. It holds the farm/factory character from the outside, and many of the public spaces inside have kept the industrial elements front and centre. But the 57 guest rooms all have massive windows overlooking the sound and snow-capped peaks beyond – prime storm-watching. The spa, food and service are all very high-end, and the owners counting on a steady stream of high-rollers to keep their rooms full. Competition is fierce, and it’s still another 30 minutes + into the National Park, by the way, and you can definitely NOT see the towers or the Cuernos of Paine from here. That’s a negative indeed. I love how the history comes alive here, and how the locale embraces something authentically Patagonian. But if I’m making a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Torres del Paine, I’d prefer to stay closer.

Closer to the national park, the new Tierra Patagonia is widely modern in design. With 40 rooms, it’s intimate and cozy, perfect to balance the harsh conditions outside.

You’ll remember that I’m already a big fan of the yurts at Patagonia Camp, which makes me feel like a little kid, and indigo Patagonia, where I feel like a real hipster.

In Puerto Natales, you have the eco-friendly Hotel Altiplanico and the maybe-too-wierd-for-my-tastes Remota.

And my regular return visits to the highly-esteemed explora Salto Chico reiterates over and over again that the folks at explora are the true experts here – all these other hotels are staffed by ex-explora people, and the confidence explora shows can’t be measured.

Visiting Explora

All of these hotels are located at least a 3.5-hour drive from the nearest, reliable airport in Punta Arenas. Natales does have an airport, but service is very dicey. And most of them offer all-inclusive packages (transfers, meals, lodging, drinks, and daily excursions with bilingual guides), which means you’ll not have the opportunity to visit the others.  Your experience will depend, therefore, on which you choose.

It’s no easy choice! Shoot me an email and let me know what you’re looking for, and I’d be happy to help you narrow things down.

In the meantime, don’t wait. Get yourself down to the remote, wild, rugged and even stylish hotel haven at the end of the world.

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