The new Hotel Rio Serrano, I say new, because most of the reviews on Tripadvisor were written before the hotel was taken over, and during the extensive renovations to make it the hotel it has now become.
The hotel claims to be the only 4 star hotel in the area. It is not IN the park, but at the entrance, and as near as most hotels that ARE in the park. For example Hotel Rio Serrano is the closest hotel to Hotel Lago Grey, and the boat ride to the glacier.
Hosteria Los Torres for example is at the other end of the park, and is probably at least an hours drive, and may be an hour and a half from Lago Grey.
I have criticism of Hotel Rio Serrano, but it is probably as centrally located as you can get.
To describe the hotel is difficult. The rooms are as modern as you can expect considering the location. The standard rooms have two twin beds, 22 square metres and look over the depressing car park. Not a very good choice, but $100 less than the superior rooms, which feature two queen beds and have a perfect view of the Towers (when the weather allows you to see them!), they are 35 square meters, and add a bath/shower as opposed to a shower only.
The superior rooms look immediately over bleak muddy, waterlogged terrain. In the middle distance is the River Serrano, but more noticeable is the hodge podge of random hostels, and buildings close by.
On a clear day the view of the Cuernos is as good as anywhere in the park.
The bar and lounge area are depressing, with cheap furniture and poor lighting. Likewise the restaurant.
Breakfast is drab and unimaginative, think American Interstate budget buffet.
The young Chilean staff are enthusiastic, and most speak English.
Like all hotels in TDP, and to most extent Chilean Patagonia, this is hunting season, and you the tourist are the prey.
Dinner in this, and all hotels is $50 per person, drinks are extra and are priced similarly exorbitantly. They do have bar snacks which range from $18 for a club sandwich, chicken ceasar salad or tuna salad.
Transfers around the park, from all the hotels, is more money than it costs to fly from one side of Europe to the other, or from the East to West coast of America, I joke not.
I strongly recommend that you stock up with soda’s, wine, snacks etc before you arrive.
Unless you have an unlimited budget, it is imperative that you rent a car.
Do not bring young children, they will hate you , and the nearest McDonalds is thousands of miles away.
The park is huge, and especially if you are back packing, it is impossible to cover the vast distances without a renal car, or a huge budget.
If you are back packing your budget and priorities are different, and you are probably not reading reviews of this hotel.
If however, like I was, you are researching a trip to TDP, then let me give you as much information as I can being on the ground here. Information I was not easily able to gather or understand when I was doing my research.
The “new road” to TDP from Puerto Natales, is new in terms of they just cut a shorter dirt track than the original. It is the worst road most of you will ever have experienced. But don’t be dissuaded, it is the same road that you will enter on if you arrange transfers from a travel agent, or bus from Puerto Natales.
You do not require 4x4, just take your time and bring a bottle of something strong for when you arrive. ( In fact do as I did and bring along wine, beer and booze! If you like a drink, a bottle of wine in P.Natales is $4 and up, a glass in TDP is $7 and up. A beer in PT is $0.70, in TDP it’s $5/7. A bottle of Bacardi is $6, a glass is $9 in TDP.
The roads in the park are not any better! 30 MPH is as good as it gets.
There are only four hotels in the park.
Lago Grey, Explora, Pehoe and Las Torres.
There are numerous camping sites, and many refugios if you are doing the multi day trekking.
There are only the hotels and the camp site at Lago Pehoe to eat at if you are not camping, prepare to take out a mortgage!
If you intend to spend more than one day in the park, DO NOT stay in P Natales and transfer daily.
In mid November I negotiated on arrival $255 per night superior with a view. Remota in PT wanted $370, Costaustralis wanted $255/300, and PT looked depressingly like a 1800’s gold rush town! Spend as little time in PT as possible, you came to see TDP, get there post haste, you will not be disappointed. I repeat, get to TDP as fast as possible, don’t spend a minute longer in PT as you need to.
My wife and I are late 50’s, she is 6 months post double hip surgery. Yet we managed several 5-8 mile day hikes without someone leading us by the hand.
I cannot understand why people need to have a guide lead them by the hand along well marked, heavily visited, easily recognized, day hikes.
The park gives a good map and each hotel offers great advise.
We spent a great day hiking (walking) Mirador Cuernos. 4 kilpometeres, 1-11/2 hours, easy, past a beautiful water fall, eventually ending underneath the Towers with a great vista.
Easy to find at Salto Grande, by the Pahoe catamaran. (The map you get at the park entrance has all the trekking routes and roads.)
Another easy day hike is from Lago Grey, walk across the suspension bridge down to the beach, then walk along the beach, where the blue icebergs have drifted in to shore.
Finally, a hike that we found was fantastic, and not usually posted on the maps. Follow your park map to Porteria y Guarderia Sarmiento, it is one of the entrances to the park. Park your car by the park office, where there are toilets.
Start your hike in front of the office to the left, and follow the marked path. After one hour you will see a group of large rocks, two or three hundred feet high in the near distance. There is a path leading to them, but it is like walking across a field, so make your own path. Walk around to the right side, and up to the rocks and you will come to an overhanging cave. On the roof there are prehistoric paintings of extinct animals! Continue a short distance to the top of the rocks and you have a view over 30 miles in every direction.
We enjoyed walking amongst hundreds of Guanaco, two foxes, a mother Rhea and her dozen chicks, pink flamingoes, geese with their chicks, wild stallions, it was an incredible 3 hour hike.
Unless you are Donald Trump, you do not need to pay an all included ridiculously inflated price for an all inclusive. You can walk all the hikes easily without being led by the hand, this is not Africa where a bull elephant is going to charge you, or a lion pounce on you. This is not Alaska where you might encounter a grizzly. The scariest thing you are likely to encounter is your freedom!
Enjoy this incredible remote wilderness before it is too late.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Different ambiances, fine cuisine, history, expeditions, culture, music, outstanding rooms; all this to complement the most amazing scenery Río Serrano Hotel concedes calm moods and a fresh approach to service; our hospitality aims to exceed its guest expectations and to have them leave with precious memories of their experience at Torres del Paine. Our regional cuisine offers from our world famous king crab, fish, and all sorts of fresh seafood, to Magellan’s lamb, all wild meats, poultry and mouth watering deserts; all framed by the spectacular view of our restaurant. Outdoor & Indoor activities conducted by specialist bilingual guides who seek to fulfill your excursion with enthusiasm, knowledge and culture. Explorations to satisfy every visitor's wish. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Rio Serrano Hotel Aisen Region/Torres Del Paine National Park, Chile