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“Booking my next trip...” 4 of 5 stars
Review of explora Patagonia

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explora Patagonia
4.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Sector Salto Chico S/N, Torres del Paine National Park, Chile   |  
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Miami, Florida
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“Booking my next trip...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2012

This is not for everyone. It is remote and it takes an adventure to get there, but it's all worth it. There aren't enough words to capture the magnificence of the hotels location in nature. If you have trouble sleeping...ask for a room on the second floor and far from the main stairwells. I recommend bringing earplugs if you are super sensitive like I am. However, that does not detract from the experience. There were programs for every level of fitness. My favorite was galloping for a least one hour straight on the pampas...in the rain...in the cold...and loving every minute. The longer hikes are challenging and you feel throughly drained and exhilarated at the same time. The food, wine, service, and guides were wonderful. The wifi service wasn't great, but hey...it got us disconnected for 4 days. Priceless.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
exploraSA, CEO / Gerente General at explora Patagonia, responded to this review, September 18, 2012
Dear traveler,

Thank you very much for your wonderful review.

Since you galloped for an hour straight, let me tell you about a new program that explora will offer as of October 2012. explora will introduce two new explora equestrian escapes into the wilds of Patagonia and the Atacama Desert. Best suited for experienced riders – that is, those comfortable walking, trotting and galloping for at least three hours – the guided rides reveal the wide-open natural beauty and culture of remote South America as only horseback travel can. More information can be found in our website.

You will be pleased to know that we during our winter time we have worked on the phone and internet connection, dramatically improving the quality of the service being provided.

Lastly, please remember that after visiting one explora lodge, you are entitled to the benefits of our CESA - Club Exploradores del Sur de América - a recognition program with benefits including rate discounts and room upgrades for repeat guests.

Yours sincerely,

Jesús Parrilla
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (88)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Sydney
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2012

How do you describe this place? From the time you are collected from Punta Arenas and driven the five hours north (don't despair - the drive is fun), you are in a different world. I'm not sure which is best, to arrive while you still have daylight, or to arrive at night, sleep with the blinds up and awake to the glorious view. We visited in winter so the days were short but the compensation is that the scenery with snow around is simply stunning.

From the outside the hotel almost hides its charms. Once you enter (and in our case, walking carefully on frosty ground to get to the front door), you are enveloped in warmth - both of the human and architectural kind. From the welcome from Guillermo the manager and the incomparable Rosario, to the stunning interiors, you just feel that you are in a unique place and part of a warm and enveloping family.

The communal spaces are warm with open fires and THAT view; the food is plentiful and delicious; the pisco sours out of this world; rooms cosy and comfortable. The guides are knowledgeable and fun and anxious to make your trip to Patagonia one that you will always remember. My husband celebrated a significant birthday during our stay and the staff went out of their way to make it a special day for him. They even found a puma for us to see during a drive! There are many hikes of differing levels to choose from as well as horse rides. The stables are fantastic and the horses so well trained.

The fires last January have done significant damage to the park and I was concerned that it would affect how I thought of the beauty of the place. When you see how close the fires came to the hotel it is scary, but thank heavens the hotel and their wonderful horses were spared (thanks to the heroic efforts of firemen and staff!). National park staff assured us that the flowers this spring would be even better than usual. Do not be put off visiting because of the fire damage. The mountain scenery is simply stunning, the wildlife is still there and there are glorious forests still to walk in.

This was the fifth visit for my husband and me to this hotel and it was as wonderful as we recall. It is always dangerous to revisit a place that has left a mark on your heart, but not in the case of explora Patagonia. The mark on the heart is just a little bigger now.

Room Tip: Pay the little extra for the view of the Massif - worth every cent.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, CEO / Gerente General at explora Patagonia, responded to this review, July 13, 2012
Dear traveler,

Thank you very much for your very kind review. You’ve stayed with us five times and we are particularly pleased to be chosen for a significant birthday.

I can’t thank you enough for pointing out the beauty of the Torres del Paine park after the wild fire. While about 6% of the grassland, scrub and native forest were affected in the park, Hotel Salto Chico suffered only minor damage – none of it structural; all of it smoke - and ash- rather than fire-related.

Instead of rushing the lodge’s reopening, we took some time to assure the high standards and guest experience would be met. Integral to our reopening were new explorations created by our seasoned explora guides. In 2012 the explora Patagonia experience reached new heights with 10 new treks – 5 half day, 5 full day – plus an all-new, 7-hour horseback ride. Many of the additions traverse the northern region of the park, where explora Patagonia holds a Quincho and two estancias ( 2 de Enero and Santa Gemita).

Again, we are deeply grateful for your loyalty to explora and hope that we may welcome you at on of our lodges again soon.

With kindest regards,

Jesús Parrilla
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2012

This is one of the places that one cannot compare - totally unique experience and one that I am glad we went. It is very expensive and our 2 teenage children were extremely glad we paid for them to come along (will be a while till they can afford it on their own !!)

The vista is amazing as seen by the many photographs on this site. The food is great, rooms, service all faultless.

The daily treks and programs are varied and cater for all ages. Kids went for the 10+ hr hikes , we did the more leisurely treks.Check the website for details. ( http://www.explora.com/explora-patagonia/ )

because the program is for a set number of days, we were with the same group of people. This resulted in some close friendships as we ate, drank and hiked together. We are still good friends with 2-3 couples we met on the trip despite being on different continents.

Bottom line is that if you can afford it , book it today. You will remember this experience .

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, CEO / Gerente General at explora Patagonia, responded to this review, June 21, 2012
Dear traveler,

Thank you for your detailed and kind review of your explora Patagonia experience.

Your words have touched on a few points hat I would like highlight: the fact that you’ve made lasting friendships and that you traveled with your children and pursued different interest.

Naturally “making friends” isn’t something that we would actively promote but it is an amazing side effect for many, many explora travelers who are open to building new friendships. The explora travel philosophy, the small groups in which you explore as well as your choice of dining with your personal travel companions or invite other travelers – all this is very conducive to meeting other active and sophisticated travelers.

Another aspect of your review is that you and your children pursued different interests, which is something that explora can easily facilitate. explora guides meet with travelers every evening to discuss their plans for the next day and that is a wonderful opportunity to either make a plan to explore as a family or split up and meet again for dinner. You are the curator of your own explora expereience!

Please be aware that after visiting one explora lodge, you are entitled to the benefits of our CESA - Club Exploradores del Sur de América - a recognition program with benefits including rate discounts and room upgrades for repeat guests.

Thank you again.

With kindest regards,

Jesús Parrilla
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Top Contributor
103 reviews 103 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2012

By staying at the Explora Hotel Patagonia-Hotel Salto Chico, you will be in the heart of outstanding beauty. The views from the Hotel are of snow-capped mountains and turquoise waters. Sunsets and sunrises can be spectacular. The guides at the hotel are there to cater to all your desires. If you want to hike, go boating, go on a photography walk, horseback ride, enjoy a barbecue, etc., the guides are there to make sure it happens. The food at the hotel is terrific and the wine list is as well. My husband and I hated to leave paradise.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, CEO / Gerente General at explora Patagonia, responded to this review, June 21, 2012
Dear traveler,

Thank you for your very kind review of your explora Patagonia experience.

“Paradise” is a wonderful compliment – thank you!

Please be aware that after visiting one explora lodge, you are entitled to the benefits of our CESA - Club Exploradores del Sur de América - a recognition program with benefits including rate discounts and room upgrades for repeat guests.

Thank you again.

Sincerely,

Jesús Parrilla
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santiago
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2012

Explora Hotel is the ultimate way of travel exploring nature, your own senses and emotions. It is the avant garde of travel, which brings you into a deep connection with the environment, the landscapes and yourself. Don’t expect to have a Dubai style luxuries, but expect to have the essential on its best. Also, not only the landscape and surrounding chosen is out of this planet, also the architecture itself is a masterpiece. Don’t miss horse riding in Patagonia…radical.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, CEO / Gerente General at explora Patagonia, responded to this review, June 21, 2012
Dear traveler,

Thank you for your kind review of your explora Patagonia experience.

Allow me to paraphrase your review very briefly: “avant-garde travel” a “deep connection to the environment and yourself” and no “Dubai style luxuries”. One of the challenges of the explora concept and philosophy of travel is that we work with a lot of intangibles. How exactly can we ever summarize a “deep connection to the environment and yourself” – it’s something that travelers may feel and experience but it is tricky to include on an amenity list next to Wi-Fi and custom toiletries.

As for luxuries, for us, luxury is about the experience, not appearance. We seek to offer luxury by focusing on the essential, on providing exactly what our travelers need to make every aspect of their journey as enjoyable and fulfilling as possible. For us, luxury is in the simple details, which are never superfluous. Its value does not depend on how much it costs but on its ability to enrich your Rapa Nui, Patagonia or Atacama travel experience.

I thank you for sharing your explora experience. Allow me to remind you that after visiting one explora lodge, you are entitled to the benefits of our CESA - Club Exploradores del Sur de América - a recognition program with benefits including rate discounts and room upgrades for repeat guests.

With kindest regards,

Jesús Parrilla
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2012

The view of Torres del Paine which you get from everywhere in Explora is breathtaking, one feels like being on the set of Lord of the Rings. And the hikes are very enjoyable too - good workout, educational and spirit cleansing. The park is truly a magical place. But... this is the work of Mother Nature, I give her 5 stars. Unfortunately, Explora, the hotel, the work of men, does not measure up.

We came in from a Punta Arenas hotel, Explora van was supposed to pick us up in the morning. They were 1 hour late. We sat in the lobby with our bags packed, worrying, not a good start.

We arrive, check in the room, ground floor, Cordillera Paine type. Right in front of the room window are the stairs leading from the hotel lobby to the boat dock on the lake. People going up and down these steps all the time means zero privacy for us. So yes, you have a fabulous view of Torres del Paine from the room but people strolling down to the boat dock also have a fabulous view of you, unsettling. Rooms are small and cramped, motel size, the assumption is you will not spend any time there and they are outfitted accordingly.

Lunch, mediocre food with puzzled service. Waiters are locals, some of them with very poor English. Yes, I know it's the end of the world and difficult to bring supplies and they are doing their best but you have to call a spade a spade. Should we give a can of tuna in Antarctica a Michelin star? The food in Explora is average at best. Great view from the restaurant though, one of the best settings in the world. And the wine selection is also quite nice.

Gear, we forgot a windbreaker, the lady in the Explora store says 'oh we don't have the size here but it's in storage, I will bring it first thing tomorrow morning when we open, right before your first hike'. Of course, in the morning she is nowhere to be seen, the store is closed and we head out without windbreaker.

The hike organization in the evenings is truly chaotic and arbitrary. I approach a guide and tell them I want to do hike A, they say 'we are not doing it tomorrow'. An hour later I see hike A posted on the scheduling board. Guide tells me 'we decided to do it but there is no slot left for you, you should do hike B instead'. No explanation provided.

Explora is one of the few hotels where my expectation from reading glowing TA reviews diverged so greatly from my own experience. You look back and think of the magic of the park and the glorious vistas that still linger and you are tempted to write a good review and then you think a little and realize you stayed in a mediocre hotel in a glorious setting. Was it worth taking the trip all the way there? Yes, for the experience. But does it make Explora a good hotel? Nope, just an average one.

Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
exploraSA, CEO / Gerente General at explora Patagonia, responded to this review, May 28, 2012
Dear traveler,

We are thrilled to hear that you found the view of Torres del Paine you get from everywhere in the lodge breathtaking and a fine wine selection. However, we are very sorry to hear that your explora Patagonia experience got to a bad start with the pickup service arriving late. We are firm believers that first impressions can make for a wonderful overall travel experience, or the other way around.

When we instruct our travelers and travel agents of pickup times at local hotels, we give them a timeframe of 30 minutes in case of any unforeseen traffic/mechanical/weather related matters. We are confident that the delay was due to any issue related to the any of the above rather than to a gross negligence. You should have been given an explanation at any given point for our failure to be on time and it appears that that was not the case. We understand how anxiously frustrating it can be waiting for transportation and we deeply apologize for our staff arriving late at your hotel

We find it very odd and disturbing the fact that you did not get any help at the store in the morning. The reception staff is right there to serve our travelers with any matters related to their lodge experience and it appears that there was a big disconnect here. Venturing off to the great outdoors without a windbreaker can make it for a bad experience. We will review our store procedures to ensure fast service is provided and situations like the ones you had do not occur again.

You noted that your room was small in size. Each room has a small living area, hydro massage bath and beds designed for deep, pleasurable sleep after a day of exploration. The room you stayed in is 28 meters² (300 feet²), smaller than new city or urban hotel construction standards. The original design of the lodge took into consideration a number of variables focused on the travelers being “forced” outside into the great outdoors and where the primary goal of the lodge was to serve a shelter.

For key personnel in our operations, the official languages of the company are Spanish and English. Service staff are required to know some basic English and classes and opportunities to improve their skills are provided by the company. One of the aims at explora since its inception 1989 has been to create a business model based on sustainability, focused in a large scale in building sustainable communities around our destination and supporting our local economies. One of the cornerstones of our sustainability programs has been employing local labor and providing them with the professional training and tools to be able to meet our clients´ expectations and better the lives.

Explorations are reviewed on a day to day basis and are dependent on a number of factors, but often on operational feasibility and weather conditions. We try to match our traveler's expectations with our excursions and ensure that during the 4 to 8 night stay each traveler experiences what he/she came to Patagonia to do. At the time you visited us we were at full capacity with 98 travelers our guides still have to adhere to a basic organizational rule: an expeditions departs with a maximum of 8 travelers.

For your information, we finalized implementing new custom-made computerized explorations assignment system (called Asignador) that will improve the registration process. If during your stay you were preclude to experience a particular activity, we kindly ask you to contact us directly and we will be more than happy to extend a special benefit for your next explora Patagonia trip.

On the language barrier matter that you noted, over time we have found out from travelers that visiting a foreign land without knowing the language of the country can be cerebrally intoxicating; like a space traveler stepping foot onto a new earth only to discover that the atmosphere makes one high. Suddenly every experience is a thousand times more rewarding.

Please rest assured that your comments have been thoroughly analyzed and resources deployed in improving the explora experience.

Again, we are most sorry to learn that you were partially disappointed with your experience and we offer our sincere apologies for failing to meet your expectations.

Yours sincerely,

Jesús Parrilla
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2012

Location, location, location and 3 trillion WOWS. Amazing place, remarkable hotel, beautiful decor and amazing pool. Outstanding friendly service, magnificent staff and very good food and wine selection. Amazing outdoor experience and atmosphere in the hotel. The activities are well-presented and the guides very enthusiastic. Stayed 4 nights, but wished I stayed for 8 night. So much to do, so much to see and so much to take in. Also, great to see cell phones don't work. Great to disconnect. Hope to return on of this days.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, CEO / Gerente General at explora Patagonia, responded to this review, July 13, 2012
Dear traveler,

Thank you so much for your very kind review.

“Great to disconnect” was one of your comments that resonated very much with how I feel about explora. Yes, we do have Internet connections, Wi-Fi and phone service, but indeed cell phone service is non-existent. And while that might sound alarming to some, most explora travelers love to be able to leave one of their electronic devices behind.

Allow me to quote from our explora Manifesto: “ Leave home. Disconnect; leave aside for a moment your history and your usual way of looking at things. When we aren't clinging to our own ideas and habits, we can learn about and gain greater enjoyment from everything again.” That is one of our core-explora believes.

Please remember that after visiting one explora lodge, you are entitled to the benefits of our CESA - Club Exploradores del Sur de América - a recognition program with benefits including rate discounts and room upgrades for repeat guests.

Yours sincerely,

Jesús Parrilla
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about explora Patagonia

Address: Sector Salto Chico S/N, Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
Phone Number:
Location: Chile > Magallanes Region > Torres del Paine National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Torres del Paine National Park
#2 Family Hotel in Torres del Paine National Park
#3 Romantic Hotel in Torres del Paine National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — explora Patagonia 4.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our lodge is located right in the heart of the extraordinary Torres del Paine National Park in southern Patagonia. The diverse and untouched landscapes of this area led UNESCO to declare it a biosphere reserve.Our Patagonia hotel lodge opened in 1993 on the banks of the Salto Chico waterfall. It affords an excellent view of the unique Paine Massif and two of the three impressive torres, or towers, which give the park its name.The lodge has 49 rooms and a variety of inviting spaces. Situated on a 3-hectare (7.4-Acre) site, the design borrows certain organic forms from the landscape itself, adapting to it with simple elegance. It was designed to create a dialogue with its environment, putting human beings in touch with the sublimity of their surroundings.For travellers, the lodge provides the welcome surprise of comfort in a remote area. Nonetheless, you are not isolated from nature, but rather placed "within" it. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Explora Patagonia Hotel Salto Chico
Explora Patagonia Torres Del Paine
Explora Patagonia Aisen Region/Torres Del Paine National Park, Chile

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