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“Once in a lifetime experience !” 5 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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12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Once in a lifetime experience !”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2013 via mobile

WOW! This was one of the most incredible trips I've ever taken. The staff was outstanding with the highest level of customer service! The view of the Paine is right in front of you! The food and service in the restaurant was excellent. The guides were all very knowledgeable and made you feel very safe. At no time were you pushed beyond your physical limits. Many types of hikes and excursion offered to meet the different levels of the guests abilities.

My review ... You need to spend some time at explora Patagonia.. It should be on your to-do list !!

Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
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364 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    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 (92)
Date | Rating
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  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Toronto, Canada
Top Contributor
155 reviews 155 reviews
110 hotel reviews
Reviews in 111 cities Reviews in 111 cities
307 helpful votes 307 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2013

My wife and I stayed here for five nights as part of a trip in southern Chile and Argentina. Hotel Salto Chico picked us up at El Calafate which was nice considering that we were originally expecting to take a bus to Cerro Castillo and then be picked up by explora staff at the border. This is a nice new inclusion in their transfer service. The ride in was nice enough but considering that it was a brilliantly sunny day and the weather can change dramatically, it would have been nice if the driver were not in such a hurry to get to the hotel so that we could have taken advantage of taking pictures. We arrived to a warm welcome and very efficient check in procedure. We were assigned a Salto Chico room as booked and were happy with it until night fell. We had a terrible time trying to fall asleep as the room was located right above the kitchen. Every conceivable noise was heard until late into the night. After a few complaints, we were assured that they would find us a new room. The next morning came and we were given another quieter room. However, we did not appreciate being told that we were "lucky" to get another room as one happened to be available. Considering the price tag attached to this hotel stay, I think a good night`s sleep is a bare minimum expectation. When choosing a room category, keep in mind that the advertised incredible view can be had from all common areas. Considering that, we would not have been happy to have paid extra for the Cordillera rooms. An orientation session is offered for new arrivals. We were hoping that information would be given about the various hikes but it was just a repeat of what you should wear, what to do and not to do, etc. Half day hikes and full day hikes are available. This is where our major complaint originates. The same hikes seemed to be offered over and over during our stay. We had two glorious days of sunshine and yet the Torres hike, which so many people come to do, was not offered. It was offered once in five days and on the same day as the barbeque lunch with the gauchos. Both are highlights and should be rotated. On that day, everyone was encouraged to do the barbeque as the weather was not that great. On the previous evening, they already had the forecast. The question then becomes, why was the Torres hike never offered on those two sunny days? They must have been aware of the good weather. They claim to choose the hikes on a daily lottery yet with 35 hikes advertised, the French valley and Grey glacier kept coming up. The half day hikes were also always the same ones. On their website they suggest an 8 night stay to see as much as possible but how would that be if the same tours keep coming up? So, don`t expect too much choice as you might be disappointed. Again, for the price tag the guest should have a greater say in the hike selection and it should not be according to explora`s needs for the day (i.e. availability of vans, guides, etc.) That being said, the staff did accomodate us after some persistence on our last day with a lovely excursion of photography. The guides were a mixed bag. Some seemed more interested than others including one who actually fell asleep during the van ride. The half day hikes were too short and, at times, the hikes felt like marches from point A back to point A at a very specific time more than explorations. For those like us who enjoy breathing in the scenery, it felt rushed. The food is far from gourmet. It is good but just that with the occasional overuse of salt. The wine and spirits selection was good. The wait staff were very pleasant and attentive. The hotel manager, Jessica, was a pleasure to converse with and an asset to the hotel. She has a natural ability to relate to her guests. We met some really nice people while here and enjoyed the ambiance. However, keep in mind that this may not be your experience. We stayed one day longer and our new friends were replaced by a very loud and arrogant group of Brazilians who had no consideration for the comfort of others. Overall, this is an average hotel in an incredible setting. If we were to do it all over again, we would choose a place that provides better value and more importantly, one where the traveller can be in control of their itinerary.

Room Tip: avoid salto chico room above kitchen
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sao Paulo, SP
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2013

I love the concept of the Explora hotel, after staying the first time, I became fanatical about this hotel brand. In Patagonia you arrive in Punta Arenas and sleep for one night and the next day the shuttle will pick you at the hotel. After a lovely trip of 4 hours with a brief stop for a short coffee break you get to paradise. Everything at the hotel makes you interact with the environment in which you are, peace, tranquility and pampering the hotel staff make you feel important. You only have to worry about watching the lectures on the people, geography, history and customs of Patagonia and especially discuss with monitors which would be the most suitable trekking for you. The rooms are lovely and comfortable, no television you have to disconnect from your routine and make the maximum that paradise. At the end of the day you will relax and to enjoy a good swim in the pool and for those who would like to take a delicious champagne in a Jacuzzi. I may be wrong but I can not see an ideal place to bring children. The meals are divine with a menu very good, my wife and I love and for those who would like to open a bar that is a lot for you to taste your wines and drinks. I highly recommend for those who like to venture out into nature with comfort and security. Of course everything has a price, but worth every cent paid.

  • Stayed October 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 2
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, November 18, 2013
Dear traveler,

We thank you so much for your fantastic review. We are delighted to read your feedback.

Please allow us to simply enjoy the many kind things you wrote about your explora experience. Thank you!

We hope to welcome you back to one of the explora lodges or an explora Travesía soon. After visiting one explora lodge, you are entitled to the benefits of our CESA (Club de Exploradores del Sur de América), a recognition program with benefits including rate discounts of 10% and room upgrades for repeat guests. For information, please visit our website.

We look forward to welcoming you back at explora.

Yours sincerely,

Jesús Parrilla
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2013

What can I say, This was an incredible experience. The staff was very personable and accomodating. I especially like they way they would observe travellers physical abilities and make trekking recommendations based on what they observed. They never said this, but I could tell that is what was happening. They would then group guests based on ability so as not to slow down the more avid hikers/horse back riders. The food and wine served in the lodge was amazing and the wait staff were so gracious. At lunch we watched a Condor perched on a ledge for about 30 minutes or so, he then swooped down and flew just past the window we were looking out from. It literally took my breath away. This is a magical place. If you can go, do it. The memories you will take back are food for the soul.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 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.
exploraSA, CEO / Gerente General at explora Patagonia, responded to this review, November 18, 2013
Dear traveler,

Thank you for your very thoughtful review. We loved your feedback!

“Food for the Soul” is a wonderful compliment and embodies a travel experience that we work very hard on delivering day in and day out – thank you!

Please be know that after visiting one explora destination, you are entitled to the benefits of our CESA (Club Exploradores del Sur de América),- a recognition program with benefits including rate discounts of 10% and room upgrades for repeat guests.

Thank you again for your review and look forward to welcoming you back at explora.

Your sincerely,

Jesús Parrilla
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florida
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2013

I wanted to write my first review, since I relied on others' reviews in planning my trip. The view and guides are 5 star, there is no doubt! We just got back this morning and I agree with the other reviewers that it's a very, very long trip but worth it. Some things I wish I had known - the Estancia is closed in winter and early spring, so we didn't get to experience the barbeque that many said was the highlight of their stay. However, the trails were not crowded, and one night there were only 10 guests in the hotel, so you have to take the good with the bad! We did get to horseback ride and share matte tea with the gauchos, which was thrilling. The food was good, and excellent when they served Chilean dishes, like ceviche, empanadas, bean stew, etc. I wished for more adventurous meals to go with the adventure of the surroundings. Spa was outstanding and Carmen is an excellent masseuse. Guides Nacho and Hector were extremely knowledgeable and lots of fun as well. And having Jessica as a guest hotel manager for a few days was wonderful - she used to be a guide and went riding with us one day - she is a delight! Small complaints - very little hot water for a shower, and the facility shows some signs of aging like peeling paint, rust, etc. But we'd do it all over again in a minute!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
exploraSA, CEO / Gerente General at explora Patagonia, responded to this review, November 18, 2013
Dear traveler,

We thank you very much for your kind review. We are very grateful for your feedback.

I am delighted that you’ve specifically highlighted the explora guides. The hote water issue is something that we looked up and had to do with the malfunctioning of water boiler pump. Since your comments, this has been fixed. In reference to the overall maintaince of the building, every year during our winter time the hotel undergoes an overhall because of weather conditions related with wind and rain.

After visiting one explora lodge, you are entitled to the benefits of our CESA, a recognition program with benefits including rate discounts and room upgrades for repeat guests. For information, please visit our website.

We look forward to welcoming you back at explora.

With kindest regards,

Jesús Parrilla
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2013

I had reserved Labor Day week for a vacation months before, but had no clue what I was going to do until, three weeks before, I found this hotel in an article on the 10 most secluded hotels in the world. It took a long time to get there and a long time to get back, but I don't care. This was one of the best vacations I have ever had in my life, and believe me I've been a lot of places!

I lucked out with good weather on the first half of my stay, but even the cloudy and drippy weather on the last few days couldn't ruin this experience. I am not the most fit of persons - in fact I easily qualify as medically obese - but I was still able to go on four half-day hikes and get to some completely amazing views with Explora's patient and utterly charming guides. And then there were the horses! I love to ride and took lessons in my younger days, but I rarely get to go anymore. The Explora stables have truly excellent horses that are lively and responsive but in no way wild or uncontrollable. The gauchos care for them and you perfectly, no matter your skill level. Because I wanted to go on "advanced" rides, they took me on a beginner ride first (which was still good even for an experienced rider), and then took me off to the side for some trotting and cantering to see if I could really ride. Great attention to safety! After that I was able to go on three more advanced rides and they were all wonderful.

The hotel is beautiful with stunning views of the Paine Massif. Every night I raised my shades so that I could watch the sun rise on the mountains from my be in the morning. I have one photo that is so perfect that my friends accused me of stealing a magazine photo and claiming it as my own! The dining room also affords views of the lake and mountains as you enjoy the excellent food.

One other aspect that I liked was that, as a solo traveler I never felt like a second class citizen. I could easily meet others and engage with them, but I could have my alone time when I needed it. And I wasn't made to feel that I was a burden or inconvenience as can happen at some places. I felt completely welcome and cared for.

The guides are extremely well trained, with every single one of them able to lead any "exploration" as they call them. They can all answer any question about the geology, flora, fauna, etc. and they fit the event to your needs and abilities.

Every last person I met was helpful, charming and willing to go above and beyond at any moment to please a guest. I couldn't say enough about this experience. It is not for people who just want to stay at the hotel and sit in the hot tub, but if you want to see beautiful things and do more than you thought you could, this is the place for you.

Room Tip: I was in Room 7 which was perfect to me. Rooms 1 to 10 are over the main part of the hotel and have...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • 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 2
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 27, 2013
Dear traveler,

Thank you so much for your very detailed and kind review of your explora Patagonia experience.
I wholeheartedly agree with your overall recommendation that travelers who are seeking to be active while exploring a remote destination are “right” at explora. But what really describes the explora experience my team and I are working towards every single day, is your very last sentence: “…see beautiful things and do more than you thought you could…”

As you’ve pointed out in your review, explora never scarifies safety for adventure, but we do encourage our travelers to push their own envelope as far they like. We know, those limits vary, but it’s the attitude that counts and that at the end of the day puts a smile on explora traveler’s faces.

I am delighted to read that the explora Patagonia team was able to customize your explora experience to your liking. For me it goes without saying that solo travels are always welcome to our lodges. You might be aware that we in fact created a special incentive for solo travelers during certain time periods.

Lastly, I would like to make you aware of the benefits of our CESA program, a recognition program with benefits including rate discounts and room upgrades for repeat guests. For the latest 20th anniversary benefits, kindly visit our website.

Thank you for feedback!

Yours sincerely,

Jesús Parrilla
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Melbourne, Australia
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013

This place is terrific. So glad Explora came at the end of our 5 week Sth American adventure as our 5 days here was faultless. Yes it's expensive however the lodge supplies the best of everything - guides, cars and drivers for all day or 1/2 day excursions - the 5 hour transfer to and fro the airport - the food all of which is made on the premises - all drinks (no exception) - exceptional horses to ride with the Gauchos - hot tubs / lap pool - and sensational scenery!!
We are not young and were dubious how many excursions we could do but the guides will taylor make your hikes. We had variable weather from sunny and "warm" to cold/windy to rainy. And in between. One of my (inexpensive but favourite) earrings had fallen on the floor and been lost. The cleaners went through the vacuum cleaner to find it - which they did! Where else would staff take that trouble?

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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 2
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 27, 2013
Dear traveler,

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

Outlining what encompasses the all-inclusive explora offering, like you did in your review, helps tremendously. explora aims to offer unparalleled service and we opened our doors nearly 20 years ago we felt that breaking down the cost would in the end prevent travelers from exploring as much as possible while staying with us. The explora art of travel is about in-depth explorations. Since the beginnings of time, humans have traveled in order to discover, conquer, colonize or trade. Many journeys have been a means to achieve other ends, to realize goals other than the journey itself. explora’s goal is the exact opposite. We travel for the sake of the journey.

I am delighted to hear about the hunt for your earring. And I am glad that our explora team found it!

Lastly, I would like to make you aware of the benefits of our CESA program, a recognition program with benefits including rate discounts and room upgrades for repeat guests. For the latest 20th anniversary benefits, please visit our website.

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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