Any successful commercial venture that wants to succeed via differentiation needs a good story. In this case on arrival we were told about the adventurous hikers that decided to open a resort for like-minded adventurers to rest between treks using structures based on Mongolian yurts...so what is this hotel really about...? Here is my version...
I should mention that my wife and I usually stay at hih end resorts around the world, dine often in Michelin star restaurants (relevant for the meals portion) and at 800-900 dollars per day all those things seem like relevant comparators...before I start I should say that you should take the all in formula if you end up coming to this hotel...we were not aware of this option and ended up paying much more than other guests...
The rooms are stand alone structures that are best described as thick plastic tents that rest on a wooden structure with a large plastic window (offering a window to the outside at all times with no possibility to stop the light from entering). About a third of the plastic is translucid so aside from the windows you get a lot of light from the ceiling. At this stage it might be worthwhile to talk about the conditions in Torres del Paine...first it is one of the windiest parts of the world....second it is a region with a substantial amount of rain...finally the sun rises VERY early...so the Yurt concept means that you have tons of light as of 4 or 5 in the morning during the summer, that you are sleeping in a tent in the middle of rain and strong winds (with the sound that comes along)...the best testament of what a bad idea this was is that you get ear plugs and eye masks to ensure that you can sleep...and in all honesty that is usually not enough. I could also talk about the fact that the rooms have no Internet, TV, phone to the outside, or steady warm water but those seem like minor details in comparison...
We were looking forward to the food as we had heard that the restaurant deserved a Michelin star...we were a bit disappointed. Allow me to expand. Meals are three courses, these are fixed as there is no menu (although you get to pick between two main courses). Most of the fruit and vegetable served were canned (perhaps for better preservation in the park) and the wines that are served are fairly uninteresting (a 5-10 dollar worth). With all those constraints the food is quite reasonable...very far from a Michelin star, but pleasant.
This is, generally speaking, very good. Everyone has a big smile and they make an effort to remember your name and attend to your needs. There is only one exception...when we were checking out we realized that there were some major mistakes in our bill...about 200 more dollars that they should have charged us. Looking at the detail we noticed that there were MANY mistakes...things that were counted twice, calls that were grossly round up (a 12 minute call became a 30 minute call...and at 2 dollars a minute that makes a difference)...they were quick to fix things but we were quite surprised that they could make so many mistakes...
This is another area where we were a bit disappointed...but in our case the weather was to blame. Having said that I can echo what some others have mentioned about the lack of "real trekking" options. Most daily tours are mostly on a bus with someone explaining the life of the guanacos and the size of the condors...so although the founders were hard core...it seems like the visitors to this hotel are not as much...
The rest of the hotel
In our case it rained a lot the three days we were there so thinking about what to do in those instances is important (as it rains quite a bit in this part of the world)...in this hotel the options are staying in bed or using the Internet in the lobby...other than that there is nothing to do. No gym, no pool, no spa, no TV...
If you are looking for a hotel with good service and light walking tours this may be an adequate hotel for you. Just make sure that you know that you are coming to a nice three star resort...at the price of a five star.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Along the Shore of Toro Lake in a region of extraordinary beauty, Patagonia Camp is the first luxury camp in South America with a chic collection of glamorous Yurts. The camp's 18 impeccable and spacious Yurts are comfortable and stylishly furnished, equipped with central heating, ensuite bathrooms and even views of the stars through a central window in the roof. Activities include kayaking, fishing, scenic tours, hiking and trekking in the Torres del Paine National Park, recently named The 8th Wonder of the World, only 15 kilometers away. The restaurant offers a variety of typical Patagonian food with a gourmet touch, such as King Crab, Patagonian Lamb, Austral Salmon and more! Patagonia Camp is a unique nature experience and a truly different and new concept of accommodation in a close contact with the natural environment and with great comfort! ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Patagonia Camp Hotel Torres Del Paine
- Patagonia Camp Aisen Region/Torres Del Paine National Park, Chile