We stayed at Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa, which is just outside Torres del Paine national park, after staying at Hotel Explora, which is centrally located in the park. What this means is that if you take excursions from Tierra to the great hikes or horseback rides within the park, you have a very long drive to get there. And since there's nothing to do at Tierra other than use the indoor pool and spa, the distance to the park is an important consideration for anyone wanting to enjoy the great outdoors for which Torres del Paine is famous.
Overall, Tierra is not worth the money and I would have stayed longer at Explora had I known about the difference between the two hotels before I booked. I had been influenced to stay at Tierra Patagonia by the higher rating on Trip Advisor, but that was a big mistake and I would rate Explora far, far higher than Tierra in every respect as I will explain in more detail so that others do not make the same mistake that I did.
Tierra has a beautiful hotel building, set overlooking a lake with the Massif behind. The views are pretty and the scenery and weather changes are dramatic, although all less so compared to Explora.
Explora has better pool, hot tubs and spa, but Tierra also has a very nice indoor pool and hot tub, and a spa with a hot and dry sauna, relaxing room, and offers massage treatments.
The food and beverage service at Explora is vastly superior to Tierra in every respect. That goes for the little things like Explora had soy milk which I prefer in my coffee, and Tierra did not. Explora had asked if there was anything special I wanted for my stay in advance and I had mentioned having soy milk. Tierra didn’t ask and didn’t have it.
Breakfast and dinners at Tierra were far inferior to Explora’s. (examples, Tierra: strawberries that had not been cleaned or had their tops taken off; Explora: fresher, tastier, better quality strawberries and the same with the fresh pineapple, Tierra: there were no to-order eggs, but instead some unappealing scrambled eggs on the buffet, Explora: fresh eggs, made to order, individually prepared…this carried through to every meal in every respect). Maybe the two hotels use different suppliers or order different quality food but the differences in food quality were so marked, that it bears mentioning. The food preparation and chef quality also were on two different leagues between Tierra – lower – and Explora – higher.
Tierra also lacked the convivial atmosphere of Explora, perhaps because of the way the public spaces were arranged. Tierra's great room, containing fireplace and seating, bar, and restaurant, is very grand in scale, with extremely high ceilings, but it wasn’t conducive to conversation or comraderie the way Explora’s spaces were.
Service: Less than idea. Example: At Tierra, when the bell service had not brought all our bags in from our car, I went to the front desk to inquire about the bag that had must have been left in the car. The bell person said “you can go get it,” so I did, and then when I was bringing the bag back into the hotel, there are two sets of heavy doors, and the bell person didn’t make any attempt to open either door for me. Also, after giving the bell person and front desk our car key at their request when they said they would get our bags from the car, when I went out the next day to get the bag they’d left in the car, I discovered they had left all doors of the car unlocked –with the bag inside. By contrast, at Explora, every wish of a guest was sought out by the staff, and they seemed driven by a genuine desire to make guests happy.
Excursions: Good at Tierra (distance from the park was a negative). Great at Explora.
Internet: good in the main spaces at Tierra, even in the evening (better than Explora’s). No internet in the rooms.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa is a casual but luxurious design hotel with 40 guest rooms. The hotel ambiance is Patagonian, one that radiates warmth, safety and togetherness; all things desired by those who've spent their day in the Patagonian outdoors. The hotel sits on a bluff where the vast pampas meet Lake Sarmiento, and enjoys a magnificent view of Torres del Paine peaks on the other side of the lake. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa Aisen Region/Torres Del Paine National Park, Chile