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“The best. You must go.” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of explora Patagonia

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explora Patagonia
Certificate of Excellence
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“The best. You must go.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 25, 2013

I love the location this hotel is situated in. Doesn't get much better than this. Panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, including Torres Del Paine and the glaciers. Service is good, although one suggestion is more comprehensive spa treatment. I was genuinely shocked to find out that they only offered massage and pool in their "spa". Also, their wifi is dreadfully slow. Don't plan on doing any real "work" here. Otherwise, the hotel is excellent. Hotel staff and guides are extremely knowledgeable and friendly, and will for sure service you with every need. We were especially impressed by the free and prompt transport service from Calafate from Argentina and later to Punta Arenas. Very convenient and least painful bus trip I've taken.

If you go on one of the longer hikes, one of the things we found so lovely was that the guide/staff brought special lunch all the way up a 10 hr hike. We were able to enjoy hot soup while freezing at the base camp of the towers. It's a small detail but totally made our day.

We were also able to join in for the special BBQ they held, which included 2 fully roasted lamb racks, as well as a variety of roasted local food. It was a very nice surprise and the food was just superb.

Overall, if you are not convinced by the review, look at the pictures. There's not really good ways to describe what you see, except to see it in picture, and of course to experience it in person. Good luck and I hope you visit one day!

Room Tip: Location, location, location. Doesn't get any better than this.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Flyingshoelace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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715 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (183)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 25, 2013

This lodge is definatley worth the 5 hour ride from Punta Arenas.The views are stunning from every part of the lodge especially laying on your bed looking out your window at the towers.
the meals were beautiful with breakfast and 3courses for lunch and dinner.there is a good choice of activities to choose from every day from full day hikes to half day hikes and horseback riding catering for all levels.It is very windy in patagonia and the weather can change very quickly.the staff are fantastic and the guides excellent,very friendly and experienced and allways ensure everyone has a fantastic experience.i cannot recommend this hotel enough, truly a wonderful experience.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank geoka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edina, Minnesota
Level Contributor
50 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 22, 2013

Once you survive the long van ride in from the airport, you are warmly greeted by the superb, professional staff. The views from the lodge will take your breath away, and you have many choices of half day or full day hiking and horseback excursions that range from fairly easy to highly challenging. It will be windy, so bring a neck gaiter, wind protection and sunscreen. There is also a nice pool and hot tub area, and of course you can get a massage.
I would say this is not a good choice if you have mobility issues or want evening activities. The food is delicious, but if you have special dietary needs, it would be best to discuss them before you arrive. I am sure the logistics of getting food in are tricky. The lodge is a bit too formal for rambunctious young kids, but would be excellent for families with teens who like the outdoors. Even the "easy" hikes have need of hiking poles (they have some, but better to bring your own). The horses are superb, and if you are a strong rider, you can gallop across the Chilean pampas like a gaucho. They also offer easy trail rides for inexperienced people. The best part about Salto Chico is the staff. The guides are unfailingly cheerful, enthusiastic and eager to make your visit so rich and rewarding that you will want to come back. This is a very special place.

Room Tip: Rooms facing the waterfall are noisier than rooms facing the mountain views.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mngirl1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wetherby, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
39 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 12, 2013

The Explora offers a holiday plus.

The not so good news is the five and a half hour journey to and from the hotel from Punta Arenas. Stops and refreshments are provided along with the half expected stops to changes punctured tyres! Half of the journey is on unfinished gravel surfaces and even with SUV vehicles comfort is not thing that springs to mind.

The journey is well worth it with exceptional scenery.

The range of full and half day options included in the arrangement are discussed with the guides each evening and there are no concerns that the needs of any quest cannot be met.

My wife was extremely impressed by the standards and safety arrangements and equipment for the horse riding sessions.

The food was of a good consistent standard and service was equally good, prompt and attentive.

Our room facing away from the main lake provided a good view to the lower lake and was of a good size with a large comfortable bed.

Would we go again? Yes Please!!!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank John_Carberry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
183 reviews
112 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 424 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 5, 2013

This lodge is not cheap but definitely worth staying at if you have the money. It is run very efficiently and they make sure that nobody is left out when it comes to offering excursions, of which there are many. The food is also very good and the rooms are all nice.
Much has been written about the hotel but if I was to offer a tip it would be to take your own trekking poles. They do have some that you can borrow but it is probably better to take your own as they make the hiking easier.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
Helpful?
2 Thank Bezi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
254 reviews
65 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 4, 2013

We booked this hotel as the highlight of our Chile tour and that was exactly what it was. The setting is stunning with wonderful views of the Torres del Paine mountains. We were very lucky with the weather with 3 lovely days for our treks into the National Park. There was a variety of different walks with tough and moderate ones to suit different fitness levels.
The hotel is very elegant and the food and wine was excellent. The service is exemplary with nothing too much trouble for any of the staff. The guides who accompany the treks were enthusiastic and very knowledgeable.
Great fun!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Chris L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denton TX
Level Contributor
68 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 2, 2013

I won't repeat any of the information given by others, but affirm that the Explora Patagonia is a wonderful experience in most ways.

Firstly, the areas for improvement.

The building is low impact of course, a sleek squat white affair. That's good, but it is constructed of industrial 'crinkly tin' and the noise of the Patagonia winds whipping over the roof is deafening. We were kept awake one night by a combination of the racket from the wind and driving sleet, and fears that the banging from the roof above us meant it was above to life off and expose us to the full force of the elements.

The interior is all local wood, which is amazing considering much of the forests have since been destroyed by a catastrophic fire, alledegly caused by someone setting light to used toilet paper in the midst of the bush.

The rooms are minimalist, with good toiletries and a jacuzzi bath in our case, but who on earth designed the bathroom? There were two windows in the wall between bathroom and bedroom. Sitting on the throne, at first I assumed there must be one way mirrors enabling me to see the view during a most personal moment, but no. My wife coyly waved to me, before locating a venetian blind that could be closed. It was operated from the bedroom side. The other window presumably allowed an outside view from the wash basin, but meant the mirrors in the bathroom were tiny as they surrounded the window alone. Could the bathroom have been designed by a man with a beard or a woman? If not, how did the interior designed expect me to shave? The error was spotted no doubt too late as a very expensive free standing shaving/make up mirror was provided, but alas there was nowhere to stand it above thigh level, and inadequate light to make it of any use.

The guides were all good, and the drivers excellent. Don't miss the trip to the geysers at dawn. But two areas could be improved. One was the range of activities - there were many, but very little between the all-day strenuous hike and the simple stroll. We enjoyed the Grey Glacier, but were nearly put off by warnings about how hard the climbs and descents were. In practice they were easy, but a better rating system like ATG would be helpful and more activities suitable for the simply quite fit but not madly so.

On the plus side, the organisation was good, but there were gaps in service caused I suspect by a shortage of staff. The hotel is 5 hours drive from the airport, and quite a long way from Puerto Natales. So seasonal staff must either live in, or have a huge journey to work. The coldly efficient manager Laura, and the customer services manager Alexandra were both seen regularly waiting at tables to plug the shortfall. Very commendable and understandable but not ideal.

The pool, outside and inside jacuzzis, steam room and sauna were located by the water's edge, and are a superb facility. Most of the comings and goings are timed to take place every 4 days, so that is the length of stay expected.

Overall we hugely enjoyed our visit. The food was excellent, and the long term staff were great. I have tried to give a balanced impression, and not a criticism of what must be a logistical nightmare.

Room Tip: They're probably all good, facing in either direction from the waterfall and promontary between...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank heelas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about explora Patagonia

Property: 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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Torres del Paine National Park
#3 Luxury 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*
Number of rooms: 49
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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