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“BEAUTIFUL PLACE, ESPETACULAR ATTENTION”

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explora Patagonia - All Inclusive
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 26, 2009

This is a trip you´ll have a great doubt; to explore the Torres del Paine National Park in some of the various out-door programs offered by the Hotel or stay inside the Hotel Salto Chico. But whatever you chose you'll be certainly sucessful because that´s an excellent Hotel in a wonderful landscape. Everything is carefully prepared; the meals, the tours... They do have a high level of excellence in terms of services and attention.

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank GUSDALI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 24, 2009

Response to critic by 6832white: First of all I am sure I speak on behalf of thousands of explora past guests and fans when saying that I find your comments very unfair and out of place.
When you first contact explora, you know what they offer, what they do not offer and what to expect. Just to make it clear, it’s like going to a wine tasting and expect being served a beer and becoming very upset for not having a beer, because “they don’t offer anything out of the box”. If you don’t get this…
I have personally been at the 3 explora’s and everything from the first contact with the reservations department was handled very professionally and efficiently. I happened to have been assisted by the same explora representative who you so disrespectfully mention, and who deserves my highest appreciation and comments. Everyone at the hotels, from the Manager to the guides and staff was extremely helpful, capable, friendly and flexible. They went the extra mile and answered all my questions and exceeded my expectations in every way. I shared my visit with many other fellow travellers and all of them agreed that the service, explorations, guides and staff were superb and accommodating. I have been all around the world and this company does not offer a 5-star rating but rather a 10-star service. A once in a lifetime experience which I highly recommend to all my friends and readers, who might feel discouraged by some unfair and wrong critics. While staying at explora I learned that they offer a unique concept that is poorly mimicked by the other “comepetitors”. A real voyageur knows the difference.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled with friends
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Thank voyageurcalifornia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 20, 2009

Just spent 4 nights in EXPLORA Salto Chico combined with 3 nights EXPLORA Atacama. Ok no one in the world will complain about the view of Cuernos del Paine from the rooms at Salto Chico and the ever so perfect location of the hotel. For this alone, the hotel deserves to be in its current rating of top 100 hotels in the 2009 Conde Nast Traveler magazine. But for close to USD1,000/night per room (all inclusive), there were problems --

1) The EXPLORA "system" is well set -- 4 nights, pick up and drop off at airport, 3 meals a day, and "explorations" with the guides there. But don't even begin to think stray from this. My friend and I thought about doing a kayaking and/or ice trek around Paine, which EXPLORA does not offer. EXPLORA was clueless starting from the booking office in Santiago (with Nicolas) all the way to the EXPLORA hotel manager in Salto Chico. I felt like being corralled like in a Club Med - system where going outside the box was off limits. We ended up hiring an independent group paid separately by us to take us on the ice trek. In Salto Chico, the explorations are limited ONLY to hiking and horseback riding, that's it. In Atacama, they are limited to hikes, horse and bike riding. We wanted to go sandboarding one day in the Atacama which the staff strongly discouraged but, when we went, the sandboarding was the most fun adventure we had in Atacama.

2) Just like a cheap Club Med in the Carribbean, EXPLORA has a set of "guides" that will sit down with you for hours offering you explorations during your staf. One guide is more attractive than the next and I think EXPLORA picks them out as guides for that special quaility. Quite frankly, I thought the guides were so much into themselves and their looks that they really weren't doing what they were supposed to be doing -- looking out for our safety and our enjoyment. In one trek across the Valle de La Luna in EXPLORA Atacama, I was in a group of retired people and the guide was all the way on the front. Though fit, I had concerns about the safety of the trek with these guests without a guide supervising the trek.. The guides we had OUTSIDE Explora for our independent trips were so much more informative and helpful in looking out for us. I figure these EXPLORA guides were really more for show and modeling rather than guiding through the terrain.

My conclusions --
1) The physical hotel, the food and the scenery for EXPLORA are all top notch -- maybe they should just stick to that and not corral the guests to the kind of trekking/explorations they think is good. I don't think they do well in this last department
2) Like a concierge in a 5-star hotel, EXPLORA should know about options for guests if they are not interested in the treks/hikes EXPLORA offers. Forget about havign EXPLORA help you about any of these "outside" plans.
3) Anything outside the box or a canned system of tourism, don't expect EXPLORA to extend a hand to making it happen for you. In this regard, they failed to get a 5-star rating for me.
4) Don't even think of getting a can of soda or milk at 12 midnight. Again, for a 5-star operation which EXPLORA claims it has, it should have food and drinks available 24/7. I'm not expecting a 5 course meal at 2am (which you can get at the Four Seasons or the Ritz) but at least have an option to serve something to the guests 24/7.

I will not go back to EXPLORA, especially in the Atacama where there are plenty of other competitive 5-star hotels (Kunza, Tierra Atacama, etc).

3) There were many other tourists in these gorgeous locations other than EXPLORA. I felt that the other tours were so much more informative than the guides at EXPLORA. We barely got any discussions/lectures/talks/presentation about any of the things about Patagonia or Atacama (culture, landscape, paleogeology, astronomy, flora and fauna, etc). For such a high-end operation, I thought EXPLORA lacked information). Forget the guides, they're too busy preening themselves between treks and hikes.

  • Stayed: November 2009
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24  Thank 6832white
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 15, 2009

Just back from a stay at the Explora Patagonia - such a great place to stay - Isolated, great views, and great comfort - meals - wine - excursions etc
The day excursions with the picnic at the top of the mountain are excelent - starters / main course / dessert plus tea/coffee (with bailys)
Lots of praise for Savi a great tour guide - I was the only guest on this excursion this day and to have my own guide was pricless.
Only negative would be the housekeeping station outside room 31, woke me up early on the days I decided to sleep late with the opeing and closing of doors and the constant loud walking outside the door as she goes back ad forth - only a minor negative, still an excellent adventure to Patagonia.

Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
Thank IanCCCCC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 23, 2009

Not to be missed. Absolutely worth the incredible distance that you have to travel (at least from outside of South America). Really best if you enjoying hiking and/or riding.

We had an incredible stay here, and simply cannot compliment the staff enough. They were excellent.

Actually also stayed here right after it opened in 1995, and the beauty hasn't changed, but the quality and detail of the experience at Explora has grown.

  • Stayed: December 2006, traveled with family
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Thank metolius
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 30, 2009

We finished our 25 day South American adventure with 4 nights in Explora Patagonia being suggested by our travel advisor as the finishing point of our journey before we flew back to Australia.

We were a bit hesitant given we had to fly such a distance but we said what the [--] "lets just do it"! To our travel advisors credit we had not been disappointed one bit. From the moment we were picked up at the airport to the wonderful meal on the long drive to the hotel everything felt just right!! but to our joy the days just got better and better, hikes to the glaciers, horse riding, relaxing (if you can) and just the wonderful food, guides and host made this a fitting end to our great travels within South America. Would /are we going back yes, however we have decided to try the Atacama explora just for something different.

l cannot see how you could be disappointed with so many things to do and so little time.... just make sure you get out and about and have a great time seeing things you do not normally see or do.! We loved every moment there!!!!!!!

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled with family
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Thank jackbilly44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 3, 2009

Briefly

Best thing about hotel and what you are paying for is the location in the park and the view which is awesome weather permiting.

Staff, food, guides all good.

Spa ok, but could maintain outdoor whirlpools better. A coupe of days, they had an unpleasant odor.

Glacier Grey hike/boat ride great. Towers hike more of challenge than enjoyable unless seasoned hiker. Honestly hikes could be done on own as the trails are clearly marked and well traveled with other hikers. Group sizes are way too big. The hotel could improve on that.

Would recommend.

We had great weather on our trip - clear at least part of time all days, but still windy. If it were cloudy the whole time blocking the massif view, I might have a different opinion about the experience.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank memchuck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about explora Patagonia - All Inclusive

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 Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 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: $1,343 - $2,084 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — explora Patagonia - All Inclusive 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 - All Inclusive Aisen Region/Torres Del Paine National Park, Chile

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