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“Overpriced, two star hostel at five star prices”

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Las Torres Patagonia
Certificate of Excellence
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Reviewed February 3, 2014

The beauty of Torres del Paine is overrated. It is very nice, but no more spectacular than many views in the Canadian Rockies, and much less so than the mountains of Alaska and the Yukon. If this hotel wasn't so very overpriced, it would be a nice enough place to visit.

We travelled around Patagonia on a recent trip (see our blog at http://digipac.ca/blog) and stayed in mid-range hosterias and hostels. Las Torres Patagonia is no better than the average of them, but cost much, much more. Our biggest complaint is the rip-off if paying with Chilean pesos, where you will be charged an extra 19% on checkout.

We found it difficult to find any information on the price of meals, other than that it was "expensive". We ate the included breakfast, and the nightly buffet dinner. The breakfast was similar to other B & B's. The buffet dinner had a number of choices, but we found it only adequate, none of it exceptionally appetizing. We had estimated the cost, and took in what we thought was enough Chilean pesos to cover the cost of the dinners. On checkout we were astonished to find that they added another 19% to the bill because we were paying pesos. If we paid on our credit card, or in American dollars, there was no such extra charge. Since it was our last day in Chile, and we wanted to get rid of our Chilean pesos, we had no choice. We estimate that each buffet dinner cost $45 US per person. We feel that the quality of the food might be worth $25 US maximum per person. The dishes were chipped (great places for bacteria to grow). We never saw anyone wipe down the tables between settings. We expected to pay a premium for the remote location. We didn't expect to have to pay an additional 19% to pay in cash.

We brought in food for our lunches from Puerto Natales. If you do not do this, then you will not find anything to purchase to eat in the small stores on-site.

There aren't a lot of hiking trails in the area. You can climb up to the towers, or go either east or west along one trail. On our last day we hiked west, then left the trail and walked across the steppe toward the shores of Nordenskjöld Lake, far below us. This was nice, and we had a condor fly directly over us.

We stayed four nights at this hotel. On our last day the toilet plugged, and although we reported it to the front desk it had not been cleaned by the time we checked out. The area is nice enough, but we would never return to this area or this hotel.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank David D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jorge G, Coordinador de Marketing at Las Torres Patagonia, responded to this reviewResponded February 20, 2014

Dear David D, first of all thank you for taking time to write this review. It is very important for us to have the chance of replying your comments since this way we can clarify a few topics to you, and other passengers.

I will divide your comments below in order to make easier to follow:

1-The beauty of Torres del Paine is overrated. It is very nice, but no more spectacular than many views in the Canadian Rockies, and much less so than the mountains of Alaska and the Yukon.

Actually I cannot make many comments here since everyone has different tastes and views.
I can only say that every year the number of visitors to the park (and the hotel) is growing and that last year Torres del Paine was elected “The 8th Wonder” in the world after receiving 5 million votes on a competition from visitors across the world.

2- Our biggest complaint is the rip-off if paying with Chilean pesos, where you will be charged an extra 19% on checkout.

It is import to know that the 19% is paid if the passenger is paying with Chilean pesos. This is not a Hotel policy, it the law of the Chilean government. If an international tourist pays with dollars (and he/she does not have Chilean residency) the 19% is not included. This is called a tax benefit.

3- We found it difficult to find any information on the price of meals, other than that it was "expensive".

What would you recommend us to do in order to make it easier to find the information??
The way we inform that is through a menu that is on top of the front desk, at the entrance at the restaurant and by personally telling everyone that ask us about the costs on the front desk… I mean , all the staff from the front desk, restaurant and bar know the costs and should be able to tell to our visitors...

4- We had estimated the cost, and took in what we thought was enough Chilean pesos to cover the cost of the dinners. On checkout we were astonished to find that they added another 19% to the bill because we were paying pesos. If we paid on our credit card, or in American dollars, there was no such extra charge. …We didn't expect to have to pay an additional 19% to pay in cash.

As I explained before, the IVA (19% taxes ) is paid if the passenger is paying with Chilean pesos. This is not a Hotel policy, it the law of the Chilean government. If an international tourist pays with dollars (and he/she does not have Chilean residency) the 19% is not included. This is called a tax benefit.

5- We brought in food for our lunches from Puerto Natales. If you do not do this, then you will not find anything to purchase to eat in the small stores on-site.

David D. , I would have to disagree with you in this point since we have different options for our clients. All our visitors can have lunch at our restaurant (that offer a great gourmet menu) , at our bar, or buy other items at our store that is located a few meters outside of the hotel

6- There aren't a lot of hiking trails in the area. You can climb up to the towers, or go either east or west along one trail.

It looks like we have another point of disagreement David :P!

There are several options for day hikings, for example: to the base of the , to the Cuernos, to Cerro Paine, to Serón and to Nordenskjöld lake . Also, if you take other excursion, a van of the hotel will bring you to several places at the park where you have more options for hiking.

7- On our last day we hiked west, then left the trail and walked across the steppe toward the shores of Lake, far below us. This was nice, and we had a condor fly directly over us.

Nice!! You were lucky to see a condor flying directly over you!!

8- We stayed four nights at this hotel. On our last day the toilet plugged, and although we reported it to the front desk it had not been cleaned by the time we checked out.

Ahhh… I wish I had known about this before… I will talk with the people from the front desk to be more careful about this situation. Our maintenance staff should have gone to check it right away. I am sorry about this situation.

David D. once more time thanks for taking time to write these comments and I hope that my comments were easy to follow and understand. If you have any other concern you can write me to marketing2@lastorres.com

kind regards

Jorge

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Reviewed January 31, 2014

We spent four nights here. Words cannot describe the beauty of the surroundings and the efficiency of the hotel guides and catering teams.

The ride and trek up to the granite towers was out of this world.

Special thanks to loco Philipe

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank billypenn2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2014

Others have described this place as chalet style and it is a perfect description. We really liked this place; the main reason it doesn't get five stars is that it is pretty expensive and we felt a bit duped by the claims of all inclusive guiding each day, plus a couple of other small complaints.

The main reception area opens out into a big lounge/bar area where you can get drinks all day and food too - it serves sandwiches and good pizza and chips as well as a few proper meals. We were all inclusive and all inclusive does mean that, other than some premium drinks and a couple of premium menu items (which are all clearly marked). There wasn't any stage where we felt the need to go beyond what was included, ie the standard food and drink is good.

The whole place is two storey and whilst some rooms are in the main building, ours was further along in another building. The buildings are connected by a wooden walkway but you do have to go outside for a few seconds. Our room was standard and very nice - all looked newly done with a big be and basic furnishings. One good thing is there is a separate little hall when you first get into your room, which gives a bit more space for storage (there is a wardrobe and shelves unit here) plus it meant there was a second door leading to the bedroom. This effectively blocked out any noise from other guests on the corridor. The bathroom was nice and clean with a bath (essential after long walks!) and plenty of hot water and complimentary toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, body lotion etc). Our view was over the Torres Massif an the hotel vegetable gardens.

The food was generally good. Not amazing, but good. Breakfast was better than dinner, the usual selection of cold items including breads, cereal, yogurt, cheese etc together with hot items. Dinner was buffet style with a variety of soup and salad items for starters, several mains and a dessert selection. Despite there being several options for mains each night, both me and my husband felt on a couple of nights that there was nothing we really wanted to eat. Maybe that's us being a bit fussy (neither of us eat fish) but the meat on offer wasn't that great. And the spaghetti pomodoro one night (vegetarian anywhere else in the world!) had bits of seafood in the sauce. AFter that, we stuck to eating in the lobby bar.

We went all inclusive as we knew we wanting to do a lot of walking and this option included being guided and the transport. On the first day we did the Torres trek. We enjoyed it and the guided group was small; us and two others plus guide. However I would say if you're not staying all inclusive it is pretty easy to do the Torres trek unguided as the hotel is right at the bottom of the trail. There is only really one path so you could just follow it to the top. We left 9.30am to climb Torres and it took us about 4 and a half hours to get to the top (base of the towers lookout) and maybe 3 hr 45 down. It is spectacular at the top and not as hard as I expected. Challenging yes but not really difficult. For reasons we couldn't fathom, 99% of people on the trail seemed to have walking poles but you don't need them.

The second day we did the Valley France. This time it was just us and the guide. To do this trek, you have to get a transfer (in the hotel minibus) to the ferry point which takes 40 mins, then catch the catamaran across the lake to the start point of the walk. We had to leave at 8am for this trek. It's a long day as you are at the mercy of ferry times on the way back (only three ferries a day each way); it was gone 8pm when we were back at hotel. Again this is a trek you could do easily yourself provided you have a means of getting to the start, but having a guide of course means you get to learn a bit about the local area, nature etc.

The reason we were annoyed with the trekking was on day three we wanted to do the grey glacier trek (ie complete the third leg of the "W"; the reason we'd come to Torres). But on the third day the only full day walks were Torres and Valley France, which we had already done (it wasn't weather related - they just were only doing two treks). It was the same on the fourth day; only the two same full day walks. We'd have been willing to do a different walk if Grey was un available (we understood it wasn't possible to do every combination of walks every day) but there was nothing else on offer on the full day side except horse riding or a trip round the park by bus. There were some half day walks but by the time you'd added in the bus time there and back, it was hardly worth it. And we didn't come to Torres to sit on a bus.

We felt a bit cheated as we had gone to Torres for one reason only - to walk. They advertise a lot of walking options but I felt they should have made it clear if you are there more than two days they run most walks infrequently. As it was we did Los Cuernos on our own on the third day. It was enjoyable but we felt ripped off. Given how easy it is to do Torres from the hotel, we shouldn't have bothered paying for all inclusive trekking. Or perhaps the hotel should put up an advance schedule of the walks to be put on each day of the week, subject to weather. There was a guided walk to Grey on the day we did the French Valley - if someone had told us that was our last chance to do Grey during our stay, we'd have swapped treks.

The lack of walk options was exacerbated by the fact the spa was also out of action. In the absence of a full day trek we decided we'd walk for a part of the day but be back by 5pm to enjoy the spa. We booked ourselves in but were later called to be told the spa was now closed. We didn't really get much more of an explanation than that. If you do want to use the spa, book in advance as from the bookings log I saw, it looked like they only had one therapist working in the spa and they don't work all day.

Other small annoyances were a broken safe in the room and housekeeping weren't that attentive - no towels on day one and then only one towel for each of us. Plus we were left a tray of prawns and cheese and fruit at one stage which was kind but we didn't eat as we'd been out for ten hours and the room was pretty warm! I left it clearly on the side by the door so it could be taken away the next day, but housekeeping left it there so when we came back to our room at 8.30pm it smelt of going-off prawns and cheese. Lastly as others have said, the wifi in the park is terrible because it is provided by satellite. Appreciate there isn't much the hotel can do but be warned it was pretty much the worst wifi I've ever experienced - you had to ask for a new password each day, it then generally took quite a long time to log in, and as soon as you switched your device to standby or lock screen, it booted you out. Occasionally we managed to send a text message or short email but uploading a single photo was a no-no.

Would we go back? Possibly, as other than the issues above we did have a good stay and the staff in the bar and restaurant and the trek guides were all lovely. but I'd check the guiding options before booking all inclusive again.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank LinzofLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 21, 2014

We stayed from the 22nd December 2013 for 4 nights, had the full package - not sure the cost but whatever it was it was worth it! Food, drinks (incl alcohol- cocktails & wines - which were very good wines, not the cheap stuff) were all inclusive and were very good - very fresh produce and plentiful. They also provide packed lunches (they need more variations on the sandwiches) with fruits, snacks, drinks, etc. when you go out. Apparently they also have master chef lunches if your at the hotel for lunch.
The downside is the way the excursions are arranged - it's a nightmare waiting to talk to a guide on what is available (as many excursions get full fast),this should be improved. The guides themselves when you're on an excursion are generally good, but don't expect them to walk slowly and wait for you, they dash off and leave you. If you're injured you'll need to take care of yourself, there is no medical kit. Also the guides don't really tell you the level of difficulty of some of the treks ie French Valley & Los Torres is quite challenging (even for fit people).
The other BAD point is the wifi, you need to get a password 1-2 times daily, they have a stupid IT guy that generates crazy passwords, the connection maybe 1 hr or if your lucky you may get a password for a 24hr connection & it drops out alot.
The rooms are nice, warm, clean & the views of the mountains are great. The restaurant staff are great.
otherwise the place is great. I would recommend it.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank groovysho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2014

The remote location was made easy by professional and informative drivers. The rooms, staff and food were very good. The guided tours and the scenery were fantastic. Highly Recommended for active and adventurous people to stay in comfort.

  • Stayed: January 2014
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Thank Al G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 17, 2014

We spent four nights at Las Torres under the all exclusive option. Price seems high but when you add in all of the amenities for a family of five (with two hungry young men in tow) to enjoy it was well worth the price to us. It took us an hour or two to orient ourselves to everything that was included but our waiter Gabriel quickly adopted us and answered any and all questions we had while serving us an excellent lunch with wine included (as well as all subsequent meals). We enjoyed the hike to the towers (on Christmas day - complete with a snowball fight), the French Valley as well as the Lago Grey trip - hiking until we were exhausted most days and then returning to a hot shower and fine buffet dinner. Only negative we found was the wait staff at the bar was disorganized and inattentive. Other than that it was a great stop and we would have gladly added another day or two.

Room Tip: We had a room in the newer section with a view of the mountain but this means a longer walk to dinne...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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Thank BobN06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jorge G, Coordinador de Marketing at Las Torres Patagonia, responded to this reviewResponded January 20, 2014

Dear BobN06, thanks for your review !!

I will make sure to tell Gabriel that he was a good help to you and your family.

I totally agree with you about this review subject line "Perfect location for trekking with comfort”... that is what we offer ...we offer an authentical and natural experience of being in the patagonia..but with comfort :)!!

Sorry about the experience at the bar. I will talk to them so that situations like that does not happen again.

kind regards and thanks to taking time to write about your experience

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Reviewed January 15, 2014

Las Torres does not really have to deliver to the level in which they do. But they do deliver even with price on the high side. But your other options are pretty much limited to camping or some "lodge" outside the park or busing in for several hour each way from Puerto Natales. Prices are on the high side but I didnt see this as gouging. Over our 4 night stay we found the "all inclusive" option worthwhile as the a la carte pricing was on the high side. As others have noted the hotel "excursions" are pushed at you ... again not such a problem if you are on the all inclusive option. While the excursions might be sold like time shares the excursions themselves are enjoyable and the guides are fun and knowledgeable. There is no obligation to participate you are free to explore the park on your own. Speaking Spanish does help all around Patagonia. The staff is great. .

Room Tip: The "fitness centre" is the hiking trails!
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank VoiceOverMan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Las Torres Patagonia

Address: Estancia Cerro Paine S/n | Torres del Paine, Torres del Paine National Park 6170000, 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 Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Torres del Paine National Park
#6 Romantic Hotel in Torres del Paine National Park
Price Range: $345 - $436 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Las Torres Patagonia 3.5*
Number of rooms: 74
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Las Torres is located in the heart of the National Park at the foot of the main tourist attraction, Las Torres del Paine and the starting point of the main trails of the park. With 74 rooms we offer All Inclusive Packages as well as bed & breakfast options. In any case, we are very flexible, with no fixed dates or days of arrival. We do have daily tour options to the main attractions of the park, as well as a nice restaurant with local cuisine options. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Las Torres Patagonia Hotel Torres Del Paine
Las Torres Patagonia Del Paine
Las Torres Patagonia Aisen Region/Torres Del Paine National Park, Chile

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