Epic Recommends... Chile
The Singular Hotel – Puerto Natales, Chile
This incredible property sits in the quaint little Patagonia town of Puerto Natales which is the gateway to Torres del Paine National Park. Not only is the service, architecture and scenery amazing the hotel also has an incredible history in the local community. Prior to being a 5 star hotel the property was home to Frigorifico Bories a cold storage plant from 1915 to 1971 where hundreds of locals were employed to freeze and preserve meats and fish before putting them on ships to be sent all around the world. In 1996 the building was named a National Historical Monument and shortly thereafter ancestors of the original owners decided to turn this great building into a hotel. The greatest part about this is they preserved lots of the history of the original building and equipment so taking some time to tour the museum, the tannery or the blacksmith shop while on property is a really neat twist to this property. The Singular also sits at an idea location to visit lots of the local Estancias to meet the locals enjoy Patagonia barbeque (Asado’s), explore their property on horseback, or get adventurous and go rock climbing, ATV’ing or mountain biking. After you’re done touring locally you can make a short transfer into the famous Patagonian park that sits less than two hours away. I personally think this is the most incredible property that I have visited in all of the Americas and some of our most seasoned travelers have stated that it is their favorite property that they have stayed at overall!
Tierra Patagonia – Torres del Paine, Chile
As you begin your drive through the Patagonia pampa towards Torres Del Paine National Park you gradually see mountains, glaciers and lakes appear providing a stark contrast against the small shrubs, trees and gravel roads you travel on. When your driver turns into the driveway of Tierra Patagonia you wonder if you are going to drive straight into Lago Sarmiento when sudden the hotel appears blended almost completely into the surroundings. The plan of the architect was to design a building that fit right into its surroundings while also providing the same incredible view of Los Torres and the Lago from each room with large floor to ceiling windows. The interior architecture is almost as impressive as the natural surroundings and you may find yourself in awe of the use of all local materials throughout the property. Tierra Patagonia is the perfect base for getting out and exploring Torres Del Paine National Park as it sits just outside of the East entrance. From here you can hike to Los Torres, kayak on many of the glacier lakes or take a tour of Lago Grey and Glacier Grey part of the Southern Ice Field. After a full day out exploring Patagonia I always enjoy grabbing a book from the extensive library, a pisco sour from the bar and a relaxing seat overlooking the lake and the Torres.
The Island of Chiloe is said to be where the original Chileans lived and where the whole culture of the country began. This large island known for its small picturesque fishing villages is situated just off the coast of the country and a quick plane trip or a half day’s drive from nearby Puerto Montt. If you are looking to really capture some great culture of the Chilean people then this hotel should be high on your list. The hotel was originally built by the now General Manager Andres who will be the first to greet you as you pull up to the amazing eco-friendly structure that sits on a bluff overlooking the Reloncavi Sound. All 12 rooms have an incredible view of the sound and are furnished with locally made linens, blankets and furniture. The touring on Chiloe Island can be adventurous with hikes on the pacific side of the island, kayaking amongst the islands or horseback riding in the surrounding hills. I highly recommend spending a day aboard the resort’s boat the Williche where you will explore the fishing communities that are only accessible by boat and eat some of the freshest seafood available. Save a day as well to tour around the island to visit many of the 150 wooden churches dotted throughout the hills, 14 of which are registered on the UNESCO protected list. Last but not least make sure to visit the local market to see the local artisans and definitely eat some fresh empanadas!