TravelAge West Hotel Review - The Singular Patagonia
The Singular Patagonia luxury hotel in Puerto Natales, Chilean Patagonia, offers adventure excursions without hordes of tourists
Patagonia is far from off the radar, topping the bucket lists of most adventurous travelers. Still, the majority of visitors opt for Argentina’s side of the region, leaving Chilean Patagonia relatively secluded and untapped. Trekkers, kayakers and those who simply enjoy a great view will find everything they’re looking for in Chilean Patagonia’s southernmost Magallanes region, without hordes of tourists. A stay at The Singular Patagonia ensures that travelers do so in style.
The Singular Patagonia is one of the only luxury hotel offerings in Puerto Natales, a lakeside city in Chilean Patagonia. This sleepy community of just 19,000 people is the capital of Ultima Esperanza province and the gateway to Torres del Paine National Park. With 935 square miles of mountains, lakes and rivers, Torres del Paine National Park only draws around 150,000 tourists per year. Compared to Machu Picchu, which saw nearly 1.2 million tourists in 2013, Torres del Paine remains one of South America’s semi-secluded spots.
Travelers staying at The Singular Patagonia can book either a Half Board, Full Board or B&B option. Both the B&B and Half Board packages include lodging, breakfast and use of the communal spa facilities. Half Board includes lunch or dinner a la carte, whereas the Full Board program includes lodging; all meals a la carte, including alcoholic beverages; roundtrip transfers to and from the Punta Arenas airport when booking three or more nights; use of the spa facilities; and a selection of daily expeditions, which is one of the major draws of the hotel.
The Singular Patagonia has gathered a team of experienced bilingual guides to take travelers on private tours within Patagonia, from exploring Torres del Paine National Park to navigating the fjords, mountains and glaciers of the surrounding region. Excursions range in difficulty and duration, from driving tours through the park to full-day treks, most of which are included in the Full Board option. (Fly-fishing is not included.) Full-day and half-day programs are ranked on basic, medium and high levels of difficulty.
Highlights include a full-day excursion to the base of Torres del Paine. The four-hour trek through the park includes visits to some of the more impressive monoliths; a half-day trek through the mountains to view Andean condors; and a kayak excursion along the fjords. Softer adventure options such as horseback riding and cycling are also available.
Set in the historical Frigorifico Puerto Bories building, a post-Victorian cold-storage plant built in 1915, the hotel highlights its industrial past, preserving a large part of the technology used back when the plant was in its heyday. Much of the property operates like a museum, and the exposed pipes, brick and steel give it a trendy, industrial-chic vibe.
Still, with a spa, floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the lake in all bedrooms and a restaurant serving locally sourced meats, seafood, vegetables and Chilean wines next to a roaring fireplace, The Singular Patagonia is a truly luxurious retreat in a region dominated by campgrounds and bed-and-breakfasts.
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