Besides a few eco camps and impressive adventurers in tents, there exists a handful of luxury hotels in which to relax after a long day’s hike, offering a welcome respite from the most brutal wind. Built at the southernmost tip of the world, Tierra Patagonia Hotel is perched on a bluff on the edge of Chile’s Lake Sarmiento.
Talk about being one with the scenery. The hotel blends into the landscape with the way the reclaimed wood curves like a sweeping movement of the wind. Driving up to Tierra Patagonia, most first-timers wouldn’t know the structure acts as a luxury hotel, much less the pure bliss that lies behind its unique walls.
Once inside the hotel, the design furnishings are second to the unbeatable backdrop. With windows everywhere, the lakes and peaks of Torres del Paine National Park steal the show. Connect to the wi-fi when this is in front of you? Forget about it.
Tip: Oder the Austral Calafate beer while at the Tierra Patagonia bar. Best beer I’ve ever tasted!
Once I could drag my gaze from the extraordinary view across Lago Sarmiento to the breathtaking granite monoliths of Torres del Paine, I became increasingly impressed by my surroundings. The great room seamlessly unites a sitting area containing a circular fireplace with a bar and dining space. The combination of a wood ceiling, walls constructed from boards of differing lengths, and wood floorboards laid at an angle give the design an energetic feeling and flow.
No matter if you settle in a standard room or a suite for a few glorious days here, you’ll be getting access to the main attraction: the view of Torres del Paine National Park. I kid you not, my favorite view on earth lives in this park, and like the Black Eyed Peas, I just can’t get enough.
The 40 guest rooms are simple yet handsome with their minimalistic furniture and elegant bathtubs including, you guessed it, a view of the National Park.
On arrival, guests meet with guides to plan their various excursions during the visit. First on the list should be the Base of the Towers (Torres) hike. This is arguably the most famous hike in the park with 7-8 hours of trekking over 18 kms through mountains, forests and boulders. Motivation and stamina required.
Spend the day hiking to spectacular mountain vistas, return for a swim or a massage in the spa, and end the day with a glass of Chilean wine in a fluffy egg-shaped chair as the sun sets on the rocky pinnacles of Torres del Paine. Luxury adventure at its finest!
For the less energetic, prune away inside Tierra’s Uma Spa pool. I’m going to let the pictures do the talking for this heated indoor pool and outdoor jacuzzi.
Due to the amount of outdoor fun in Patagonia, how to fuel your body is important. The food served at Tierra Patagonia is rustic and elegant – so right up my alley. With a massive spread set out at breakfast and three course menus at lunch and dinner, guests walk away fat and happy. If you’re out for an excursion during the day, your “box lunch” will be just as delicious, your brown bag overflowing with contents such as gourmet sandwiches, chocolate bars made from local chocolatiers, and the best item – puma poop. It’s not what you think, I promise. This glorified granola bar that Tierra’s friendly and attentive staff affectionately calls ‘puma poop’ is one of the best things I’ve ever put in my mouth, and it definitely gave me a second and third wind to be able to hike 4 hours back to the hotel.
Book the three hour flight from Santiago, Chile, to Punta Arenas via LAN Airlines. A four hour drive from Punta Arenas airport, Tierra Patagonia isn’t exactly a quick and easy vacation, and it shouldn’t be treated as one. Time spent here in Chilean Patagonia should be as slow as the local’s pace of life, taking many moments to appreciate the snow peaked Torres and barren land as far as the eye can see. A staff member from Tierra will pick you up from Punta Arenas and drive you to the hotel with gourmet snacks and views included. Get excited – adventure begins at the end of the world!
Check out Tierra Patagonia’s sister property, Tierra Atacama, in the driest place on earth!