The Big Six: Patagonian lodges
Friday 19 October 2012
EcoCamp offers a string of geodesic domes in the far jagged tip of the Torres del Paine National Park. Each has snug beds layered with sheepskin throws, quilted walls to guard against the elements and skylights overhead for stargazing. All except the standard domes have private bathrooms – and some even have heaters, wood-burning stoves, sofas and verandas. Activities range from guided treks and wildlife excursions to mountain biking through the wild Patagonian plains.
EcoCamp Patagonia, Torres del Paine National Park, Chile (0800 051 7095; ecocamp.travel). Doubles from US$1,838 (£1,149) for three nights, all inclusive.
Los Notros Argentina
The frozen wall of the Perito Moreno Glacier forms the backdrop to Los Notros. This rigid river of ice – which ruptures and refreezes – can be climbed on foot, scaled with crampons or seen by cruising the Brazo Rico waterway, past icebergs that have flaked off over time. If all that sounds too taxing, admire it from the comfort of one of 32 guestrooms at the lodge. Sybarites can indulge in gourmet food at the restaurant, which serves duck, trout and terrines with 150 Argentinian wines.
Los Notros, Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina (00 54 11 4813 7285; losnotros.com). Doubles start at US$1,650 (£1,031) for four nights, all inclusive.
This striking concoction of off-kilter windows and exposed concrete was designed by the Santiago-based architect Germá* del Sol on the edge of the Last Hope Sound. It has 72 minimalist rooms that stretch out down long, light-flooded corridors and a list of intrepid excursions that ranges from condor spotting at Cerro Benítez to boat trips on Lake Pehoé. By night, trade tales of adventure with other travellers or take in a talk on Patagonian culture and wildlife.
Remota, Ruta 9 Norte, Huerto 279, Puerto Natales, Chile (00 56 2 387 1500; remota.cl). Doubles start at US$3,900 (£2,438) for three nights, all inclusive.
This sprawling Argentinian estate stands in the sweeping La Anita valley, on the eastern flank of Mount Frías. It has 17 swish suites that look out to Lake Argentino and the Torres del Paine. The mood throughout is mature and distinguished, with antique travelling trunks, walnut wardrobes and wide, open windows. Included activities range from horse riding and birdwatching to nightly stargazing. Added extras include 4x4 adventures, guided glacier hikes and fly fishing on Lake Roca.
Eolo, Ruta Provincial N11, El Calafate, Argentina (00 54 2 902 492 042; eolo.com.ar). Doubles start at US$820 (£513) per night, all inclusive.
Patagonia Camp Chile
Eighteen heated yurts huddle around the shore of Lake Toro, hugged by ancient beech forest, with the Paine Massif rising in the distance. Each has a rain shower and robes, hand-carved furniture and chunky beds, cowhide rugs and woven fabrics. The camp is snaked by stilted walkways with a central bar, lounge and restaurant that serves local Magellanic lamb, ceviche and southern hake with Calafate berries. Excursions range from easy-going strolls to ambitious hikes.
Patagonia Camp, Lake Toro, Chile (00 56 2 334 9255; patagoniacamp.com). Doubles start at US$1,570 (£981) for two nights, all inclusive.
Poised over the precipice of the Salto Chico waterfall, explora flaunts 49 rooms within a landmark building by architect José Cruz Ovalle. Keen equestrians are spoilt for choice here, with on-site riding stables and the chance to spend a day helping local gauchos shear sheep, drive cattle and break in horses at a nearby estancia (rural estate). After a day of limitless discovery, dine on king crab ravioli and Wagyu beef at the restaurant, relax in the Bath House spa or sequester yourself away in one of the warm, television-free rooms.
Explora, Salto Chico, Chile (00 56 2 395 2800; explora.com). Doubles start at US$5,560 (£3,475) for four nights, all inclusive.
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