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“Beautiful hotel and location”

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explora Patagonia - All Inclusive
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 22 December 2011

We enjoyed four nights in this wonderful hotel. It is located in a stunning area of Torres del Paine. We were very lucky with the weather and were able to see the mountains throughout our stay. The views and setting were amazing!

Our room was clean and comfortable and well appointed. Of course it had a wonderful view of the lake and massif as well.

The excursions were great! Guests sign up for activities that they are interested in and that suit their physical abilities. My husband and I wound up being the only guests with a guide on 2 different occasions. The guides are friendly and knowledgeable.

We received great service during meals as well.

The food, however, was not the best. If there is anything that needs improvement here, it is the food. I would actually lower the over all rating of Explora to 4.5 because of this. I understand that it takes a great effort to get fresh ingredients to this location. However, I have had better food in the middle of Africa. The salads and fruits were quite fresh. The deserts and baked products were very good. I must say that the empanadas that were served at the barbecue were some of the best I have ever had. The meals, however, were generally bland. Also the meats were improperly prepared. I had wagyu that was cooked like a stew meat. Another time, a piece of fish I had was still raw in the middle.

Overall, our stay was pleasant and we would recommend others to visit.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank scarletlettera
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
exploraSA, CEO / Gerente General at explora Patagonia - All Inclusive, responded to this reviewResponded 21 January 2012

Thank you for taking the time to review your travel experience.

The view from the rooms facing the Paine Massif is unbeatable and something that one does not get tired of. It is that view that has inspired many travelers all over the globe to come to visit us at the most southern tip of the world.

We are pleased to learn that found the excursions and services during meal time to be great, and our guides to be knowledgeable and friend. Staff at explora is the cornerstone of the company and are cognizant that our travelers come to us with great expectations.

I am most disappointed to hear that you did not find consistency in our meal service– from the best empanadadas you ever had and good baked products to wagyu that was cooked like a stew meat. Sourcing products and obtaining the best-quality products in Chile and transporting them to Torres del Paine in not a problem, poor execution, lack of adherence to some recipes and cooking procedures were apparent during your stay. We are extremely sorry for that and please rest assured that this has been addressed with our COO and Executive Chef.

Thank you for your review and for letting us know how we can improve.

Sincerely,

Jesús Parrilla

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Reviewed 20 December 2011

it's expensive but worth it. It is a nightmare to get to. You either fly into El Calafate (Argentina) and do a 4 hour car transfer or fly into Puntas Arenas (Chile) and do a 2 hour car transfer. You will not find flihgt between BA and Puntas Arenas as Chile and Argnetina do not get on. Nevertheless the Explorer staff/managment are good. We were met and driven to the lodge/hotel from El Calafate in a private jeep.

There is very little info on the hotel or TDP on the web. The main reason we went here was because we originally wanted to do the W route. I am very happy we went here instead of staying in various refuges on the way.

The emphasis of the hotel is eco sustainability etc... however I would suggest that they want their guests to "get involved" and . They do this by not having individual balconies on the rooms nor any mini bars in the room - so the main congregation area is the communal bar downstairs (all inclusive) which has a magical view of the mountains. The hotel has the feel of a scandanavian lodge, clean and minimalist yet not precious so boots can be worn throughout.

The lodge is set 30 minutes by boat from the main trails used by the W route/Loop walkers so it is pretty secluded. Every evening the guides ask you where you want to walk or ride (they have a private gaucho - genuine ranch outside the park - 30 mins drive). We did one of the main routes on our first day (French Valley). The weather was foul...yup, it snowed, rained and hailed. So much so that the group (8 people maximum) decided to head home early after traiping around mist in soggy boots!. Second day we went to the Grey Glacier. We have seen a lot of glaciers and they do it well here. The walk was part of the W route and was pretty easy. Unfortunately we were not able to walk on the glacier as no one in Chile has a licence (yet). On the third day i went for a ride in the pampas. It was me, a gaucho and a guide/translator. They did this ride pretty well and despite my sore ar*e and thighs I had an awesome morning. Lunch that day was barbecued lamb...again done really well/professionally. My wife asked anotherguest if they wanted to do a specific extended walk. It ended up that 2 guests and a guide went for a 20 mile walk as it was baking hot. If this isn't tailored service, what is?

Each evening we ended up in a private hot tub looking out over the lake with a beer or glass of Chilean fizzy wine.

The credit crunch has hit them a little as there were 50 guests compared to full capacity of 105. This was the perfect number. The aim is for the guests to mingle so if you are an inactive recluse, this is not your holiday.

I was recommended this place by a friend and he got it spot on. At face value it is expensive. I had been trying to justify it for the last 6 months, however, on return I don't feel ripped off and bizaarly I think it was good value. The service is excellent and very professional. When I went to pay my bill (premium wines - not Chilean fizzy wine, and overseas telephone calls are not included), i was told that it wasn't necessary as their machine was down. To top it off, when we were leaving, not only had they checked in on our behalf for our flight to BA (without us knowing) but they had also supplied the driver with a bottle of champagne (Chilean fizzy wine) and ice bag for our wait at the airport.

The only reason i wouldn't go back is because i am now poor and i would like to see other places.

If there is a downside, i would point towards the food. The food they produce on the menu is OK, not exceptional. We were quite naughty and went off menu after the first night...they made no complaints and the wagu beef was divine.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Explorer792
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
exploraSA, CEO / Gerente General at explora Patagonia - All Inclusive, responded to this reviewResponded 21 January 2012

Dear traveler,

Thank you for your lengthy review and for your kind comments about our staff and their actions. Our staff makes all the difference and we are thrilled you were able to experience that at all levels our operation.

I am pleased to see that you took full advantage of your stay and enjoyed, not only trekking but horseback riding in our 2 de Enero Estancia with our gauchos. That ride, combined with the BBQ experience at our Quincho, is for many worth the trip alone.

If you plan to come back to another explora locality [despite you being broke:-) ], you will be pleased to learn that you are entitled to the benefits of our CESA - Club Exploradores del Sur de América - a recognition program with benefits including rate discounts and room upgrades for repeat guests. You can find more details in our website.

Thank you for taking the time to review your explora Patagonia experience.

Sincerely,

Jesús Parrilla

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Reviewed 16 December 2011

can't believe I stayed at the same hotel as the last reviewer-could not disagree more.
Yes, the views were incredible, the hotel is built so that the view of the turquoise lake and mountain massif are front and center from almost every vantage, including the bathroom! We found the food tasty, high quality and healthy, in keeping with the type of hotel and clientele it serves, and one night, when my husband did not find the choices (always 3 for main) appealing, they customized a meal for him
The management could not have been more solicitious-they customized trips for one guest who was not a hiker, giving him his own guide, and we found the guides genuinely wanted us to have a good time and enjoy ourselves, not jaded or phony at all.
Finally, really enjoyed the mix of guests-I spoke French, learned some German as well as using my spanish, as half the guests were from Brazil or Agentina, a very nice mix of nationalities, who were all quite sophisticated and traveled. While it is expensive, very generous with food, service, drink and services, a pleasure not to be nickel and dimed

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank sbh56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
exploraSA, CEO / Gerente General at explora Patagonia - All Inclusive, responded to this reviewResponded 21 January 2012

Dear traveler,

Thank you for your detailed review.

We are happy to learn that you enjoyed and appreciated the food, service, drinks, staff and management team, and above all, that at no given point you felt nickel and dimed. It is one of our aims to remove the planning (and the worry that often comes with it) out of the equation for our travelers to enjoy Torres del Paine at its fullest - solely focused on exploring.

At explora Patagonia last year alone we received travelers from over 90 countries and have learned over the years that despite nationalities, language or cultural and professional background, most of them are well-read, sensitive and sensible travelers with an unconquerable thirst for knowledge.

The concept behind the food we prepare seeks to enhance the original flavors of selected ingredients, avoiding pretentiousness, excess and alteration. As you were to experience, our cuisine offers authentic flavors based on the best-quality ingredients, many of which are produced locally. The food is healthy and well-balanced, ideal for people going trekking, horseback riding or on other explorations.

Again, thank you for your review.

Yours sincerely,

Jesús Parrilla

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Reviewed 3 December 2011

Yes the hotel location IS stunning (view over the Torres del Payne are unique). But considering the price (4 nights spent) : food was scandalously horrible, tasteless (only North American guests did not make a difference except Canadians); ALL other nationalities were totally upset. More : every day people were sick (bacteria contamination). After the last dinner about 10 people had been intoxicated by what turned out badly defrozen food; as a matter of fact, except salad, all food is frozen, brought in by trucks. The staff is adorable, but what can they do? As for excursions guides are just over college young guys who have NO skill to evaluate people abiity to go through the excursions; they are very friendly, run into their books to check information. But it is far from what can be expected. Guests who had come years before did not recognize the service, the ambience. The place is noisy : from bedrooms as soon as 8am you hear the vacuum cleaners in the corridors. EXPLORA Patagonia : far over-priced. Far, far over-priced.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with friends
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17  Thank canht
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
exploraSA, CEO / Gerente General at explora Patagonia - All Inclusive, responded to this reviewResponded 22 December 2011

Dear traveler,

Thank you for taking the time to write about your explora Patagonia experience. We are disappointed to hear that we failed to meet your expectations, and for that we are extremely sorry.

Please allow me to outline out modus operation in terms of food handling and processing so I can shed some light into your comments regarding the alleged food poising.

Our hotels operate under the HACCP system (The Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) which is a system of safety in food production and pharmaceuticals. The system is used by the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Agriculture to ensure safe procedures and products.

HACCP operates on seven basic principles:

1) Conduct hazard analysis: identify potential hazards and develop measures to control them.
2) Establish critical control points (CCPs): CCPs are points in a process at which hazards can be controlled or eliminated.
3) Determine acceptable limit(s) for each CCP.
4) Establish systems to monitor each CCP.
5) Formulate corrective actions.
6) Establish verification procedures for the whole HACCP system.
7) Document procedures related to these principles.

During your stay, 8 of our employees were in fact ill. Their ailment, based on the Puerto Natales SEREMI office (Secretaría Regionales Ministeriales de Salud / Regional Health Ministry) onsite investigation and lab analytics dictated that had nothing to do with food intoxication, but rather with some flu-like process. The SEREMI office can be contacted in order to verify the above.

Food has to be trucked in to Torres del Paine as there is no other possible way to do so. All trucks are refrigerated to temperature-controlled supply chain, but only approx. 5% of the raw materials used in meal preparations are frozen.

After your onsite survey report, we immediately sent over to Patagonia Chief Operating Officer and Corporate Executive Chef to review all meal services to ensure proper adherence to recipes and preparation methods. During their stay, their review the following meal services and quality of the products being used:

1) Meals/Snack served on the transfer in/out of Punta Arenas
2) Breakfast
3) Lunch
4) Half day snacks
5) Full day excursion picnics
6) BBQ (Quincho)
7) Appetizers served at the bar
8) Dinner
9) Snack on the transfer in/out of El Calafate

With the exception of a few minor details no affecting the quality of the meals, everything was according to our corporate standards.

For us at explora, it is an absolute priority to carefully listen to the voice of our customers and business partners, and decisively act upon their comments, complaints, suggestions and recommendations in order to provide the excellent service explora is known and recognized for. Please rest assured that your comments were throughly analyzed and we as an organization deployed all the resources needed to ensure a safe environment and food production procedures.

Again, we are most sorry to learn that you were disappointed with your experience and we offer our sincere apologies for failing to meet your expectations.

Yours sincerely,

Jesús Parrilla

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Reviewed 29 November 2011

No amount of writing can describe the hotel and staff. The best hotel and service I have ever experienced. Its a once in a lifetime experience. Rosario Villagra is excellent manager and personally talked to each and every guest 2-3 times a day and was ready to assist with anything.These days you see very few employees have interest in their jobs except to get a salary. At Explora I dealt with at least 20 guides, wait staff, reception staff etc and EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THEM WAS DEDICATED TO THEIR JOBS AND IT SHOWED.

The views are stunning , the guides superb, the service excellent and yes its expensive but every bit worth it.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank AIWIW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 November 2011

This is a hotel like few, the location is heaven. Activities are awesome, trips and treks to all the most incredible places on the Torres del Paine National Park. The hotel in excellent, rooms, view, food and drinks, all inclusive on the highest standard. It is expensive but is one og the greatest places i have been.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled on business
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2  Thank RaiMartin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 November 2011

Everything about Explora is special. The location, activities, food and drinks and service are all exceptional. The hotel staff cannot do enough to make your stay as active and as pleasurable as you wish. If you visit Torres del Paine and can afford it do not hesitate to stay here - the cost is a little less than appears at first sight because EVERYTHING is included and everything is so special of the highest quality. Particular highlights were the grey glacier and base of the towers treks.
Explora is run with charm and aplomb and we immediately felt part of a warm and friendly family. The size and set up makes meeting other guests particularly easy and we really enjoyed socialising with so many like minded travellers, We travelled as part of a magnificent bespoke Chile brazil trip put together superbly by audley travel

Room Tip: don't miss the mountains view it's world class
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank LondonWiggies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about explora Patagonia - All Inclusive

Address: | Sector Salto Chico S/N, Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
Phone Number:
Region: Chile > Magallanes Region > Torres del Paine National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Torres del Paine National Park
#2 Luxury Hotel in Torres del Paine National Park
#3 Romantic Hotel in Torres del Paine National Park
Price Range: £1,020 - £1,663 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — explora Patagonia - All Inclusive 4.5*
Number of rooms: 49
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our lodge is located right in the heart of the extraordinary Torres del Paine National Park in southern Patagonia. The diverse and untouched landscapes of this area led UNESCO to declare it a biosphere reserve.Our Patagonia hotel lodge opened in 1993 on the banks of the Salto Chico waterfall. It affords an excellent view of the unique Paine Massif and two of the three impressive torres, or towers, which give the park its name.The lodge has 49 rooms and a variety of inviting spaces. Situated on a 3-hectare (7.4-Acre) site, the design borrows certain organic forms from the landscape itself, adapting to it with simple elegance. It was designed to create a dialogue with its environment, putting human beings in touch with the sublimity of their surroundings.For travellers, the lodge provides the welcome surprise of comfort in a remote area. Nonetheless, you are not isolated from nature, but rather placed "within" it. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Explora Patagonia Hotel Salto Chico
Explora Patagonia Torres Del Paine
Explora Patagonia - All Inclusive Torres Del Paine National Park, Aisen Region, Chile

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