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explora Patagonia - All Inclusive
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Reviewed 21 September 2013

I wanted to write my first review, since I relied on others' reviews in planning my trip. The view and guides are 5 star, there is no doubt! We just got back this morning and I agree with the other reviewers that it's a very, very long trip but worth it. Some things I wish I had known - the Estancia is closed in winter and early spring, so we didn't get to experience the barbeque that many said was the highlight of their stay. However, the trails were not crowded, and one night there were only 10 guests in the hotel, so you have to take the good with the bad! We did get to horseback ride and share matte tea with the gauchos, which was thrilling. The food was good, and excellent when they served Chilean dishes, like ceviche, empanadas, bean stew, etc. I wished for more adventurous meals to go with the adventure of the surroundings. Spa was outstanding and Carmen is an excellent masseuse. Guides Nacho and Hector were extremely knowledgeable and lots of fun as well. And having Jessica as a guest hotel manager for a few days was wonderful - she used to be a guide and went riding with us one day - she is a delight! Small complaints - very little hot water for a shower, and the facility shows some signs of aging like peeling paint, rust, etc. But we'd do it all over again in a minute!

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank paminflorida
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 18 November 2013

Dear traveler,

We thank you very much for your kind review. We are very grateful for your feedback.

I am delighted that you’ve specifically highlighted the explora guides. The hote water issue is something that we looked up and had to do with the malfunctioning of water boiler pump. Since your comments, this has been fixed. In reference to the overall maintaince of the building, every year during our winter time the hotel undergoes an overhall because of weather conditions related with wind and rain.

After visiting one explora lodge, you are entitled to the benefits of our CESA, a recognition program with benefits including rate discounts and room upgrades for repeat guests. For information, please visit our website.

We look forward to welcoming you back at explora.

With kindest regards,

Jesús Parrilla

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 September 2013

I had reserved Labor Day week for a vacation months before, but had no clue what I was going to do until, three weeks before, I found this hotel in an article on the 10 most secluded hotels in the world. It took a long time to get there and a long time to get back, but I don't care. This was one of the best vacations I have ever had in my life, and believe me I've been a lot of places!

I lucked out with good weather on the first half of my stay, but even the cloudy and drippy weather on the last few days couldn't ruin this experience. I am not the most fit of persons - in fact I easily qualify as medically obese - but I was still able to go on four half-day hikes and get to some completely amazing views with Explora's patient and utterly charming guides. And then there were the horses! I love to ride and took lessons in my younger days, but I rarely get to go anymore. The Explora stables have truly excellent horses that are lively and responsive but in no way wild or uncontrollable. The gauchos care for them and you perfectly, no matter your skill level. Because I wanted to go on "advanced" rides, they took me on a beginner ride first (which was still good even for an experienced rider), and then took me off to the side for some trotting and cantering to see if I could really ride. Great attention to safety! After that I was able to go on three more advanced rides and they were all wonderful.

The hotel is beautiful with stunning views of the Paine Massif. Every night I raised my shades so that I could watch the sun rise on the mountains from my be in the morning. I have one photo that is so perfect that my friends accused me of stealing a magazine photo and claiming it as my own! The dining room also affords views of the lake and mountains as you enjoy the excellent food.

One other aspect that I liked was that, as a solo traveler I never felt like a second class citizen. I could easily meet others and engage with them, but I could have my alone time when I needed it. And I wasn't made to feel that I was a burden or inconvenience as can happen at some places. I felt completely welcome and cared for.

The guides are extremely well trained, with every single one of them able to lead any "exploration" as they call them. They can all answer any question about the geology, flora, fauna, etc. and they fit the event to your needs and abilities.

Every last person I met was helpful, charming and willing to go above and beyond at any moment to please a guest. I couldn't say enough about this experience. It is not for people who just want to stay at the hotel and sit in the hot tub, but if you want to see beautiful things and do more than you thought you could, this is the place for you.

Room Tip: I was in Room 7 which was perfect to me. Rooms 1 to 10 are over the main part of the hotel and have perfect views of the mountains. Don't get a room with a view of the Falls - the Mountain view is MUCH better.
  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled solo
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3  Thank Gilthoniel4
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 27 September 2013

Dear traveler,

Thank you so much for your very detailed and kind review of your explora Patagonia experience.
I wholeheartedly agree with your overall recommendation that travelers who are seeking to be active while exploring a remote destination are “right” at explora. But what really describes the explora experience my team and I are working towards every single day, is your very last sentence: “…see beautiful things and do more than you thought you could…”

As you’ve pointed out in your review, explora never scarifies safety for adventure, but we do encourage our travelers to push their own envelope as far they like. We know, those limits vary, but it’s the attitude that counts and that at the end of the day puts a smile on explora traveler’s faces.

I am delighted to read that the explora Patagonia team was able to customize your explora experience to your liking. For me it goes without saying that solo travels are always welcome to our lodges. You might be aware that we in fact created a special incentive for solo travelers during certain time periods.

Lastly, I would like to make you aware of the benefits of our CESA program, a recognition program with benefits including rate discounts and room upgrades for repeat guests. For the latest 20th anniversary benefits, kindly visit our website.

Thank you for feedback!

Yours sincerely,

Jesús Parrilla

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Reviewed 8 September 2013

This place is terrific. So glad Explora came at the end of our 5 week Sth American adventure as our 5 days here was faultless. Yes it's expensive however the lodge supplies the best of everything - guides, cars and drivers for all day or 1/2 day excursions - the 5 hour transfer to and fro the airport - the food all of which is made on the premises - all drinks (no exception) - exceptional horses to ride with the Gauchos - hot tubs / lap pool - and sensational scenery!!
We are not young and were dubious how many excursions we could do but the guides will taylor make your hikes. We had variable weather from sunny and "warm" to cold/windy to rainy. And in between. One of my (inexpensive but favourite) earrings had fallen on the floor and been lost. The cleaners went through the vacuum cleaner to find it - which they did! Where else would staff take that trouble?

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank JanelleandGraham
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 27 September 2013

Dear traveler,

Thank you so much for your very kind review of your explora Patagonia experience.

Outlining what encompasses the all-inclusive explora offering, like you did in your review, helps tremendously. explora aims to offer unparalleled service and we opened our doors nearly 20 years ago we felt that breaking down the cost would in the end prevent travelers from exploring as much as possible while staying with us. The explora art of travel is about in-depth explorations. Since the beginnings of time, humans have traveled in order to discover, conquer, colonize or trade. Many journeys have been a means to achieve other ends, to realize goals other than the journey itself. explora’s goal is the exact opposite. We travel for the sake of the journey.

I am delighted to hear about the hunt for your earring. And I am glad that our explora team found it!

Lastly, I would like to make you aware of the benefits of our CESA program, a recognition program with benefits including rate discounts and room upgrades for repeat guests. For the latest 20th anniversary benefits, please visit our website.

Yours sincerely,

Jesús Parrilla

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Reviewed 3 September 2013

I have TripAdvisor to thank for this trip. After seeing it featured in "great views from your bed" I knew I had to go. I would have been happy- though less challenged- if it just meant laying in bed looking at the view! I first scheduled for May last year but had to reschedule to September after a death in my family. In the meantime I also suffered an injury to my leg so I was not feeling at my best to take advantage of all Explora had to offer. If anyone wants more info on making this trip with some mobility issues I would be happy to go into greater detail about some of the difficulties.
I was there at a very slow time which was great for me. I had basically private excursions of my choosing and lots of attention from the great guides. They even got me on a horse which was awesome and a chance to share mate with the Gauchos. Rosario was awesome and Antonio always served with a smile. I had a hard day when I tried the Grey Glacier trip and just went to my room afterward but everyone was so considerate - they even offered to bring dinner to my room.
The weather was bad the first day or so and the wind was so strong that we would have called it a hurricane here. I was unable to walk on the boardwalk for fear of being blown off- even with a hiking pole. It got my adrenaline going in the night even with the metal blind down but it calmed down and turned beautiful in a day.
Do not try to brave the Grey Glacier trip in bad, windy weather! I forged ahead ignoring the subtle hints that I might want to postpone till the weather improved. It turned out badly but I have to say everyone who helped me during that fiasco was awesome including staff of the hotel near the glacier.
The walk down to the pool was much longer than I thought and the steps were a little difficult for me.
The rooms are great and the views even better than expected. One day pink mountain, one day blue. Always beautiful.
One suggestion- there was no place to sit outside to just look at stars. A bench here and there would have been wonderful. And for some with limited mobility or balance issues in the strong wind some railings would have been so welcome!
Like others said, there is so much to compliment and too many experiences to describe. And so many awesome photographs!

Room Tip: Not sure there is a bad room but I was happy in Room 42- which was up a level.
  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled solo
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1  Thank Nemokota
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 27 September 2013

Dear traveler,

Thank you so much for your kind review of your explora Patagonia experience.

I am very interested in reading your feedback; in particular because you had some mobility issues and the explora Patagonia team was able to assist you reach your personal travel goals. As you may understand from your Grey Glacier exploration, it’s a fine line for any explora guide to navigate between encouragement and caution. On the one hand we always encourage travelers to go and explore on the other hand we will never sacrifice safety for anything.

I am of course delighted to read that the explora Patagonia team was able to customize your explora experience to your liking, including overcoming some individual challenges. explora receives travelers of all ages and levels of ability and we pride ourselves in making each explora experience active and memorable.

I would like to make you aware of the benefits of our CESA program, a recognition program with benefits including rate discounts and room upgrades for repeat guests. More information can be found in our website.

We look forward to having you back at explora.

Yours sincerely,

Jesús Parrilla

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 September 2013

Torres del Paine, chile is an amazing place to visit a little hard to get to but worth the effort.
Explora Patagonia lodge is one of the best I have visited. View photos on my Facebook page,
Mission Beach tropical North Queensland and AltitudeOne40 or AltitudeOne40.
A must do!

Room Tip: Salto Chico has been designed to capture all views each room had an excellent view.
  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Altitude140
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 27 September 2013

Dear traveler,

Thank you for your kind review.

I am delighted to read that you enjoyed your explora Patagonia experience.

We thank you for pointing out that the Salto Chico lodge has been designed to capture wonderful views from literally every single room. It’s hard not to when you are in the heart of the Torres del Paine Park, but it is very kind of you to make that point.

Please know that you are eligible for the benefits of our CESA program, a recognition program with benefits including rate discounts and room upgrades for repeat guests. For more information about these programs, please visit our website.

We look forward to welcoming you back at explora.

Yours sincerely,

Jesús Parrilla

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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