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“Fantastic Experience”

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explora Patagonia - All Inclusive
Certificate of Excellence
Australia
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Fantastic Experience”
Reviewed 7 March 2014

My wife and I could not have had a better Torres Del Paine experience than the one provided by Explora. This hotel ticks all the boxes. It is expensive while we initially baulked at the price we both felt we had great value.
The big advantage explora has over its competition is that it is in the park. No two hour plus drives needed to start the day.
The initial greeting set the tone for the five days, warm and accommodating. The room was a delight, very comfortable with sensational views. The menu for each meal only consists of two choices for entree and main. Healthy well prepared and certainly more than we needed.
This is not a place to holiday if you don't want to be active. Each day there is is an extensive range of activities to choose from. It is easy to find something wonderful to do for your level of fitness. The guests while we were there ranged from 10 to 82 years old. I didn't talk to anyone who wasn't delighted with their respective days activities.
The groups have a maximum of eight with a guide. The guides are fantastic - enthusiastic, knowledgable, with a great ability to quietly push you if needed.
We would not have wanted to miss out on any of the activities we did. 18 km treks, horse riding etc all in that beautiful place.
No request seemed too hard. We can't wait to go back!

Room Tip: We thought it was worth paying extra for the Torres Del Paine view. So good we liked to leave the cu...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank OliveMoss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
San Francisco, California
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 March 2014

even though its $$$ its actually worth the money in relation to what you get. First, the location could not be more perfect. I mean, ridiculously amazing!!! it will take your breath away! The rooms are super comfortable, cozy beds, great view, great shower, nicely decorated. The building,the common areas and the dining room are all comfortable and cozy. The guides who lead the excursions are top notch, very adept, smart, in shape, friendly, funny and helpful. The staff in the hotel are all the same.... friendly and helpful. The only thing that was disappointing about the experience was the food. (do not order the risotto - it was like eating cement). It is supposed to be 5 star but they fell very short of that. The coffee was HORRIBLE. But you know, minor in relation to the whole experience....
overall.....YOU should GO!!!
And... You know, its all inclusive...and they have a pretty well stocked BAR. :)

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank greeniemg74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kaohsiung, Taiwan
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 6 March 2014 via mobile

We, a party of 10, (5 from Taiwan and 5 from USA) were all agreed that the Explora at Salto Chico and Explora at Atacama Desert are the best we have ever experienced. They gave us 100% satisfaction in every aspects the Explora provided with.
Thank you all guys in Explora both at Salto Chico and at Atacama for excellent service during our stay last month.

YH Liang

Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank YH L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 March 2014

Arrived with party of 15 after weeks of travel thru Amazon (Peru) and Argentinian Patagonia…this was an absolutely perfect conclusion to our trip!

5* food, service, accomodations, views and excursions. Hotel bent over backwards to accomodate requests, dietary restrictions and excursion desires. Views were outstanding from our rooms, dining halls and spa area. Guides were bubbly, helpful and knowledgeable. Evening lectures informative. Met guests from Canada, USA and Europe…clearly this is the trip for your bucket list! Can't wait to try another Explora venue.

Thanks to Alexandra and her staff

Room Tip: Choose room with view of Massif mountain versus falls…but all okay...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank ElaineTO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Puerto Varas, Chile
Level 6 Contributor
115 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 March 2014

Went on a photo production to the park, staying at Explora.

first, as everyone has already said but I'll say it again
this hotel sits on one of the most impressive natural landscapes
I have ever seen.

Amazingly, even the staff doesn't get jaded from the view.
which of course changes all the time, Patagonian weather being what it is.

Service was impeccable, we were treated very well, a fine mix of quick reactions, anticipation to our needs, yet far removed from white glove overbearingness.

Worth noting that internet is not to be depended on for life and death, and no mobile phone signal, which in my book is a good thing, even while on a professional trip.
They do have a phone at reception, so what else do you need?

Meals were great, very nice wine selection,
bar, etc.
They are not a beck and call sort of place if you want to get food after hours, but it's very understandable as I was privy to the level of planning required to do anything in this remote corner of the world. This applies to everything, even getting lunch on the table, so worth keeping in mind this isn't the equivalent of a hotel in the city.

Other noteworthy details are the level of infrastructure and facilities they have outside of the hotel itself, such as the stables, the ranch ( quincho), catamaran, and more.

Well worth the splurge.

Room Tip: looking to the Torres!
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank ABIIIChile
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level 6 Contributor
1,088 reviews
133 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 441 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 February 2014

We enjoyed our mountain view room top floor. Unbelievable view. Spacious room. Bathroom a bit odd with the odd peekaboo window placement, but overall -- we were very comfortable.

The 4 day stay - with everyone arriving on the same day - was very conducive to socializing with other guests, since we were all getting our orientation at the same time. As the days went by, we were all able to share our experiences with different hikes & discuss with each other. Make sure you arrive with raingear and windgear - you'll need it!

Management & guides were extremely helpful.
Restaurant and bar staff excellent also, as was the food.

We did both the Explora horseback ride & the ride that was near the BBQ (an hour away). We enjoyed the Explora ride a bit more than the BBQ ride.

Treks were fun (although the day we did the Frenchman Valley - our views were non-existent due to low clouds, and in retrospect - we should have turned around after a while and headed back. Long hike - and when you can't see the mountains above you - not worth it.) By the end of the 4 days, we were pretty exhausted -- and I would have liked it if they offered the easy Grey Glacier beach walk one more time at the end. But overall - the scenery was Spectacular, and we were very pleased with the hotel experience.

Did not use the spa/pool -- just too far away after a long day hiking / too many stairs down from the main building (down isn't the problem / it's the hike back up)

Potential for upgrading the Explora Store...
Who shops for $$$ jewelry when they go to Explora? They have a jewelry case -- but no basic Patagonia Wildlife Guides (luckily we brought our own). No Torres del Paine brochures. Isn't this experience supposed to be focused on nature & wildlife?

Basic supplies: I think they were selling bug repellant & sunscreen & other supplies, but it was some kind of secret under the counter thing.

Explora Store is Way Too Serious --- no fun stuff, which would increase foot traffic. Very stuffy. Only $$$ expedition clothes/gear (yikes - $100 for rainpants? Glad we arrived with the right gear)

Lighten up -- sell some fun stuff (maybe some Torres del Paine souvenirs (patches, pins, stuffed animals for the kids or grandkids) Make the shop more interesting, and you'll increase foot traffic. The Explora Buff was kind of cute. How about an Explora Bandanna? There was one baseball cap (beige / said Explora - very blah) how about some Patagonia baseball caps?

Only other thing I can think of at the moment --- When meeting with guests before dinner to go over hikes being offered the next day, in addition to Maps --- it would be great if Guides had a few PHOTOS to show guests / to give them an example of the terrain & views. If Guides had a notebook with example photos of each hike, that would be very helpful in visualizing what the choices were -- and deciding on an activity for the next day.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank rollngstone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Irvine, California
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 February 2014

It's difficult to explain this to people:

The easiest way to get to the hotel is to fly to Punta Arenas, way down on the southern tip of South America, a three hour flight from Santiago, and spend a night there.

Get picked up and drive four and a half hours, the last hour and a half on gravel roads.

Spend an outright fortune per night (which admittedly includes food, drinks, and excursions).

And, despite this, you'll leave swearing that this was a life highlight, that it was worth all the trouble, and all the money, and that though you generally avoid returning to the same places for vacations, that this one might be the exception to the rule.

It's THAT special.

Torres del Paine is one of nature's treasures, with it's own weather pattern, scenery, massive glaciers, lakes, rivers, forests, hiking paths (it's famous for the "hiking the W", a six day trek), and unique flora and fauna. Salto Chico is right in the park, and it just seems amazing that a five star resort would find itself in this amazing location.

The hotel features expert guides that offer MANY expeditions daily, from simple to extremely challenging, from van tours to horseback riding to steep, long climbs, to simple hikes.

The guides are young, energetic, experienced, positive, knowledgeable, attractive, educated, and fun to be with. I'm NOT the type that enjoys spending my days hiking up steep inclines while being pelted by "Patagonia-force" winds, but while spending time with this group, you know what...I don't really mind. It was FUN.

Our group of six had just come through Santiago and Buenos Aires, and if I'm honest, it was tough to get this group up and moving each morning, and one of us is a particularly early riser (ME!). But, put us in Salto Chico, and all six of us were up early each morning, decked out in our trekking gear, and ready to go before dawn.

What happened to us?

Perhaps it was the out of this world amazing scenery, which changed moment to moment as the light hit the massive massifs.
Perhaps it was the delicious food served in the intimate dining room, every meal of which was delicious.
Perhaps it was the wine and drinks that we sipped while exchanging stories about our days with one another and the other guests.
Perhaps it was the layout of the hotel, which is like nothing I've ever seen before, and features large communal areas where guests of all sizes and types and nationalities congregate and befriend one another.
Perhaps it was the wonderful lap pool beside the lake with the four hot tubs and the intimate spa (reasonably priced, I might add).
Perhaps it was the nightly lecture about the glaciers or the pumas or a wide variety of interesting subjects.
Perhaps it was the excitement of doing something each day that we've never done before, and frankly never thought we'd ever do.

All I can say is...I'm not used to getting up predawn, as usual, and seeing all of my fellow travel companions sitting around and chatting with the other guests.

You simply don't go to places like this anywhere else.

This place is unique. It's out of this world, and frankly it's at the end of the world.

I met a number of people on this trip, both in Santiago and in Buenos Aires. We stayed in outrageously beautiful five star resorts. I kept running into people either departing on cruises or disembarking from one, about to fly home.

Some of the passengers were cruising with Seabourn, and frankly, I love that line.

But the truth: I felt sorry for them.

I experienced Salto Chico. You can't compare what they had done with what we'd just experienced. They simply aren't in the same league.

Listen to me, please. Go there! Go to Salto Chico.

It's one that you'll always treasure. It's worth the difficulty of getting there, and the high cost. It's worth ever penny.

And, when you've done this, drop me a line, not to thank me, but to exchange stories with me. It's that kind of place.

Happy traveling.

Room Tip: It doesn't matter. Yes, they have a few suites. You really don't need them. The bathrooms ar...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank steve l
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): ££££
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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