If there were ever a hotel with history, it’s the Singular Patagonia. Opened as a hotel in November 2011, the original building once served as a Victorian cold-storage factory built by the British in 1915 for the purpose of processing sheep’s wool and meat to be shipped back to England. Overlooking the waters of Last Hope Sound, the long, red-brick building is located just outside the town of Puerto Natales. After operating for almost 70 years as a factory, it was declared a national historic landmark before being transformed into a luxury hotel.
History is by no means forgotten. The hallways are still stocked with brightly colored machinery—from steam condensers to boilers and forges—all stamped with the name of the British city in which they were built: Derby, Birmingham, London, or Glasgow. Designed by Chilean interior designer Enrique Concha and local architect Pedro Kovacic, the 57 bedrooms stretch along a new wing that was added to the original buildings, and these rooms are furnished with Victorian-inspired furniture.
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Many visitors come to southern Patagonia to explore Torres del Paine National Park. The Singular Patagonia is not located within the park. It sits two hours away in a small town called Puerto Natales, a sweet town to explore by bike, with a stop for tea and cake. There is much to do outside the park, from horseback riding on an estancia with local gauchos to visiting a cave where giant sloths lived 10,000 years ago. The hotel has a boat that takes guests to the Balmaceda and Serrano glaciers. And, of course, there are trips into the park—two hours is nothing by Patagonian standards. Visitors should remember that they are traveling in a part of the world once thought uninhabitable, so pack plenty of layers and be prepared to enjoy every season in one day.
Need to Know
Rooms: 54 rooms and 3 suites. From $270 (all-inclusive packages also available). Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: The chef changes the menu daily, using local produce and traditional recipes where possible. The menu features lots of soups, such as carrot and ginger, which are exactly what guests crave in the cold weather. Main courses include beet gnocchi and cuts of Patagonian lamb. Don’t forget to try the Chilean wine. There is a long bar where guests can enjoy an aperitif or join in winetasting evenings. Spa and gym details: The Singular Patagonia boasts the biggest spa in Patagonia. It has a pool and massage rooms and measures 3,000 square feet.
Who's it for: Luxury travelers who love history and want to explore Patagonia. The Singular is located two hours from Torres del Paine National Park. It’s equally attractive for families, honeymooners, and couples. Our favorite rooms: There’s no huge difference between the rooms; all have huge bathtubs and large windows overlooking Last Hope Sound. The suites, though, measure 70 square meters, so these are a good choice for those who crave more space. Time travel: Do a tour around the hotel and learn about its past life as a factory. Guides take guests around the machinery and explain the various processes that once took place here.