Even seasoned travelers are astounded by the raw beauty that surrounds The Singular Patagonia, Puerto Bories Hotel, a remote hideaway where glacial waterways, windswept grasslands, and craggy mountains extend far and wide. The property itself is a distinctive sight. Housed within a cold storage plant used in the sheep trade of the early 1900’s, this sprawling hotel displays a dramatic combination of modern design and industrial grit. Local architect Pedro Kovacic led the adaptation of the historic redbrick facility (declared a national landmark in 1996), overhauling entire structures while preserving their post-Victorian essence, which included keeping a host of original elements like old steam engines, battered furnaces, and even a small locomotive once used to transfer hides, meat, and wool between factory buildings. Interiors have a museum-like atmosphere warmed by residential furnishings.Guests reach the hotel’s entrance via a vintage funicular that descends from a promontory, then step onto a glass platform that floats above a magnificent room down below. Decorated with rolled-arm leather sofas, rustic wooden tables and pedestal lamps that complement century-old pipes and pulleys, this triple-height space holds a restaurant and lounge with views of the Sound of Last Hope, a peaceful inlet capped by fjords and mountains. This is where chef Hernán Basso pays tribute to the area’s sheep farming heritage with dishes like lamb sweetbreads with sliced apple and thyme sauce, while also highlighting Chile’s diverse seafood. A second restaurant called El Asador, ensconced in a former blacksmith’s workshop, specializes in fire-grilled meats and casual bites like empanadas. Closer to the water’s edge is the spa, a contemporary low-slung rectangle fronted by sheets of glass. There’s nothing to see but nature, and nothing to do besides relax, perhaps while soaking in the indoor-outdoor hydrotherapy pool, where you can sneak outside for a moment to breathe in the cool Patagonian air.
Mount a sturdy steed and spend an afternoon riding across steppes and woodlands with a Chilean cowboy, who will approach herds of guanacos and point to lonesome condors flying overhead.
The Frigorifico Puerto Bories factory was opened in 1915 by a British group that not only brought sheep production to Chile but also helped build the nearby town of Puerto Natales, one of the only settlements in this frontier land. Walk along the village’s quaint streets, where you’ll find a colorful array of tin-roofed houses and shops were artisans make crafts inspired by ancient traditions. Then head off to the rugged environs of Torres del Paine National Park, an expanse of indigo lakes, dense forests, glaciers, and soaring granite peaks, all within range of the hotel. Staying at The Singular Patagonia offers a unique opportunity to explore every crevice of this otherworldly landscape with the help of expert guides. Mount a sturdy steed and spend an afternoon riding across steppes and woodlands with a huaso (Chilean cowboy) who will approach herds of guanacos and point to lonesome condors flying overhead. Or hop aboard one of the hotel’s private boats to navigate the Sound’s fjords, winding your way through to the edge of a massive glacier that appears to be lit from within. There’s also kayaking, trekking, and biking. But even if you choose to stay indoors, reading a book by the wood-burning fireplace, just being in this far-flung part of the world is a remarkable escape from the everyday.