Patagonia excels at a particular style of hotel you might term “raw luxe” – modernist yet cosy interiors, decorated in natural materials and colours, that succeed in making guests feel gorgeously indulged as they gaze out into the vast wilderness beyond.
Tierra Patagonia is a prime example of the approach. Perched on the edge of Lake Sarmiento, at the entrance to Torres del Paine National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the hotel is a haven – a welcome retreat from the infamous conditions, nestled in the shadow of the legendary Paine Massif.
The task of imagining a building befitting this epic landscape fell to one of Chile’s leading architects, the first woman to receive the Great Latin America Architecture Prize: Cazu Zegers. Tierra Patagonia rises from Sarmiento like a sand dune – in keeping with the brief to blend into the topography – or, as Zegers puts it, like “an old fossil, a prehistoric animal beached on the lake shore”.
Modernist yet cosy interiors, decorated in natural materials, that succeed in making guests feel gorgeously indulged as they gaze out into the vast wilderness beyond
In the same way that the hotel’s form echoes its surroundings, the inside is an extension of the outside – all washed Lenga (a blonde Patagonian beech wood) and enormous panoramic windows. For the interiors, Chilean architects Alexandra Edwards and Carolina Delpiano envisaged an “anti-design” concept that minimises the styling, letting the majestic surroundings provide the visual stimulus.
This principle runs throughout: each of the hotel’s 40 rooms offers spectacular 180-degree views over the National Park, and there isn’t a television in sight. The décor is stripped back but retains a homely feel (you can happily potter about the hotel in your socks) – driftwood bouquets, local artefacts and Patagonian textiles provide more than enough personality. “We wanted less stimulation for the senses,” explains Edwards. “Instead, more peace and solitude.”
That’s not to say Tierra Patagonia is all about hushed whispers and introspection. The hotel’s “living room” invites guests to sit by the fire with a glass of Carménère and compare their day’s excursions, while communal hanging “egg” chairs and sheepskin-dressed daybeds are great spots to catch the last of the afternoon sun as it sets over the mountains. And let’s not forget the 4,000 sq ft Uma Spa. Because what you can’t see from the pool – or indeed the Jacuzzi – probably isn’t worth seeing anyway.
For more information, visit scottdunn.com/tierrapatagonia