Refugios, Hosterías, and Hotels
Near the Administración, Conaf’s inexpensive Refugio Lago Toro (US$7 pp) has been closed but may reopen; bring your own sleeping bag and expect to pay extra for hot showers.
Posada Río Serrano (tel. 061/413953, baqueanoz [at] tie [dot] cl, US$92–125 d with breakfast) is a former estancia house retrofitted as a B&B. Rates depend on whether the room has shared or private bath; there’s a restaurant/bar for other meals and for drinks. Though it’s improved under new management, and quadruples and sextuples can be cheaper per person, it’s overpriced for what it offers.
Reachable by road along Lago Sarmiento’s south shore or by foot or horseback from the Río Paine, well-regarded Hostería Mirador del Payne (tel. 061/410498, www.miradordelpayne.com, US$130/160 s/d) lies in the remote southeastern Laguna Verde sector.
Where Lago Grey becomes the Río Grey, the 30-room Hostería Lago Grey (US$217/250 s/d with breakfast) hosts visitors to the lesser-visited western sector; its restaurant is open to nonguests. For reservations, contact Lago Grey Hostería y Navegación (Lautaro Navarro 1077, Punta Arenas, tel. 061/712100, www.lagogrey.cl).
On a five-hectare island linked by footbridge to the mainland, the 25-room Hostería Pehoé (US$160/175–195/215 s/d) is Paine’s oldest hotel; thanks to recent reinvestment, what had been a rundown facility, with substandard service, has begun to recover. For reservations, contact Turismo Pehoé (José Menéndez 918, Punta Arenas, tel. 061/241373, www.pehoe.com).
At Estancia Cerro Paine, seven kilometers west of Guardería Laguna Amarga, the sprawling Hostería Las Torres (US$156/177–245/286 s/d) is a gem for its setting beneath Monte Almirante Nieto, its professionalism, the recent addition of a spa that offers saunas and massages, and even wireless Internet access (expensive because of a costly satellite link). While it’s an elite option, it’s eco-friendly in terms of waste disposal, and management invites candid feedback from guests. Open to both guests and nonguests, the tobacco-free restaurant prepares quality food in cruise-ship quantities. For reservations, contact Hostería Las Torres (Magallanes 960, Punta Arenas, tel. 061/710050, www.lastorres.com); it now offers all-inclusive packages as well as just lodging. Off-season hotel rates are about half.
Open for packages only, Hotel Salto Chico is a mega-luxury resort that, somehow, blends inconspicuously into the landscape while providing some of the grandest views on the globe. Rates start at US$2,350 single, US$3,610 d for four nights in the least expensive room, ranging up to US$9,010 single, US$11,120 d for eight nights in the costliest suite, including transfers to and from Punta Arenas and unlimited excursions within the park. Low-season rates are about 20 percent cheaper. For details and/or reservations, contact Explora Hotels (Américo Vespucio Sur 80, 5th floor, Las Condes, Santiago, tel. 02/3952533, www.explora.com).
Just beyond park boundaries, reached by launch over the Río Serrano, the stylish Hostería Lago Tyndall (tel./fax 061/413139, www.hosteriatyndall.com, US$140/160–170/195 s/d) enjoys peace, quiet, and magnificent views. Nearby is the less stylish Hostería Cabañas del Paine (tel. 061/220174, fax 061/243354 in Punta Arenas, aventour [at] entelchile [dot] net, US$68/79–160/185 s/d).
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Chile, 2nd edition