In the Shadow of Patagonian Peaks: Hotel Las Torres

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Torres del Paine Hotel Review – Hotel Las Torres

Where horses roam outside your window beneath impressive mountain ranges.

Where glacial water is blended into your evening cocktail at Chile’s first sustainable bar.

And, where your days can be filled with photogenic adventures from sunrise to sunset.

Welcome to Hotel Las Torres, my home whilst exploring Torres del Paine National Park.

A traditional estancia and reserve that connects you with nature, Patagonian culture, and some of the best hiking trails in the world.

Zipping up my jacket (all three of them in fact), I put my camera bag on my back, walked out the door and hit the trail to Mirador Las Torres. A comfortable base close to photogenic adventures in Torres del Paine National Park was exactly on my wish list, and Hotel Las Torres delivered on that, and so much more…let’s take a peek inside my 5-night stay.

So much more than a hotel – Inside The Las Torres Reserve

To explain more about the hotel, I think it’s important to first discuss the reserve in which it’s located, where you’ll find not only the hotel (where I stayed) and main restaurants, but mountain cabins, camping facilities, and mountain hostels scattered throughout 2,422 square kilometres of Patagonian wilderness.

Within this ecological reserve, there are a variety of accommodation options that all fall under the banner of ‘Las Torres Patagonia’, and that’s because they’re responsible for the upkeep, management, and reservations for some very incredible options if you’re keen on hiking the multi-day W or O trails.

Whenever I think of hiking and camping, I imagine roughing it and waking up in mud or bitten by insects. The facilities here though are so impressive, with wooden cabins and refuges waiting to welcome you after a long hike with warm meals, drinks, and lunch packs for the following day.

There is the Chileno Refuge which you’ll walk by if completing the Mirador Las Torres trail, here you’ll find tents on platforms built under the canopy (like tree houses), and a welcoming refuge with a bar and restaurant. I’ll definitely be hoping to book a night here next time, it’s the ideal base for hiking halfway, then wandering the rest of the trail for sunrise of the towers.

Of course, all hostel, camping, or cabin bookings can be combined with a hotel room to start or finish your hike, so consider how you may want to plan your adventure and then take a peek at the options here.


Where is Hotel Las Torres located?

You’ll find Hotel Las Torres beneath the peaks of Cordillera del Paine within Las Torres Reserve in Torres del Paine National Park, roughly 1.5hrs drive north of Puerto Natales, and 4hrs north of Punta Arenas (with transfers available if you’re not self-driving).

Directly in front of the hotel, world-class hiking trails lead into the wilderness of Patagonia, cutting out the need to wake up early and drive to this point. In fact, only guests are allowed into the reserve with their cars to minimise impact on the environment, if you’re not staying at the hotel, you’ll have to start your hikes to Mirador Las Torres back at the Welcome Centre, adding an extra 2km return. That said, the welcome centre is a great place to stop and grab some snacks and learn more about the reserve too.

Its location within the reserve is unique in that you feel like you’re staying on a traditional estancia, with all the modern comforts available, yet wildlife and natural wonders in every direction.

Read:A Photographer’s Guide to Torres del Paine National Park


The Adventures

As a photographer, you want to be based somewhere photogenic, with easy access to sunrise and sunset locations, and plenty of time to scout locations or wander during the day. I can assure you, Hotel Las Torress is that ideal base, where you can have the freedom to do your own thing, or chat with the team and use their local knowledge to find out where and when to go for those classic landscape shots of Patagonia.

When staying with Hotel Las Torres you can fill your days with guided tours and activities like horse riding and hiking or blend some self-paced wanders with a spa session. The team will craft an itinerary to match your expectations, interests and fitness level, and then you’ll remain flexible based on the weather conditions.

During my stay I opted for the Full Paine Tour which covers a lot of ground including Black Bridge, Nordenskjöld Lookout, Sarmiento Lookout, Lake Pehoé and the Salto Grande Waterfall, before the cruise to Grey Glacier. The cruise isn’t part of the all-inclusive packages, however, for an additional fee, you can venture up Lago Grey and get nice and close to this icy wonder. Having photographed glaciers in Iceland, Greenland and Canada previously, this is up there with one of the best, I was amazed at how vast it was and how close we were able to get!

I also took a tour through the Regenerative Garden and, as I’ll share more about later, the Baqueano Cultural Experience, spending three hours learning about their traditional Patagonian lifestyle and the horses.


The Rooms

I stayed in a cosy room with a bathtub, views over the fields (we saw horses run by multiple times!), and a very comfortable bed. It was located within the main wing of the hotel, just a short walk to the bar area, and each wing has a dedicated lounge area where you’ll also find hot water, tea and coffee available at any time and expansive windows to take in the views.

The hotel is currently undergoing a gorgeous renovation of the room interiors (in the off-season so guests won’t be impacted), so if you’re heading to Patagonia in 2025, you’ll be treated to a stunning transformation. I had a peek at one of the new rooms and have to say, it’s such a beautiful blend of luxurious fittings and décor with natural calming tones to reflect the surrounding landscapes.


All-Inclusive Options

When exploring Torres del Paine National Park, the last thing you want to do is think about where to go for dinner after a long hike or day outdoors. Hotel Las Torres offers all-inclusive packages that include a full board (breakfast, lunch and dinner + drinks!) in addition to excursions carefully curated based on your interests by the experience team.

Prior to arriving, you’ll complete a form sharing what you’re hoping to see, do, and to alert the team of any dietary requirements. I’m gluten-free and was amazed at the quality of the menu options, with almost every meal having an alternative available.

They’ll also pack your lunch if you’re heading out all day on a tour, or if you’re planning one of the longer hiking trails.  


Regenerative Garden + Sustainable Tourism

Their dedication to conservation and sustainability is evident upon arrival with one of the largest and southernmost regenerative kitchen gardens. You can tour the garden with one of the volunteers or staff and wander the impressive and diverse collection of produce growing across the vegetable patches and within the greenhouses.

Aiming to leave a small footprint on the environment, the team use sustainable and bio-intensive methods to conserve heirloom varieties, ensuring there are also enough ingredients to meet the demands of the hotel restaurant.

I was blown away by the variety visible across the garden, with the team also testing new methods on how to grow various ingredients in such a harsh climate, particularly when the winter chill sets in!

The hotel has embraced several sustainable practices, such as supporting local conservation initiatives, managing reforestation, trail restoration and environmental education of both visitors and park rangers.  

 


Mixology Magic + A Sparkle of Glacial Goodness

Freshly grown ingredients from the regenerative garden blend with alpine water flowing from glaciers and mountain streams in the cocktail creations served by the team at Central Bar. If you’re on an all-inclusive package, you can pop in for a drink before dinner, or enjoy experimenting over a burger at lunch with a vast collection of aromatic plants, light bulbs and bottles forming an intriguing and inviting space, not to mention the views toward the towers from every table.

With the reserve’s conservation philosophy at the forefront of the menu, single-use plastic has been eliminated and replaced with recycled bottles and a lot of skill has gone into crafting an endemic menu that includes locally grown fruits and herbs such as Chilean Firebush (ciruelillo) Magellan Barberry (Calafate), flavours that can only be experienced in this region.


Horseback Riding with Baqueanos

Now, it’s not every day you get to stay somewhere where traditional cowboys operate. At least, I don’t think I’ve stayed at a hotel where you can share a Yerba Mate with a baqueano and hear about his tales of riding horses in the mountains, while waiting for a freshly baked Sopaipilla to come out of the fire.

Hotel Las Torres has close to 200 horses on the Estancia, you’ll find them roaming throughout the night, and during the day, it’s possible to take a horseback ride along one of the trails to Nordenskjöld Lake, or even up to the Chileno Refuge on the way to Mirador Base de Las Torres.

I spent a few hours chatting with Jorge, who had been working at Las Torres for a number of years and shared insights on everything from the type of clothing worn during winter, through to the leather for saddles, behaviour of the horses, and, one fact that I found really interesting, that they have a lone mule within the herd because it’s known to defend them best against pumas. Fascinating!


As always, I’ll continue by letting the photos do the rest of the talking.

To finish up though, Hotel Las Torres exceeded every expectation I had as the staff go above and beyond to ensure you’re enjoying yourself, comfortable, and have a full day of adventures planned. I’d highly recommend booking a stay here if you’re aiming to photograph Torres del Paine National Park and give yourself a few days to truly soak up the landscapes, trails, and culture.

 

 

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