I first heard of The Singular Hotel last year. I was on a ten day photo shoot with Vanity Fair magazine and we had a three day stay booked here. The hotel had only been open for three weeks when we arrived and were not too sure what to expect.
Immediately on entering the hotel, we knew we were in for something special. We were not disappointed The article from this trip is in the April 2012 issue of Vanity Fair in the UK. The writer is Peter Hughes.
The Singular Hotel was originally a meat processing factory built around 100 years ago. It was in production till the mid 1960’s. In fact I heard that a lot of the tinned meat the British soldiers were served in the first world war came from this place.
I was on my second visit to The Singular last week. It is based at Puerto Bories about 7 kilometers along the waterfront from Puerto Natales, the main town in the region.
In my work, as a travel photographer, and occasional writer! I get to stay at a lot of hotels. Most blend into the usual bed, room, food, facilities and staff on a Great, good, average, bad, terrible scale. However this place truly blew my socks off. It is certainly one on the most amazing hotels I have ever stayed at.
You are welcomed at check in and taken to your room, one of 57. All front facing out onto the waterfront with the old pier where the ships would have been loaded when the factory was in full swing.
The hotel offers many excursions. Day trips to Torres del Paine national park, horseback riding, glacier trips, kayaking, trips to caves and for all levels of fitness as well. I opted for a full day trip to see the famous Torres, of which Torres del Paine is named after. It is a fairly tough 4 hour trek up some rocky mountainsides, through forests and over wooden suspension bridges crossing fast flowing mountain streams which an hour before where melting snow from the dizzy mountain heights. We regularly filled our water bottles from these streams and I felt like a real pioneering adventurer, one of the first to discover this amazing Patagonian wilderness.
The guides on these excursions are very knowledgeable and also very fit. They know the names of any plant or animal you may see and are also good at encouraging the guests who may be a bit slow or in my case laden down with 15 kilos of camera gear. My guide was great in carrying my tripod.
After the days excursions, it’s back to the hotel for a wonderful meal. The menu has guanaco, hare,fish and vegetarian options. The food is absolutely fantastic. The head chef (a Frenchman) really knows his stuff. There is an open kitchen so you can see your food being prepared by the head chefs hand picked team. The desserts are pretty wonderful as well. I normally do not opt for a third course, but here at The Singular after your full days excursion you feel you deserve that creme brulee, or the amazing lemon tart with locally grown strawberries and those extra calories will surely be burnt off on tomorrows adventure.
I should also add, that on the full days excursions, the hotel provide a superb packed lunch. Sandwiches of salmon, lamb and cheese salad, plus muesli bars that are wonderfully chewy and I’m sure made in the hotels kitchens.
The architecture of the hotel has remained true to it’s original factory style. The old machines from it’s meat processing days still remain as a museum. The wonderful old machines have great old English names from the time when the UK had an industry of building great iron machines.
The hotel has a fabulous spar and therapy centre. Run by the wonderful Gabby. Her team of specialists can massage you, provide facials, hot stone therapy and various other treatments to relax your body and mind. There is a sauna with a floor to ceiling window with a view of the pier and across the water to a wonderful Patagonian mountain. A pool, with an outside access, so even on a chilly evening you can swim in lovely warm water outside. There is a private room where couples can have full treatments without fear of their privacy being encroached. You cannot be a guest at The Singular without trying out this part of the hotel.
I will leave you with a few more photos from the hotel and some of the excursions and wildlife that can be seen in this area of Patagonia. I cannot recommend this hotel highly enough. It was my second visit, and I will be going back again as early as possible. The staff are fantastic and this is one hotel that is a sure winner in my books.
I HOPE YOU HAVE ENJOYED THESE PHOTOS. PLEASE REMEMBER THEY ARE ALL COPYRIGHTED AND SHOULD NOT BE USED WITHOUT THE PERMISSION OF MATT WILSON. BETTER TO PAY UPFRONT THAN BE FINED DOWN THE LINE.