January 8, 2009 Gizmag readers are an intelligent, well-traveled, knowledgeable and resourceful bunch if the feedback emails we receive are any indication. So here's your chance guys and gals, because we're struggling even to imagine a more stunning setting for a luxury hotel than this. Explora Hotel Salto Chico sits at the edge of an alpine lake, beside a giant waterfall, at the foot of one of the Andes' most spectacular views, in the middle of the Patagonian wilderness in remote Southern Chile. Just take a look through the photo gallery, it's absolutely mind-boggling, and very close to enough lakes, glaciers, snowy mountains and waterfalls to chew through the tallest stack of camera memory cards. So tell us, is there a more spectacularly located hotel anywhere in the world?
Explora Hotel Salto Chico isn't easy to get to - you have to fly into Chile, then get a 4 hour flight to Punta Arenas right near the southern tip of South America, then take a 2 1/2 hour bus ride to Puerto Natales, where the paved road disappears and it's dirt for the final 2 1/2 hours to the hotel's stunning location at the foot of the Andes. Here it is on Google Earth - zoom out slowly to get a sense of your surroundings, it's thoroughly worthwhile.
The hotel itself is beautifully designed, with clean, spacious interiors and enormous windows that must look like giant Discovery Channel posters. Prices run between US$2660 and US$6224 per person for a 5 day/4 night stay. The climate, it seems, stays surprisingly mild, even if winds can be pretty fierce and weather can be changeable. It's recommended as a year-round destination.
So, folks, have you seen a hotel in a spot more breathtaking than this one? Let us know in the comments below.