Original architect leads renovation of iconic property, with refurbished public spaces and spa and new wine bar and massage room heightening “luxury of the essential” in Torres del Paine National Park
It is springtime in southernmost Chile, and explora Patagonia is ringing in the height of the travel season with a newly renovated look. The extensive project, which saw enhancements and additions, involved closing the iconic property for two months between June and August 2011 – the first time since opening in 1993 that Hotel Salto Chico hasn’t received guests.
The results are well worth the wait. Santiago-based architect José Cruz Ovalle, who designed explora lodges in Patagonia and Easter Island and renovated the explora lodge in the Atacama Desert, tapped his design expertise and familiarity with the landscape of Patagonia to makeover the strikingly elongated hotel, which rests on the banks of the Salto Chico waterfall in full view of the Paine Massif and the skyscraping majesty that gives the popular national park its identity.
Common Areas, Renovated and New
There are many areas for guests to stretch out and unwind at Hotel Salto Chico before or after an invigorating day exploring the natural beauty outside. Furnishings have been upgraded throughout all public spaces with new chairs, sofas and tables setting a comfortable scene. Illumination has been similarly enhanced with a new and more effective lighting system installed throughout. Notably, all illumination is LED Technology and eco-friendly.
Next to the dining room, a brand new space has been arrayed as a wine bar featuring a small and appealing selection from Chile’s different wine regions. The new bar seats up to 10 guests on high tables and Vitra bar stools. It also has its own cellar, holding up to 38 bottles in climate-controlled conditions. The wine bar will be the scene of regular wine tastings and other beverage-themed events in the days ahead.
Nice Touch: Spa and Massage Room
The hotel spa, a.k.a., Casa de Banos del Ona, received the most extensive renovation at Hotel Salto Chico with a complete enhancement from floor to ceiling and wall-to-wall. Located 100 meters from the lodge, the 4,500-square foot spa has been laid out with new Porcelain tile flooring and ceilings that tower up to 13 feet above foot level. New dormers have been added, increasing the gentle light for enjoying massages, body treatments, facials and other relaxing therapies.
Beyond the existing steam rooms and two saunas, the treatment possibilities have been expanded at the spa with the addition of a new Turkish bath, indoor Jacuzzi, and cold-bath for bracing finishes to any of the above. Just outside the spa deck has been enhanced with new flooring, while four hydro-massage tubs offer a relaxing perspective of Lake Pehoé.
Meanwhile, the snuggest space in the lodge has been transformed into a new Massage Room. Set in the main building next to the guest rooms, the massage room is arrayed with native woods and the explora minimalist approach, with soft tones coaxing guests who would rather be treated in the main hotel than stroll to Casa de Banos del Ona.
“The transformation of Hotel Salto Chico has been a significant event for us, with enhancements made with the pleasure of our guests always front-of-mind. With the Patagonian summer now upon us, we look forward to welcoming new and returning adventurers with the certainty that they’ll like what they find from explora at the southern tip of South American,” said Jesús Parrilla, CEO of explora hotels.
TO SEE THE PICTURES OF THE RENOVATION, PLEASE CLICK HERE.