June 1, 2012

Next Stop, Antarctica: The Singular Patagonia Luxury Hotel on Chile’s Southern Tip

The Fjord of Last Hope doesn’t sound like an ideal spot for honeymooners. But the shore of the Fiordo de Última Esperanza, in the Chilean town of Puerto Bories near the Parque Nacional Torres del Paine, is indeed the location of the Singular Patagonia luxury hotel by Enrique Concha & Co. and the Sociedad de Profesionales Kovacic y Cía. The two firms have certainly brought eco-consciousness and sleekness to what was once a meat­packing and wool-processing plant, constructed by the British in 1915.

Its 54 guest rooms and three suites now offer majestic views of the fjord and the snow-capped Andes. “The challenge was to add function areas to an industrial building,” Pedro Kovacic says. He deployed glass and steel to pay homage to the past while ushering in contemporary comforts.

Everything possible was restored-a key to the proj­ect’s LEED certification-and salvaged lumber found new purposes. Case in point: Guest corridors’ window walls are protected by an outer latticework built from wood originally used to dry sheepskins.

For the interior, Enrique Concha mixed the estancia aesthetic with British references. “The massive furniture conquers the spaces,” he says. “Meanwhile, all the materials are simple and cost-efficient. There’s no excess. No superfluous elements.”

Instead, the impact comes from the natural surroundings. “Luxury,” he adds, “is the view through each floor-to-ceiling window.” Capping the amenities are a double-height restaurant and a spa with an indoor-outdoor heated swimming pool. There’s also a museum that pays tribute to the history of the region and the significance of the plant, declared a national monument.

Images courtesy of Singular Hotels.

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