WHERE TO NEXT?
I came upon this phrase earlier this week and it reminded me of the luxe portion of our Patagonia trip.
After our 50+ mile hike carrying a pack in at times challenging conditions, KJ and I earned our indulgence!
But many people choose to have luxury throughout their Patagonia adventure and that is an option too. You can dial up the luxury and have challenging day hikes or bike rides. Or you can have a luxurious stay with more touring and spa time and less physical activity.
The beauty of Patagonia is you can do it any way you wish!
See highlights from our luxury lodge stays below.
At this time of year our kids have the fortune of celebrating Christmas and Hanukkah. Since I was gone for the beginning of December, our brisket and latke dinner with friends is planned for this weekend. Closely followed by Christmas just two days later. A packed weekend of fun!
New Hampshire is not currently slated for a white Christmas but we are doing all of the other holiday festivities to get us in the spirit. We cut down our tree on Sunday and finished putting up the lights and ornaments last night. We are baking cookies, preparing big meals, enjoying parties, singing carols and of course attending high school hockey games.
There is a lot to be grateful for this year and I wish all of you peace and joy with your family. Thank you for reading my newsletters. Writing these for you is one of my favorite parts of the week!
I’ll be heading to Punta Mita, Mexico with my two daughters the day after Christmas. We are looking forward to the warmth and sunshine plus some fun adventures! Of course I’ll share them with you all!
This week’s inspiring articles include 11 toasty outdoor pools in snowy places, the world’s 10 best luxury golf resorts, chartering a sailboat in the Caribbean, a guide to the 20 arrondissements of Paris, the world’s 13 most unique bowling alleys and so much more!
The informational articles include holiday packing advice, avoiding holiday travel stress and insider tips from flight attendants.
- Luxe Patagonia
- This week’s highlight – Pizzería Tiramisú & Antica Gelateria
- Where to Next? Mandarin Oriental Santiago
- Articles to Inspire+Inform
Luxury lodges in Patagonia are simply amazing.
The food, the cocktails, the service, the comfort, the adventures. The cappuccinos and flat whites! After 6 days in refugios – these definitely felt like a luxury. The views!
All of it!
A few of our dishes are shown below. King crab salad, warm brie topped with roasted pumpkin, local mushroom tortellini, rack of lamb raised on the estancia where you are staying and so many delicious desserts.
Of the many lodges in Patagonia, one is Relais & Châteaux – Awasi. Each night before dinner the sommelier stopped by our table to talk about the wine pairings with each dish. She was spot on and we enjoyed every one of her recommendations.
We also simply enjoyed ordering up a cappuccino and sitting by the blazing fire. The coziness factor is very high.
The accommodations and staff!
Our beds felt deliciously comfy, the water pressure strong, the living spaces cozy, the bars a perfect fusion of refined and relaxed – with skilled, attentive bartenders.
At Tierra they have a library, a room full of swinging eggs (see below) for relaxing and looking at the views and even a hidden room with a TV just in case there is an important sporting event.
Our guide at Awasi was well prepared for our active interests and a few surprises. We loved having guide briefings to decide on our adventures.
The Singular had the most unexpected design – it is built in a former cold storage meat packing plant. I loved the juxtaposition of luxury and industrial.
I love the photo above that looks like a painting (other than the light reflection on the window). That is the view from a seating area at Explora Patagonia – spectacular!
The below photo was taken at the outside dining area of Tierra. Torres del Paine is in the background. That is the view you have from every room at the lodge. The days were so clear you can see Los Torres (the 3 Towers that are often hidden with clouds).
KJ and I were both thrilled about this photo below. Perfect combo of blue sky day and calm water to give us a mirror-like reflection of Torres del Paine.
We went mounting biking through Baguales, following the dirt road above a river for 25+ miles, over what is called “Patagonia flat” terrain. Hint: it is not actually flat. The ride was made easier by the surprise picnic planned by our guide, Anto.
We also opted to take some zen moments to soak up the warm sunshine.
We went horseback riding, hiking and puma spotting (sadly we didn’t see a puma).
At the lodges I had a massage, read books, spent time in the hot tub and pool and watched sunsets. At Estancia Cerro Guido while we were eating lunch we were happily surprised a gaucho happened by with his flock of sheep. See the video here… Gaucho riding with his sheep.
We saw so much wildlife, KJ termed it a Patagonian safari. Guanacos, condors, lesser rhea (they look like a small ostrich), an armadillo, baby fox and more.
The fox family lived under Tierra and we were treated to their impromptu playfulness.
A few videos…
We were so tired each day while hiking the W Trek we never stayed up late enough (the sun sets ~10p) to see the stars. We took advantage our first night at Tierra when Dion, one of the staff, took us out a back door to the best spot…
The above are just a sampling of some of the amazing places you can stay. And there are more!
The key is determining how you’d like to “do” Patagonia and then finding the perfect combination just for you.
Antica Gelateria & Pizzería Tiramisú
When in Santiago you may not think to go to a pizzeria but this one is special.
We asked several people for recommendations of where to eat while in Santiago, including my friend, Melissa, who was joining us for lunch. Pizzería Tiramisú was at the top of many lists.
For our lunch with Melissa we went there. We had the first reservation (reservations are a must!) of the day at 1pm and the line was already forming. While we were eating, it was half way down the block.
Do you go here just for the pizza? It is delicious! But no, they also have huge salads, seafood and other dishes. And it is a scene. Trendy and bustling, located on a stretch in Santiago lined with many outdoor restaurants. My preference is always to eat outside when the weather is good, because NH has such a short summer.
The restaurant is so popular that Pizzería Tiramisú keeps expanding when a restaurant next door shuts down they take over the space and add on more seating.
And after you have pizza and salad for lunch – what is next?
Conveniently there are two gelaterias right across the street. At Melissa’s strong recommendation, we went to Antica Gelateria. Again – delicious! I had dark chocolate and passion fruit. And as you can see above they have a cute Vespa to sit on, perfect for photos.
I highly recommend squeezing these both in among your other dining and wine tasting options while in Santiago!
🌟 Before we began our hiking trek in Patagonia, we spent two days at the Mandarin Oriental Santiago. This tranquil resort is an oasis in the heart of Santiago.
Why is Mandarin Oriental Santiago so special?
- Rooms and suites, some with terraces, have views of the city and Andes Mountains.
- The breakfast buffet has an amazing spread overlooking the pool and terrace. Other dining options include Senso with outstanding wines and Italian dishes. Matsuri offers Nikkei cuisine (Peruvian ingredients shaped by Japanese techniques) from Japanese-Peruvian chef Juan Ozaki who creates dishes loved by critics and guests.
- It’s perfect for families with kids of all ages, with large suites and a huge lagoon style pool with a waterfall and tall trees.
Do as much or as little as you like:
- Relax at the pool.
- Walk to shopping and streets filled with great restaurants.
- Use the Mandarin Oriental bicycles for a bike ride around the city and picnic in the park.
‼️ Don’t miss…… the Caviar Experience – an exclusive caviar inspired 5-course menu and special Gran Reserva wine pairing for two in Senso restaurant.
📷 Mandarin Oriental Santiago
Reach out to plan your trip to
The 7 Most Beautiful Caves Around the World, Architectural Digest
How Luxury Travel Is Solving the ‘Last-mile Problem’, Travel & Leisure
Your essential guide to the 20 arrondissements of Paris, Lonely Planet
The World’s 13 Most Unique Bowling Alleys, Architectural Digest
5 game drive alternatives, from cycling to horse-riding, National Geographic
Our best packing advice for holiday flights, Washington Post
The Points Guy
The 30 Best Gifts for Intrepid World Travelers, Robb Report
(If you aren’t able to access an NYT or Washington Post article, send me a note and I’ll send it to you in a PDF.)