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Escapes Awasi, Patagonia

Framed by rolling pampas and towering granite spires, Awasi Patagonia is a love letter to the surrounding landscape. Positioned on the fringes of the Torres del Paine National Park, home to the indigenous lenga tree, this supremely secluded stay exists as a modern-day interpretation of the traditional ranching lodge; melding high-minded design with good-for-the-soul experiences.

The stilted, lenga-clad villas – each one with its own wood-burning stove and an outdoor tub for soaking in – are a lesson in down-to-earth elegance, and at every turn you can expect views to render you speechless. Guests are assigned their own expert guide upon arrival, who will set about drawing up a tailored plan of action for the days ahead. Time here can spent cantering across the steppe on horseback, scaling turquoise-tinged glaciers and surveying the skies for Andean condors.

It’s a wild and wonderful assault on the senses, and Awasi’s commitment to conservation is nothing short of applause-worthy. Those seeking adventure can call off the search – this is a place sure to leave you transformed.

 

EXPLORE – Extraordinary pursuits to set hearts racing

Patagonia’s vast expanses offer up life-affirming experiences in abundance, and Awasi’s soul-stirring itineraries ensure you leave no stone unturned. Hike the dizzying moraines and craggy, snow-marbled passes that lead to the Valle del Francés – the mesmerizing vistas out across the Paine massif are worth every second of exertion – or spot grey foxes and rhea on the route up to spectacular Laguna Azul.

Those interested in adventure can set out on twilight puma tracking expeditions; the ever-elusive Andean cat is the reluctant star of the show when it comes to Patagonian wildlife. A crackle over your 4WD’s radio indicates a nearby sighting, and before you can blink, you’re barreling across the private reserve in hope of catching a glimpse.

 

RECALIBRATE – Quiet contemplation in the boundless wilds

Silence takes on a whole new meaning here – at the very edge of the earth, in a landscape measured by mountains. The feeling of solitude is most apparent during a stint in your villa’s wood-fired soaking tub. Nestled amid the lenga-flecked scrubland and gazing out to the precipitous peaks, you’d struggle to find a more glorious spot to reflect on the day’s events. With nothing but the soft whistle of the wind through the trees and the occasional guanaco call to the wild (a guanaco is a South American camelid, similar to the llama), it’s equal parts invigorating and meditative. You’ll emerge from a soak feeling freer of body, with new-found clarity and perspective.

 

NOURISH – Sustenance with an extraordinary backdrop

When the sky begins to fade from electric-pink to deep blue, the air grows thick with a tantalizing scent from the kitchen signaling that it’s time to dine. Executive Chef Matías Crosta puts the spotlight on locally sourced and seasonal fare; whatever can’t be plucked from Awasi’s kitchen garden is fetched from nearby plains and lakes, and each evening unfolds in a sequence of freshly foraged creations.

Dishes are rooted in imagination yet suitably hearty, and the inventive iterations of classic desserts are rivaled only by the vistas outside. If the panoramas prove all too tempting, first-rate dining need not be confined to the restaurant. Wherever your pursuits take you, the clued-in guides can conjure up a picnic in unforgettable surrounds.

 

 

Words by: Harriet Charnock-Bates
Photography by: Louis Sheridan

"Silence takes on a whole new meaning here - at the very edge of the earth, in a landscape measured by mountains."