The Singular Hotel in Chilean Patagonia is an architectural masterpiece constructed from the shell of an industrial building on the scenic shores of Last Hope Sound. It's just 5km north of Puerto Natales, the gateway town to Torres del Paine National Park, but feels more remote thanks to the dramatic scenery that surrounds it.
The luxury hotel gets its inspiration from the original abandoned structure, built in post-Victorian Industrial style. The lofty ceilings, bits of restored machinery and a little on-site museum keep alive the memory of the early 20th century, when pioneering settlers made these inhospitable shores their home.
A modern wing of huge glass-fronted guestrooms overlooking the waterfront is attached to the main building. Décor and furnishings are the epitome of understated contemporary style.
Glass and metal predominate, but there is nothing austere about the place – for a start, there is a vast comprehensive spa with a heated swimming pool, saunas and a steam room, and a medley of massage services are offered. And there are plenty of cosy leather armchairs and sofas in which to relax after a day spent in the open air. Meanwhile the excellent restaurant showcases unusual local ingredients such as white strawberries, as well as regional stalwarts like Magellan lamb and king crab.
The emphasis however is on providing guests with a true outdoor Patagonian experience; there is a choice of 20 excursions into the national park and around, with guided trekking, kayaking, biking and bird watching amongst the options.