The region of South America called Patagonia got its name from the Spanish explorers who turned up with Magellan’s 1520 expedition – the natives were rumoured to be giants, twice the size of the stumpy Europeans who stood only 5’1”. In fact, boffins think the South Americans were only about a foot taller on average, but if you wanted a backdrop for fairytale giants, the spectacular landscape of Patagonia would be a perfect fit. Huge glaciers and the southern tip of the Andes range to scale, vast lakes to swim in and open pampas plains across which to roam.
The Singular hotel in the Chilean part of Patagonia, Puerto Bories to be exact, makes the most of these natural features through giant panes of glass fronting the guest rooms. The accommodation and spa wing is a recent addition to the older building, a Victorian cold house built in 1915 to store frozen meat for export to Europe. This stone structure, which was restored to monument status by the hotel developers as part of the project, now houses the public rooms and dining areas of The Singular.
Kudos for the finished article as a whole goes to architect Pedro Kovacic and interior designers Enrique Concha & Co. While slightly more obtrusive than this Patagonian hotel, due to the existing stone building, The Singular’s new build is cut into the land in the same low-profile way and is a sympathetic addition to the landscape. A big success in the land of the giants.