The setting is the star: a 4,000 hectare estate in remote Patagonia, about an hour's drive from the town of El Calafate. Eolo has been designed to showcase the stark beauty of the environment with picture windows in public areas and guest rooms enabling you to contemplate the scenery from the comfort of the lodge. Buildings are arranged around a tranquil central garden with pretty seasonal flowers.
You'll soon be itching to explore and there is no shortage of things to do. The programme of activities includes hiking, mountain biking, horse riding (for riders of all levels of experience and ability) and bird watching. Eolo's resident guide co-ordinates all activities on the estate and all of these are included in your stay. Further afield, though only a 45 minute drive away, is Los Glaciers National Park where you can marvel at the vast Perito Moreno Glacier, and, if feeling adventurous, set off on a trek using ice crampons to see the glacier up close. Lake cruises are popular, too, and a wonderful way to observe the breath-takingly beautiful sight of snowy mountains against a blue sky and icebergs in the azure waters.
Eolo is much more than a base from which to explore. It offers the luxuries you'd expect of a Relais & Chateaux property but in a pleasantly low key and understated manner. Its design has been influenced by traditional creole dwellings and interiors are decorated in muted tones, the better to highlight the beauty of the outdoors. You can survey the scene at your leisure as you relax in one of the sitting rooms and as you savour cuisine created by a chef trained in Michelin star restaurants, complimented by wines from some of the country's most renowned vineyards.
There's a library where you can read about the region's history and culture or simply enjoy some quiet downtime. The relaxation area has a dry and a steam sauna, a massage room and outdoor jacuzzi, ideal for easing away any aches or pains or simply indulging your body to some cleansing and restorative treatments.
Open: Eolo Lodge is open from the beginning of October to the end of April each year.
Location: The hotel is mid way between El Calafate and Los Glaciers National Park. The property is about an hour's drive from the airport in El Calafate.
Rooms: There are 17 guest rooms. The decor is easy on the eye, and your attention is drawn to the picture windows and views beyond. All have individually controlled heating, phone and wifi, but no TV as that would compete with the scenery for your attention. All are en-suite. There are 12 superior rooms, each with 37sqm of space, overlooking the steppe, lake or cordillera and able to take a third bed if needed. There are three premium rooms (46sqm) with dual aspect windows one of which looks out over the central garden. Each of the two corner rooms is almost 48sqm and has superb views through the windows on two side of the room.
Activities: Go hiking, mountain biking, horse riding (for beginners), bird watching, explore by 4x4 and go zip lining in the private estate. You can visit Los Glaciers National Park and Perito Moreno Glacier, about a 45 minute drive from the lodge, joining guided hiking, kayaking and boating trips. There is an extensive list of activities and staff recommend you opt for one activity a day during your stay. You can visit the Glaciarium in El Calafate and go fly fishing if you wish. Day trips can be arranged to El Chalten to see the much photographed silhouette of Mount Fitz Roy. Activities that take place off the lodge's grounds incur an extra charge.
Facilities: The lodge is designed around a central garden and set in over 4,000 hectares of private land. There is a restaurant and bar (details below). The library contains books about the history and culture of the region. There is a relaxation area with a dry sauna, steam sauna, massage room and an outdoor jacuzzi. The lodge has a yoga area.
Dining: The restaurant serves food based on local produce to create dishes that draw influences from the latest techniques and tastes. The bar provides local wines to complement meals as well as pre- and post-dinner beverages. Afternoon tea is often served on the dining terrace. All meals and drinks with meals are included.
Children: Children aged 12 years of age and over are welcome. Some activities have minimum age requirements.
Health: El Calafate is not a malarial area.
Communication: There is free Wi-Fi internet access throughout the hotel.
Notes: Eolo Lodge is a member of the prestigious Relais & Chateaux group.
Tango in Buenos Aires, the stark wilderness of Patagonia, bucolic scenes in the Lake District and gauchos of The Pampas plus the very best hotels.