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Skiiers near the Rio Palena Lodge

Ice, ice baby: superb ski stays

Dust off your ski goggles and salopettes (and dig out something you can comfortably gorge on raclette in). Our seven sensational ski hotels come with a generous side of freshly churned snow. Sarah Jappy has a good day on the slopes

Rio Palena Lodge with a helicopter in the foreground


Swap the ski lift for a chopper at rugged Rio Palena Lodge and discover the glacial beauty that has earned Patagonia its cult ski-scene status. Rio Palena Lodge belongs to Eleven, an experiential adventure travel group whose stylish, intimate properties occupy remarkable corners of the world. This location is no exception. In an Andean valley peppered with steep descents, jagged glaciers and remote alpine stashes, it offers close to 100 newly named runs and undiscovered areas galore. Luckily, the lodge’s own helicopter and expert mountain guides are on hand to connect you to everything from wide-open bowls to steep chutes in this awe-inspiring region.
Sitting pretty by the banks of the burbling Rio Palena River, this newly remodelled, seven-room retreat is just as primed for relaxation as snow sports. Days begin with creative breakfasts rustled up by the private chef, followed by leisurely riverside lunches soundtracked by chirruping birds. After dark, expect decadent dinners and twinkly stargazing.

Warm up with a soak or steam in the lodge’s wood-fired hot tubs and sauna.

As the sun sets, sip a robust Chilean red or a zingy Pisco sour on the view-tastic deck. Later on, savour juicy steak or buttery homemade pasta, or honour your setting with a Chilean asado: a traditional barbecue paired with fine wines.

‘Kitted out’ is an understatement. The lodge bristles with fly-fishing gear, float-fishing rafts, jet boats, mountain bikes, SUPs and SUVs.

Book a stay at Rio Palena Lodge