GUEST POST: Claire Mans

Patagonia boasts some of the most dramatic and mesmerising landscapes on earth. Situated on the Southern tip of the South American continent, you are surrounded by mountain ranges, rives and a sense of mystery. It’s unspoiled beauty makes it the perfect location for an escape from reality.

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THE LODGE

The EOLO lodge is an luxury rustic oasis that was designed to share and experience unique sensations and the pleasure felt through the beauty of simple things. The drive itself to EOLO is a beautiful display of Patagonian landscape with views of the Andes to the west and Lake Argentina to the east. The lodge commands a stunning setting in La Anita valley on a 4,000-hectare estate.

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On entering the lodge you are immediately struck by the large windows framing the panoramic views of the Patagonian landscape, (on clear days it is possible to see the Torres del Paine). The lodge is 10 years old, minimalist in design but encompassed by a warm and welcoming atmosphere. EOLO embodies the spirit of Patagonia and it’s indigenous roots, which are evident throughout, in its design, staff and endless views of the landscape, which can be seen from most spots in the lodge.

YOUR WARM WELCOME

On arrival we were met by the lovely Vanessa and made ourselves at home in the comfy sitting area. Like true Brits we opted for a delicious cup of Earl Grey tea – heaven! All the tea at EOLO comes from the Argentine tea expert and maker Ines Berton from Teaosophy, who has also created a bespoke tea called EOLO just for the lodge.

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THE ROOMS

The rooms and suites at the lodge are huge and all have views over the mountains and lakes. The beds are enormous and extremely comfortable positioned towards the window and perfectly match the vast bathrooms complete with L’Occataine amenities – we didn’t want to leave.

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HORSERIDING

If you have time I’d recommend experiencing a horseback riding tour with their in-house guide David. Even if you’re a beginner like my husband, this is possibly one of the best places you can learn, feel free to get distracted by the incredible views, just be wary of the occasional hare dashing out to spook the horses! The horses are extremely calm and well cared for and if you’re a slightly timid rider ask for Cha-Cha. She was sweet but also slow (my husbands horse for the day). David is very knowledgeable on Patagonia, both in its wildlife as well as the flora and fauna.

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WHAT TO EAT

The cuisine at EOLO is second to none and is complemented well by the welcoming service. The rates at the lodge are on a full board basis, be warned the food is so good you could end up having a three course meal for both lunch and dinner. Luckily the chef uses healthy, fresh and local ingredients presented in an imaginative way, with lots of fruit and vegetables, something that’s hard to come by when travelling around Argentina.

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THE RELAX FACTOR

EOLO isn’t somewhere to meet fellow travellers as it can feel empty at times. However there are only 17 rooms, therefore even when the lodge is full it still won’t feel busy – it is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the surrounding hills by foot, bike or horseback.

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The do’s and don’ts to experience Patagonia to it’s full:

-DO the Big Ice hike at Porito Moreno. You will have the option of the Mini Trek too but the Big Ice takes you further on to the glacier and is more of a challenge. You will also get to wear the trendy crampons and finish off with a whiskey on the rocks (glacier of course).

-DO take layers, including a good waterproof jacket. Patagonia’s weather changes rapidly therefore the right clothing is important.

-DO drink the tap water. This may sound quite random, but we are always wary of drinking tap water abroad, however with its mountains and hills Patagonia has an endless supply of clear and refreshing water.

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-DON’T ride Cha-Cha if you fancy a fast paced horseback ride, although she is perfect for beginners.

-DON’T forget to stretch after a day of horseback riding, this would be a good time to pull out some yoga moves if you want to be able to walk properly the next day.

-DON’T forget your bikini, so you can take a dip in the warm pool at EOLO.

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Author: Claire Mans

Claire is an avid traveller and luxury nomad. She had a spent her honeymoon in Africa last year and is currently on a 4 month sabbatical with her husband to discover the gems of South America. When she’s not planning her next trip, she’s usually on the hunt for her next fashion fix or sweating it out in a HIIT Class. Follow her adventures on instagram @Clairemahowe.

Would you like to contribute an article to Wood & Luxe? Send us an email of interest via the contact us page. I think I am putting Patagonia on my list for next year. Who’s with me?

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Phoebe

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