Rio Palena Lodge Chile
Rio Palena Lodge
W-961, KM, 2,6 Palena, Los Lagos Chile 5880000
Date of Creation
Originally opened November 2019
Hotel General Manager
Eleven Experience’s Rio Palena Lodge features a Mapuche-inspired design laced with handsome elegance, inviting guests to indulge in the finest of Patagonian comfort. Native stone fireplaces, wood-fired hot tubs, and riverfront views immerse guests in a powerful sense of place anchored by the 13-acre property’s ultra-remote location.
RIO PALENA LODGE
History & Story
Prior to Eleven Experience’s acquisition, Rio Palena Lodge was built around 1998 and owned by two brothers who were passionate about angling and travel. It has operated as a fly fishing lodge since its inception, though was reimagined years later by Eleven Experience to enhance the variety of amenities, access to activities, and style of the interiors.
No. 12 Interiors renovated the lodge’s overall layout and design in partnership with Eleven Experience. New outdoor lounge areas, carefully crafted bedrooms, and intricate interior details were heavily inspired by the region’s traditional style and largely sourced locally.
Date added extensions
Eleven Experience bought the property in 2014 and opened it to guests years later following extensive renovations.
Main Strengths, Special Touch
Rio Palena Lodge was built to emphasize the grandeur and legacy of Patagonia. Elements like locally made bathroom tiles, a sweeping riverside “Asado” BBQ zone, and countless windows that dramatize the vastness of the surrounding landscapes give Rio Palena Lodge’s guests an unmistakably Patagonian experience.
Dropped in the middle of Patagonia’s expanses, Rio Palena Lodge sits alongside the beautiful Palena River, about a 30-minute drive from the nearest rural town of Palena, Chile. The property is encompassed by the towering peaks of the Andes, numerous rivers, streams, and lakes, and a wild tangle of forest and jungle.
Key sites/activities in the area
Central to the experience at Rio Palena Lodge is a multitude of customizable activities that are led by a high-caliber guide team. Summer’s main attraction is world-renowned fly fishing, highlighted by an onsite helipad that can drop anglers on pristine stretches of water, jet and drift boats for float trips, and backyard access to Rio Palena’s famed water. Mountain biking, hiking, world-class whitewater rafting, and stand up paddle boarding are also outstanding options. Wintertime is marked by exceptional heli-skiing in Patagonia’s untouched backcountry, where top-notch guides personalize each group’s days.
- Rio Palena Lodge’s original owner devoted his life to elephant preservation, once rescuing an elephant that went on to star in an internationally acclaimed IBM commercial and Clint Eastwood film.
- The headboards at Rio Palena Lodge were fashioned from locally woven Chilean rugs whose fabric dyes were extracted from vegetables. As such, many of the particular hues turned out to be “seasonal” so the designers revolved the rooms’ color schemes around only those vegetables that were in-season.
Rio Palena Lodge offers a family friendly experience that can be tailored to the preferences and abilities of each member of the family.
Number of suites: Seven
Number of luxury rooms: N/A
Number of rooms (keys) in all: Seven
Seven well-appointed guest suites, which can accommodate double or single occupancy, hide Patagonian lore in each of its details. Each bedroom, named after regional vernacular, was carefully curated with a heavy influence from indigenous Chilean crafts, pre-independence antiques that reflect the Spanish colonial style, and the creative flair of modern Chilean artists. The textiles and headboards, handmade by the local artisans of Fundación Artesanías de Chile, are steeped in Chilean motifs. Azul and Palena each include private patio decks, while the majority of the rooms have striking river views. Each room’s en suite bathroom is decorated uniquely with original cement tiles inspired by traditional designs.
Restaurants & Bars
Rio Palena Lodge’s remote location lends itself to an ardent commitment to culinary excellence by talented in-house chefs, which is all included in guest stays. Local flavors serve as the base of culturally relevant cuisine that is artfully presented at the rustic fireside dining table, in various riverside lounge areas, or in the special outdoor Asado zone. Chilean Empanadas prepared in a traditional mud oven are coupled with Sopaipillas con Pebre, a local favorite. For those with a taste for the sea, Chile’s colorful offering of mussels, scallops, sea bass, salmon, and congrio are just a few of the Pacific’s many gifts that guests can enjoy. An expansive array of world-renowned wines brings Chile’s diversity of ecosystems to the table, while the classic Pisco Sour delights guests with a citrusy tart sipper topped with egg whites. At any point and in any terrain, Eleven’s team might set up a traditional Mate bar and accompanying riverside lunch for a break from outdoor excursions. The grand finale is the traditional Asado, an unforgettable gathering along the banks of the Rio Palena, complete with smoked lamb and beef, lively music, and dancing under the stars.
A wood-fired sauna and two hot tubs offer guests a natural yet refined wellness experience, further connecting guests to the rugged nature of Patagonia.
Corporate & Celebration Events
Rio Palena Lodge welcomes up to 14 guests, ideally accommodating full buyouts with ample living spaces, a large dining table, and a multitude of outdoor hangout zones. 13 surrounding acres provide boundless space to gather and celebrate amidst breathtaking views of Patagonia’s rugged scenery. Perhaps the most cherished experience at Rio Palena Lodge is the Asado. The event kicks off in a special “Asado Zone,” a riverside venue kept secret until the evening of the big rendezvous. A chef-prepared spread of local lamb, beef, and vegetables is grilled at the outdoor fire, along with a decadent spread of classic Chilean side dishes. The celebration typically persists late into the night, animated by traditional music, a fully stocked bar, gaucho games, and a Karaoke stage.
Extra Notable Features
Rio Palena Lodge’s on-property helicopter provides access to fly fishing, heli-skiing, and other extraordinary outdoor activities, making it the ultimate base camp for adventure. The lodge’s various areas for enjoying hors d’oeuvres, like the riverside outpost and Asado Zone, also allow guests to enjoy a variety of distinct experiences amidst the natural beauty of Patagonia.
Hotel and restaurant Awards
Number of employees