At the end of the Earth it has been hard to find a great hotel, but Arakur Resort changed all that.
Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world and would probably still be a place only embraced by miners and sheep farmers if it weren’t for one certain claim to fame: it’s the jumping-off point for Antarctica. It therefore gets filled up on a regular basis by people just passing through for a night—or occasionally getting stuck for longer when weather delays their cruise. Before that it was best known as a penal colony for half a century and a navy port.
The scenery is dramatic though and Arakur Resort & Spa makes the most of it. Perched high on a hilltop with a view of the mountains and bay, it offers panoramic views from nearly every vantage point. As you can see from the shot at the top, some of those views are from outdoor hot tubs. Almost of the whole front of the hotel is glass, to best observe the constantly shifting weather.
The whole resort is sleek, sustainable, and artistically designed.
Arakur’s design mirrors the spectacular landscape of Tierra del Fuego. Guest rooms and suites are lined with wood: not generic parquet flooring, but rustic blonde wood sourced from the surrounding forest. The striking indoor and outdoor swimming pools, separated only by a soaring pane of glass with a small opening you can swim through, echo the still surface of the bay and Beagle Channel beyond. Even the smooth stone in the lobby was salvaged from the initial stages of the resort’s construction, when developers leveled the rock face to make room for a hotel.
There’s a dramatic stairway in the center of the lobby area leading down to the spa and swimming pools. Two restaurants get high marks and the cocktail bar serves local wines and microbrews with a view of Beagle Channel and the harbor.
The rooms don’t quite live up to the drama of the public areas, but they come with the expected luxe amenities, plus robes and slippers you’re welcome to wear down to the pools. Baths have soaking tubs and there’s turndown service each evening.
The resort runs a complimentary shuttle to town, there are hiking trails nearby, and they can set up excursions for guests who are not just passing through quickly.
See more photos and our detailed review of Arakur Resort & Spa in Ushuaia, Argentina.