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Hotel review: Argentina: Arakus Resort and Spa, Ushuaia

Alex Marshall
18 November 2016

If you’re off to the Antarctic, what better way to start your penguin-filled journey than with a stopover at this impressive resort set in the snow-capped mountains? Alex Marshall soaks up the views

THE LOWDOWN:
If you are staying in Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world, chances are you are en route to Antarctica. If so, you will want a hotel that can only increase your sense of anticipation for the adventures ahead. The Arakur Ushuaia is just that place.

Perched 800 feet above sea level and with huge floor to ceiling glass windows, at first glance the resort and spa looks as ominous as a Bond villain’s lair. But there are no baddies to be found here, just stunning views of Ushuaia Bay and out towards the Beagle Channel. They’re vistas that will have you dreaming of the explorers who have gone before you, and the icebergs and penguins you’ll find on your trip ahead.

The hotel is set in its own nature reserve, with snow-capped mountains and forests rising behind it, so even if you don’t have a room overlooking the lake, the hotel offers picture perfect views from almost anywhere. We enjoyed sitting in the outdoor infinity pool where, at night, you can gaze over the town’s lights, cocktail in hand. You can even soak up the surrounding countryside from the running machine in the gym although nothing can beat stretching your legs on the gentle walking trails through the reserve.

Rooms are comfortable and large – especially the bathrooms, which include baths as well as showers – although they might feel slightly over-specified for some. My room had so many plugs it could have been mistaken for an electrical showroom. But for the gadget-conscious, laden with cameras for Antarctica, this will be a blessed relief compared to the normal hotel experience of having to unplug a lamp every time you need to charge your iPhone.

THE GOOD:
The Arakur is all about its stunning location, but that would not matter one bit if the staff were not up scratch. They are, going out of their way to help guests with even the most annoying requests.

THE NOT-SO-GOOD: 
The hotel is a 10-minute drive from the city, which makes it feel slightly disconnected, but there is a regular shuttle bus service.

THE VERDICT:
Ushuaia – small and rather unexciting – could make for a disappointing start to an Antarctic expedition. The Arakur ensures the opposite.

BOOK IT:
Doubles from £239 in high season. Arakur Ushuaia Resort & Spa, Cerro Alarkén 1, Ushuaia 9410 Tierra del Fuego, Argentina (+54 2901 44 2900; arakur.com)