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5 Memorable Holiday Stories from Hotel Las Torres

  • 4 mins

December at Hotel Las Torres is not just a month full of bustling holiday preparations. It's a time to reflect on the year that's passed and to celebrate the importance of family. With over 30 years of tradition, we have cherished magical moments of every Christmas and New Year's Eve. Here are some of our favorite stories:

5 Memorable Holiday Stories from Hotel Las Torres

Santa Claus is coming to Patagonia

One of the most important traditions in December at the hotel is the visit of Santa Claus, St. Nicholas, or Viejo Pascuero (as he is known in Chile). For many years, different members of the Kusanovic family put on the traditional red suit and white beard to surprise the little ones.

One year José Antonio Kusanovic, a notable member of the family in the hotel's history, volunteered to portray the jolly old man at the annual Christmas celebration. One of his grandsons was present, and very kindly helped his grandfather distribute the gifts. Mr. José Antonio was relieved that his grandson did not recognize him, thus keeping the magic of Santa Claus alive.

Each child had received their gift, and Mr. José Antonio changed back into his own clothes and returned to the party to find his grandson and hear about how he had been Santa Clause's helper. Upon seeing his grandfather, the little boy remarked, "Grandpa, when are you going to dress up as Santa Claus again?"

5 Memorable Holiday Stories from Hotel Las Torres

Croatian Ham

The Kusanovic family comes originally from Croatia, on the coast of the Adriatic Sea in Eastern Europe. This clan has been a faithful defender of their traditions, and naturally their holiday celebrations give a nod to their homeland.

Croatian prosciutto, also known as pršut, is one of the main features of the New Year's Eve festivities at Las Torres Patagonia. It’s a journey into the gastronomy of the country: ham that's been cured and seasoned with salt, garlic, pepper, and rosemary.

The family recipe has been passed down from generation to generation. At the restaurant, the ñirre is used to hang these hams in preparation for Christmas and New Year's Eve dinners. Some family members recall that in past years, up to 40 such hams could be found on hand to be served at dinner.

5 Memorable Holiday Stories from Hotel Las Torres

The Towers of Ice

A New Year's Eve celebration is a time for decoration that matches the importance of this long-awaited date, and the hotel always has special décor for the festivities. Yet for the family, one of the most memorable moments was when the peaks of Torres del Paine themselves played the starring role.

One year, as family and guests prepared to welcome the new year at the hotel’s restaurant, they were treated to a fabulous ice sculpture of the majestic granite columns that give Torres del Paine National Park its name. Finely sculpted and delicate, the piece showcased Patagonia’s geological miracle in a work of art.

While the family may not recall the precise year in which the Hotel Las Torres rang in the New Year with this frozen masterpiece, the memory of the night they raised their glasses beside those relentless columns of ice still shines bright in their memories.

5 Memorable Holiday Stories from Hotel Las Torres

Sweets for a sweet Christmas

Christmas has always been a holiday centered around children, and when it comes to savoring that special evening meal, sweets are certainly the favorite for the little ones eagerly awaiting the arrival of Santa Claus.

One of the sweetest memories of this feast, has always been the chef’s special talent for crafting desserts to delight children of all ages.

5 Memorable Holiday Stories from Hotel Las Torres

A Baqueano New Year’s Eve

Coming to the end of this list, we can’t forget the Patagonian touch of New Year’s Eve with our cowboys, or baqueanos, who are not to be missed for such an important celebration.

As the family recounts, New Year’s Eve celebrations always bring together a larger number of members of the clan, much more so than at Christmas. No one wants to miss the opportunity to welcome the new year at the hotel.

The arrival of the new year is celebrated with both family and guests around the fire, raising a toast with the traditional glass of champagne, and then welcoming the baqueanos as they ride with their horses in all their glory and majesty. These iconic horsemen of Patagonia ride around the group, then send off cheers and shouts into the night to kick off the start of a new cycle.

This is truly a night that many will remember forever: a toast under the stars, and the beginning of a new journey around the sun.