I landed in Ushuaia – the Patagonian port town nicknamed the ‘end of the world’ – and from the small airport, I taxied to my hotel.
It was around 7am and as the morning fog cleared, my home for the next three days suddenly came into view.
Perched on a hill with a snow-crested peak looming behind, the spaceship-like exterior of the Arakur Ushuaia Resort & Spa reminded me of a Bond villain’s lair. I could almost hear a cackle waft my way.
Sadie gazes out towards snow-capped peaks from the Arakur Ushuaia Resort & Spa’s heated open-air infinity pool
The Arakur Ushuaia Resort & Spa is located in the Patagonian port town of Ushuaia. It is perched on a hill with imposing mountains in the background
The grey skies and crisp temperature added to the ominous feeling as the taxi wound its way up to the imposing building.
Built in 2014, the curved structure with more than 100 rooms and suites was apparently inspired by the surrounding nature.
It is clad in copper, as it is extremely durable in most environments, and this comes in handy with the hotel’s blustery coastal positioning.
The taxi dropped me off. It was eerily quiet and the front door swiftly slid open to welcome me inside.
Sadie found that music played under the water as she swam in the outdoor pool
The double superior room Sadie checked into with views over the glistening Beagle Channel
I stepped inside the lair and the slick contemporary design stopped me in my tracks.
The vast lobby rolled on as far as the eye could see with exposed stone walls, a Steinway grand piano, couches long enough to host a family reunion and floor-to-ceiling windows for taking in the view/spotting approaching secret agents.
After taking a snooze on one of the many giant couches, a friendly attendant who spoke broken English came to tell me my room was ready.
I was shown through the lobby to an elevator where we buzzed to the third floor and sashayed down a dimly lit corridor to my room, a double superior with views over the glistening Beagle Channel.
The steward showed me how the room worked.
Eye-catching features included a giant bathtub with a glass partition allowing you to look through to the bedroom and some rather nifty electric blinds.
Sadie found the interior of her room was warm and cosy, with wooden flooring and an easy-to-use temperature control panel
There is a restaurant at the Arakur serving up buffets and a la carte meals
A definite perk for any self-respecting Bond villain lair.
The interior of the room was warm and cosy, with wooden flooring and an easy-to-use temperature control panel.
After getting my bearings, I decided to explore some of the Arakur’s other impressive features – the main one being its heated open-air infinity pool.
The views from here of the Beagle Channel, the Ushuaia Bay and surrounding mountain ranges took my breath away.
As did the nippy air as I popped my head up from the warm waters.
As I put my head below the surface I realised music was playing, as did a chirpy guest who excitedly told some other guests while waving his GoPro.
A slickly designed staircase within the hotel, with exposed stone walls
The view from Sadie’s room, with the colourful port town of Ushuaia below
The spa area at the Arakur also includes an indoor pool area, sauna and fitness centre
Ushuaia lies at the end of the Andes mountain range. The next stop? The Antarctic
For dinner, Sadie opted for the Parmesan king crab, which came in at £13, with a glass of Pinot Noir from the Neuquén province – also well-priced at £3.50
‘I can hear whales under here!’ he exclaimed.
To forget the era of selfie-sticks I swapped swimming for a skip through the surrounding woodlands.
Arakur Ushuaia is located in the heart of Cerro Alarkén nature reserve with various walking trails available.
I spotted horses through a thicket and managed to get lost several times but eventually made it back to my starting point with my tummy rumbling for dinner.
The lower ground floor restaurant rustles up an array of local delicacies and I opted for the Parmesan king crab, which came in at just £13, with a glass of Pinot Noir from the Neuquén province – also a bargain at £3.50.
After several days at the Arakur Ushuaia I became a willing captive.
The only thing prompting a possible escape was a faint smell of sewage that kept wafting through my room.
The attendant promised to fix it, but this ‘fix’ turned out to be simply spraying air freshener around, which merely masked the odour.
Sleeping with the window option was the only solution.
Luckily the only noise from outside was the sound of horns from incoming ships.
After three days in this luxurious lair I was reluctantly released.
I’d love to go back, but sadly the end of the world isn’t somewhere I pass by too often.
The Arakur Ushuaia Resort & Spa is part of The Leading Hotels of the World luxury portfolio.
Rooms start from $507 (£388) with rates including breakfast, spa access, entrance to the nature reserve and a free shuttle service to the town of Ushuaia. Adventure activities can be arranged through the hotel with local operator Tours By Design.