Chile’s supermodel long, slim shape makes for a thrilling landscape to explore. Ski in the morning, and then surf the afternoon, pass volcanoes and vineyards in between.
Start in the cosmopolitan city of Santiago, and then head north to the highest and driest desert in the world, or south for flora, fauna and fjords. All this adventure is best done in style at our pick of luxury hotels.
THE PACKING EDIT
Santiago: Luciano K Hotel
Find Art Deco glamour in the Andes at this boutique hotel. Designed in the 1920s by famous architect, Luciano Kulczewsk, it was considered the tallest building in the country at the time, housing the first lift. Take it up to the roof terrace to sip a pisco sour around the small but perfectly pink swimming pool overlooking the park. If that wasn’t Insta-worthy enough, the bedrooms tick all the trends with black metal framed blue velvet headboards and veined marble bathrooms, mixed with original features such as the parquetry floor and stained glass doors. Situated in the bohemian neighbourhood of Lastarria, it’s a chic base to explore the city on foot once you’ve stopped snapping photos of your feet on the patchwork tiles inside.
San Pedro de Atacama: Awasi Atacama
It might be the most arid place on Earth, but meal times at Awasi Atacama are a bounty of fresh, local produce. From the minty rica-rica herb used in the welcome drink to the sweet macaroons flavoured with caramel like chañar fruit. The real treat though is dining under the stars, which the area sparkles with. Spot Saturn’s rings at the hotels own observatory by night, and by day explore the spectacular lunar landscape with your private tour guide. Afterwards, wash away the desert dust in your circular suite, which has traditional features including a thatched roof and terracotta clay walls, alongside a handy humidifier and L’Occitane goodies to help with the high altitude. Evenings are best spent around the fire-pit on colourful cushions with a glass of Carménère.
The Chilean Lake District: AndBeyond Vira Vira
Get back to nature in complete luxury at this stylish hacienda. Hike the snow-capped volcano or go horse riding with the former trainer to the Spanish equestrian team, before returning to a cool welcome towel and an organic feast plucked from the hotel’s own garden and cheese factory. Bejewelled with edible flowers, the healthy meals are as colourful as the artisan textiles that brighten the Scandi-style wood clad interiors. The 12 villas back onto the river where you can spot wildlife from the comfort of your outdoor bath, or opt for one of the six hotel suites which have views of the floral carpeted grounds. The property is the first in Latin America for andBeyond, and since acquiring it in September 2018, they have brought their eco-values as well as expert knowledge of safari guiding to the superb staff.
Chiloe: Tierra Chiloe
From a distance this boutique hotel blends seamlessly into the hilly landscape of southern Chile. Up close it’s as dramatic as the coastline, with striking architecture clad in wood shingles, concrete pillars and floor to ceiling windows. It’s not just a design destination, but also a luxury hub from which nature and culture enthusiasts can navigate the 30 plus mystical islands of Chiloe. Go hiking with your private guide to one of the Unesco heritage churches, or set sail on the hotel’s private boat alongside dolphins and (hopefully) Orca whales. If the weather is bad (rain is part of the trip), cosy up in the Nordic-style spa which has an infinity heated outdoor pool overlooking the archipelago, before a pisco sour made with giant rhubarb picked from the garden.
Puerto Bories, Chilean Patagonia: The Singular Patagonia
Occupying a former cold storage warehouse on a remote fjord, the Singular is an architectural landmark and one of Chile’s most impressive hotels, 5 km from Museo Histórico Municipal and 50 km from Torres del Paine national park. The Hotel occupies a onetime sheep-processing factory, resembling a barn, and guests are required to to walk through intact machine rooms and tannery facilities on their way to their rooms or to dinner. At its height, the plant processed more than 250,000 sheep a year and employed more than 400 people. The employee mercantile was redone as a restaurant and bar, and the vast cold-storage space was completely reimagined into bedrooms. But make no mistake: It’s all very pleasurable. The 57 guest rooms and suites are entirely new construction, with panoramic glass walls, big bathrooms, and some 500 square feet. As you would expect for $600 a night, plush beds, very speedy WiFi, hot water, and all in the middle of nowhere. Pick from treatments in the spa to excursions to treks for a truly Singular experience.
San Pedro de Atacama: Alto Atacama
Atacama, the world’s highest and driest desert, is where you’ll find this haven of cool interiors surrounded by terracotta-coloured mountains. Three kilometres away from town, it is very close to Pukara de Quiot, a pre-Inca fortress. It has been built with materials sourced from the local area in order to blend in as much as possible with its natural surroundings and typical Atacameño building styles.
All of the hotel’s 42 rooms come with a private terrace, star gazers, this one’s for you. Starting from Quitor rooms which fall into the standard room category to Tilo rooms with their own private outdoor showers.
The Puri Spa (using water from glacial snow) and the Caur Restaurant ( sourcing products locally including fruit and vegetables grown on-site) and the environmental sustainability and strong connection with the local culture have put the Alto Atacama in a category of its own.
Colchagua Valley: Lapostolle Residence
Arguably one of the most exclusive and most interesting properties in the Colchagua Valley, approximately an hour and a half out of Santiago. With only 4 suites, looking out over the Apalta vineyards, there is nothing that has not been considered. The main reason to come, of course is the food and the wine. Originally founded in 1994 by Alexandra Marnier Lapostolle (of the French family that are known for Grand Marnier) and Cyril de Bournet, the vineyard itself has been going from strength to strength and, today produces some of the highest quality wines. The main vineyard is called Clos Apalta and it using its four main varietals, Merlot, Cab Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Carmenere, it produces some of Chile’s finest wines. A team of chefs prepares a special menu for each wine, using organic vegetables from the garden and top-quality seasonal products. Biking through the vineyards and trekking the trails of the native forests are a good complement to the activities linked to wine, beginning with a tour and private tasting in the winery.