Chile is a country in South America that it is longer than it is wide. It makes up for the lack of breadth with stunning scenery: the Andes Mountains on its east and the Pacific Ocean on its west. Add to this mix llamas, a couple of rainforests and deserts. And the best part is you’ll find some pretty unique hotels in Chile, whether they be in remote areas or big cities, that will enhance your enjoyment of this South American country.
Located in Torres del Paine National Park, Ecocamp Patagonia is a fully sustainable hotel. With a philosophy centered on green technology, Ecocamp is a place to connect with nature, not the Internet. Ecocamp was the first in the world to use geodesic domes for accommodations because the domes stand up to strong Patagonian winds. Standard domes have shared bathrooms and no heat; suites are more luxurious with heating and private bathrooms. Activities include hiking, horseback riding, glacier tours and enjoying the scenery.
The Hacienda Tres Lagos may be situated in a remote location and its accommodations rustic, but the scenery is great. The boutique hotel’s name translates as ‘three lakes,” appropriate since it is located between three lakes (General Carrera, Bertrand and Negro) in the Aisén of Patagonia. Rooms have wood-covered walls and floors, with balconies or terraces where you can enjoy the view. The beachfront lodge offers satellite phone and Internet access. The hotel is closed now for upgrades but is expected to reopen in April 2017.
The Tierra Atacama Hotel & Spa blends relaxation and history into its stunning setting at San Pedro de Atacama. The hotel faces Licancabur Volcano, but other views from the hotel are just as stunning. The hotel is located on an historic spot on the edge of the desert. It’s the place where cattlemen rested their herds after crossing the rugged Andes; indeed, some of the ancient adobe from the corral is incorporated into the hotel’s entrance.
No surprise here: The Ritz-Carlton in Santiago is one of Chile’s most luxurious hotels. The Ritz-Carlton is located in El Golf, one of the capital’s most prestigious neighborhoods. You can enjoy views of both the Pacific Ocean and the Andes Mountains or relax in the roof-top spa and health center. Guests say staff and service is impeccable, but think the hotel itself is a little dated. If one of the hotel’s five restaurants doesn’t appeal to you, more choices are within walking distance.
Have you ever wanted to stay in a tree house or maybe a volcano? You can do both at the Huilo Huilo Montana Magica Lodge in the southern Andes. The hotel, set amidst a rainforest, is shaped like a volcano, spewing water instead of lava, and is covered in moss and other vegetation. At day’s end, you can relax in a hot tub carved out of a huge tree. Oh, access to the lodge is by a rope bridge.
Portillo is the oldest and most famous ski resort in South America, with the Portillo Hotel one of its most famous lodges. The hotel’s bright yellow building stands out against the backdrop of the rugged snow-covered Andes Mountains. Situated on Inca Lake, the hotel offers both traditional rooms and chalets. If you’re a shopper this might not be the place for you since there’s no shopping centers nearby, but if you’re a skier, you only need step outside the door.
Inspiring guests to appreciate nature and native cultures is what makes the Alto Atacama Desert Lodge tick. To this end, it offers 30 outings to geysers, terrain and native villages of the Atacama Desert, the driest non-polar desert in the world, and which may be one of the oldest, too, since it dates back 3 million years. The lodge’s architecture blends seamlessly into the desert terrain. Some rooms have outdoor showers; all have touches of luxury.
When fashion, design and a bustling social life matter, Hotel W Santiago is the place to stay. This upscale hotel in Santiago, Chile’s capital and largest city, will appeal to the hip, luxury-seeking traveler. It’s considered the trendiest spot in the city, with its sleek design and stunning views of Santiago. One of the best places to enjoy the view is from the heated rooftop lap pool. After a day of sightseeing, this is the place to be at sunset. Located in the fashionable El Golf neighborhood, W Santiago is close to downtown and historic attractions.
The San Alfonso del Mar is an innovative seaside resort, with the world’s largest swimming pool. The huge pool is more than 1,000 meters (3,300 feet) long and is filled with 66 million gallons of treated seawater from the Pacific Ocean. The beach is on one side the pool, the multi-tiered buildings of the Algarrobo resort on the other. The resort rents two- to four-bedroom apartments, making this an ideal accommodation for families or several couples traveling together.
Hotel Astronomico Elqui Domos in Chile’s Coquimbo region is a good place to see the stars come out at night. Accommodations are in tent-grade canvas-covered geodesic domes with retractable roofs so you can lie in bed and observe stars in the Southern Hemisphere skies. Some cabins even have their own observatories, while a major observatory with high-powered telescopes is located in the main building. Due to its remote location, public transportation is available but limited.
The Explora Patagonia at Salto Chico will appeal to the outdoors adventurer in you. The hotel, located in Torres del Paine National Park, offers more than 50 guided hikes and horseback rides to keep you on the go. The luxury hotel itself is a gleaming white building on the shores of Lake Pehoe, considered one of the world’s most beautiful lakes. Stunning views of the lake, glaciers and mountainous terrain coming right up!