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Chile Hotels

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Alerce Mountain Lodge
Carretera Austral, Km 36
Alerce Andino National Park
Chile
Tel: 56 65 286969
www.mountainlodge.cl

Many Patagonian lodges fall within the hard-to-get-to-but-utterly-worth-it category, including this one, set on the border of a national park named for the 4,000-year-old redwoodlike alerce trees. But while its location may qualify as the Unabomber's ultimate fantasy, it's actually (relatively) easy to access. It's 90 minutes by off-road vehicle from Puerto Montt, the unofficial gateway to Patagonia—so if you only have a few days in the area (shame on you!), this is the place. It's still not easy: The roads are bumpy and the final stretch is on a raft across a small lake. The main structure, with six rooms, is constructed from the same 240-foot alerces you'll see outside the floor-to-ceiling windows, and public areas are warmed by a converted steam-train furnace. Three outlying cabins are connected by a network of catwalks—guests stutter-step to the main house for meals. You'll need at least two nights to make it worthwhile, but your days will be spent hiking past waterfalls to peaks carpeted with coigüe and mañío trees, or driving down to a nearby rodeo for a rowdy get-together with Chile's huaso cowboys (October–April). The chef produces inventive local fare; the guides are knowledgeable and entertaining; and sore muscles can be rejuvenated in the sauna and hot tub.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
The Aubrey
299–317 Constitución
Bellavista
Santiago
Chile
Tel: 56 2 940 28 00
www.theaubrey.com

Built in the bohemian barrio of Bellavista, the 15-room Aubrey was once the patrician home of a Chilean railway magnate. The 1927 mansion retains its terra-cotta roofs, overhanging eaves, and exposed beams, but a lengthy restoration by two former London bankers has seen its austere wood paneling and heavy beams brightened by wingback chairs, crystal chandeliers, and fresh flowers. Many of the spacious rooms have a balcony, a private patio, or original parquet flooring, and all are soundproofed and slickly furnished with Tom Dixon lamps, leather chairs by Chile's Santiago Valdés, and mosaic-tiled walls. Outside, water cascades from stone arches in the cobbled, fern-filled courtyard, where award-winning Valparaiso caterers Pasta e Vino serve well-prepared Italian dishes, Ionic columns edge a heated outdoor pool, and two turreted towers (one kitted out for massages, the second housing a DJ booth for the occasional party) overlook a garden of royal palm, acacia, and jasmine that sprawls up the lower slopes of 2,800-foot Cerro San Cristobal. Amiable staff smooth travel pains by pressing a couple of shirts at no charge upon arrival; bikes are available for scooting around Bellavista or exploring the Parque Metropolitano, next door.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Awasi
Tocopilla 4
San Pedro de Atacama
Chile
Tel: 56 2 233 96 41
awasi.cl

Unlike Explora, the larger and more famous resort down the road, Awasi is compact in size, with just eight cottages and a cozy circular layout that encourages you to mingle with others as well as steal away to secluded spots with plump white sofas set off by colorful Andean textiles. Rose-colored adobe walls, rough-hewn wood ceilings, and roofs of native grasses complement the stone floors throughout the property, and the bar is made of rocks culled from local rivers. You can quell the noonday heat of the Atacama Desert in the compact courtyard pool and then the evening chill around fireplaces while wrapped in an alpaca throw provided by the staff. Meals are simple but tasty, such as salmon grilled on an open spit or a salad of olives, tomatoes, and goat cheese, all prepared in an open kitchen.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Bahía Mala
Near Isla Magdalena
West of La Junta
Chile
Tel: 54 11 4311 1919 (reservations)
www.burcoadventure.com/bahiamala_en.html

Much of Chile's southern coast looks like somebody crumbled up crackers and dropped them into the sea. Bahía Mala is situated among that fragmented landscape south of Puerto Montt. You take a helicopter in—not extravagant behavior, since there's no road access and the alternatives are boat or raft. The lodge itself is restrained, with four guest cabins that lord over three miles of private beach (a volcanic combo of black sand and dunes) and overlook a Pacific bay churning with dolphins, orcas, and sea lions. (Now you see why it's worth the bother.) To the east, thousands of acres of jungle are laced with waterfalls, streams, and saltwater lakes and guard the only access to the volcano that towers over the property. Fly-fish on private reaches of Río Bahía Mala or take the lodge's boat to cast at sea. Mountain bikes and sea kayaks are on hand, along with a stable of excellent horses. Included in the price are gourmet food, unlimited alcohol, and all the toys—except that chopper, which is also on call for heli-fishing trips.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Clos Apalta Winery & Exclusive Guest House
Santa Cruz
Chile
Tel: 56 72 321803
closapalta.cl/lodging

French vintner Alexandra Marnier Lapostolle has unveiled a state-of-the-art winery for her Clos Apalta premium wine in the sierra above her Casa Lapostolle vineyard, with a lodge and four 1,000-square-foot guest casitas arrayed on a forested hillside. Each is roofed in indigenous rauli wood, with 25-foot ceilings, beds dressed in Egyptian cotton and Cambodian silk, walk-in closets, vast bathrooms containing L'Occitane toiletries, a hot tub for two overlooking the Apalta Valley, and a terrace with more valley views. Guests can tour the vineyard on horseback or browse the nineteenth-century books in the library when not enjoying the mountain-backed scenery or eating baked oysters and local salmon, served on Limoges china in the stylish dining room. Staff well-versed in Chile's wine and food heritage provide unobtrusive service, while in-room massages, winery tours, and a fridge filled with Veuve Clicquot and Clos Apalta Premium Cuvée are included in the price.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Explora en Rapa Nui
Te Miro Oone Sector
Easter Island
Chile
Tel: 866 750 6699
www.explora.com/rapa-nui_theplace.php

Co-owned by Explora and the prominent islander whose name it bears, Explora en Rapa Nui is unquestionably the swishest place on this volcanic island marooned some 2,300 miles west of Chile, and as with Explora's other properties, the building itself is the real star: Its black- and blond-wood exterior follows the folds of the earth, a repeated oval motif riffing on traditional islander design. Picture windows dominate the 30 ample rooms, which are pleasingly clad in unfinished wood and shocking splashes of lime. Located three miles from Hanga Roa, the only town, the hotel fronts a broad vista of feisty Pacific surf and uninhabited grassland that rises to impressive volcanic cones, while the nearest of the island's 887 mysterious moai rock sculptures are within walking distance. Explora insists guests stay at least three days, but the time zips effortlessly by in the company of garrulous islander staff and twice-daily walks to jagged cliffs, labyrinthine caves, yawning craters, and sandy coves, passing enough moai to last most guests a lifetime.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel CostAustralis
Pedro Montt 262
Puerto Natales
Chile
Tel: 56 61 412 000
www.hoteles-australis.com/html/ingles.asp

Accommodation within Torres del Paine national park is limited to two extremes: the big-price Explora resort or a tent. To find shelter from Patagonia's fickle weather without a big hotel bill, one possibility is to spend part of the time in Puerto Natales and drive the 90-some miles to the park (it's a three-hour drive, though, so you might still want that tent part of the time). Hotel CostAustralis is on Natales's waterfront, and while it's no cozy boutique, its 74 spacious rooms (many with ocean views) are a good value. The hotel's peaked chalet roofs look pilfered from Disney's Magic Kingdom, but the view overlooking Last Hope Sound is superb. Extra points for its restaurant, Paine, with sautéed king crabs directly from the ocean, succulent lamb cuts, and Patagonian specialties such as conger eel, hare stew, and roasted salmon served with a shellfish sauce.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Hotel José Nogueira
Bories 959
Punta Arenas
Chile
Tel: 56 61 711 000
www.hotelnogueira.com

Because it's so darn hard to get around this part of the world, airports are a big deal. (After spending hours in the back of a 4X4 or in a violently rocking ship, you'll understand why.) Which is why the city of Punta Arenas is important to travelers: It serves as a midpoint between the northerly Torres del Paine and Tierra del Fuego farther south. If you're traveling that far down, you'll likely be staying a night or two here, for which we suggest this property. The former residence of a rich family that made its profits on wool in the 1800s, the brick edifice on the central Plaza de Armas was completed in 1890. The family filled it with Europe's finest lamps, curtains, carriage clocks, and other adornments. Declared a national monument in 1982, it opened ten years later as a 22-room hotel, and is still crammed with much of the original furniture. The Old World elegance and comfort contrast nicely with the rough-and-tumble treatment you're likely to get on the rest of your trip. The elegance extends to the Club de la Unión bar and the glass-domed Pérgola restaurant, arrayed around an indoor winter garden. And although it's more about overstuffed furniture than modern amenities, it does have Wi-Fi in the lobby.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Hotel Salto Chico, Explora en Patagonia
Lago Pehoé
Torres del Paine National Park
Chile
Tel: 56 2 206 6060
www.explora.com

No life list is complete without a visit to Torres del Paine National Park. The Explora Group's aim is exactly that: to make this inaccessible area accessible to the average (moneyed) traveler who neither wants to rough it nor is a super-athlete who's able to sprint up mountains. The group upset nature purists in 1993 when it laid the foundations to Hotel Salto Chico on the shore of Lake Pehoé, bang in the center of the park. The idea of a luxury lodge with true First World amenities and great food was unheard of in the region. (Explora's other properties are in the northern Chilean desert of Atacama and on Easter Island.) Daytime activities range from hikes that begin directly from the hotel, horseback or mountain bike rides, or boating on Lake Pehoé. Everyone returns at the end of the day to indulge in local meats such as slow-roasted lamb, fresh ceviche, and wines picked by the Chilean hotel owner. The property itself, with 50 rooms, is a boxy and modernist-looking structure whose wooden-planked exterior blends into the background. The interior uses a mix of local lenga wood, cypress, and slate, and clever lighting and glass that provide peerless views of the park's totemic granite skewers, the Torres del Paine. Rates include transfers from the Punta Arenas airport (be warned—it's around a five-hour drive along bumpy roads), all food, and unlimited use of guides, vehicles, boats, and horses.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Kunza Hotel and Spa
Ayllu de Yaye
San Pedro de Atacama
Chile
Tel: 56 2 246 8635
Tel: 56 2 246 8636
www.hotelkunza.cl

This stylish newcomer practices local traditions: Its one-story buildings are clad in rough-hewn local stone and its water is drawn from a well. Unique among its upmarket competitors, it sprawls over 15 acres at the oasis village's edge, a plot so extensive that electric carts shuttle guests from the alfresco lounge and rustic bar to the 60 rooms, each with a private terrace opening to Volcán Licancabur. Guests venture out to marvel at the Atacama's geysers and gorges, salt cathedrals, and flamingo-packed lakes; a team of knowledgeable in-house guides—and numerous four-by-fours, bikes, and horses—allow forays to be planned at a moment's notice. At dusk, guests, warmed by logs burning in open grates, sip pisco sours beneath carob and pepper trees before dining on quinoa and charqui (and the occasional air-freighted truffle), before the vivid Milky Way—and a 500-yard string of torches—guide them to bed.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Le Rêve Boutique Hotel
203 Orrego Luco
Providencia
Santiago
Chile
Tel: 56 2 757 6011
reservas@lerevehotel.cl
lerevehotel.cl

The kind of cozy, genteel guesthouse designed to please a finicky mother-in-law, Le Rêve sits amid the embassies and private mansions on a quiet street off the bustling Avenue Providencia. Sister property to the business-oriented Hotel Plaza San Francisco, it's only a 15-minute stroll to boutiques in Santiago's colonial heart for shopping, or a short cab ride to the upscale Vitacura and Las Condes restaurants for dinner. The four-story town house has a Parisian facade of beige stucco with shutters and wrought-iron railings, and plushly papered corridors with etchings of formal French gardens. The 31 rooms continue the Gallic theme with a penchant for ornamentation: gilt-framed botanical prints, bronze curtain pommels, velvet-and-suede bedcovers, and enough pleated rope, tassels, and adornments to start your own shop. A large sitting room doubles as a breakfast area, adorned with mirrors, porcelain and chinoiserie. Its French windows open onto a pebbled courtyard shaded by a centennial avocado tree, where afternoon tea is served.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Palafito 1326
1326 Ernesto Riquelme
Palafitos de Gamboa
Castro , Chiloé Island
Chile
Tel: 56 65 530 053
reserva@palafito1326.cl
www.palafito1326.cl

Built among the humble homes of fishermen and craftsmen, this unique 12-room charmer is a modern interpretation of the palafito—a stilted wood house that is a symbol of the unspoiled Chiloé archipelago in southern Chile. Recycled larch shingles and hand-carved doors from the original building complement the traditional wool Chilote blankets and decorative carvings and sculptures. Arrays of windows deliver ample light as well as views of Castro, the capital of Chiloé Province, and its bay, a popular hangout for black-neck swans and kingfishers. Service is simple—just a single attendant at the front desk—but is ultimately forgivable as he or she is ready to stoke the communal fireplace or help you scout out the opening times of Chiloé's UNESCO World Heritage wood-shingle churches.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Remota
Ruta 9 Norte
Puerto Natales
Chile
Tel: 56 2 387 1500
remota.cl

The pretty Patagonian fishing village of Puerto Natales—skuas, petrels, and albatross whirling overhead—is isolated from the rest of Chile by fjords, canals, and inlets, with the peaks of the Torres del Paine park visible just over 40 miles away. Amid this ode to nature, iconoclastic Chilean architect Germàn del Sol has threaded a group of severe edifices, their blackened wood-and-felt exteriors echoing the basalt strata of the Torres del Paine massif: Weight-bearing spars are vertically skewed, giant ventilation shafts protrude, windows are jagged-cut. The 72 ample-sized guest rooms, done in slate and untreated wood with vibrant sunflower-yellow accents, are in structures that zigzag with the sloping ground. A factory-sized building houses the lobby, reading rooms, and restaurant (locally caught seafood is a specialty). The impressive spa includes two ten-person saunas and an infinity pool that reflects Patagonia's constantly changing skies.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Ritz-Carlton, Santiago
15 Calle El Alcalde
Santiago
Chile
Tel: 56 2 470 8500
Fax: 56 2 470 8501
www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/Santiago/Default.htm

Surrounded by "amazing restaurants and shopping" in El Golf, this red tower has a spa with floor-to-ceiling windows; you can unwind in the rooftop hot tubs "while sipping champagne or Chilean wine delivered by staff who bend over backward for guests." "Sumptuously furnished interiors" use European fabrics and crystal lamps. Adra, replete with marble and lapis lazuli, serves Mediterranean.

(205 rooms)

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Terra Luna Lodge
Camino Chile Chico, Km 1.5
Puerto Guadal
Chile
Tel: 56 2 235 1519
www.terra-luna.cl

This inland lodge sits on the shores of a beautiful lake, Lago General Carrera. Nearby is an immense ice field, the Campos de Hielo Norte, and 13,300-foot Mount San Valentin. We'd say that the Terra Luna Lodge gets full points for location, but, well, don't they all? But we do love this property: Guests have the choice of the main lodge with four "apartments" (two bedrooms and a living room), several separate bungalows, or a stand-alone house. In the heat of summer, it's an ideal setting to put down your travel-jostled bones and muse, Thoreau-like, on nature as you take in the views of the glacier-fed turquoise lake and the ice-carved peaks. Enterprising guests can fish the trout-rich Río Baker or buzz the northern ice field in a small plane, and by night sip a Pisco Sour while frolicking in the waterside hot tub. You can also drive west from the lodge for 30 miles to a knoll where the dense forests of lenga and arrayán open to afford an uninterrupted vista of Mount San Valentín.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Tierra Atacama Hotel & Spa
San Pedro de Atacama
Chile
Tel: 800 829 5325
reservas@tierraatacama.com
www.tierraatacama.com

Tierra Atacama aims to pamper guests without harming the terrain of this high-altitude oasis. Desert breezes cool the adobe-and-stone buildings, and water is drawn from a well. The 32 rooms feature alfresco showers and floors made with crushed seashells; some have four-poster beds and open onto patios roofed with bamboo. Gardeners tend to ten acres of native quinoa, corn, and herbs fertilized by compost, irrigated by snowmelt, and ultimately used in the kitchen. The service at the hotel is personalized and warm—staff surprise birthday-celebrating guests with cake and champagne. Those on all-inclusive packages can summit volcanoes, visit flamingo-filled salt lakes, or explore flora-carpeted canyons. The less energetic get little farther than the imaginative spa, the bar fashioned from recycled oak railroad ties, and the cushion-scattered terrace, where flaming torches ward off the evening chill.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
W Santiago
3000 Isidora Goyenechea
Santiago
Chile
Tel: 56 2 770 0000
Fax: 56 2 770 0001
www.starwoodhotels.com/whotels/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=1979

In a glass-and-steel tower in the capital's spotless Las Condes district, the 196-room W (the brand's first foray into Latin America) owes its tinselly visual appeal to New York designer Tony Chi (whose CV includes Shanghai's Park Hyatt, on last year's Hot List). Chi has transformed a whopping chunk of office space with frosted-glass and taffeta partitions, perspective-teasing alpaca ceilings and mirrored walls, and a treasure trove of decorative objects. The pièce de résistance, Whiskey Blue—a cavernous room paneled in copper and stacked with wine bottles—is so showy that even Santiago's moneyed classes swoon as they sprawl languorously in its plush banquettes. Design is paramount in the ample rooms, too, where floor-to-ceiling windows, fabric-paneled walls, angular furniture, and a plethora of gadgets underscore a masculine sensibility. Personable, resourceful staff provide switched-on service (a bellboy obtained last-minute tickets to a sporting event), but the W's hefty surcharges are irritating: Phone and in-room Wi-Fi come at a price. What's worth every penny is the restaurant NoSo, where executive chef Jean-Paul Bondoux (known for his La Bourgogne eateries in Argentina and Uruguay) applies French techniques to Chile's Pacific sea urchins, abalone, and hake.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.