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Kunza Hotel and Spa, San Pedro de Atacama 

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Ayllu de Yaye
San Pedro de Atacama
Tel: 56 2 246 8635
Tel: 56 2 246 8636
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From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
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.—2009 Hot List

When to go: Constantly changing lights make the Atacama's winter (July-Sept.) its most dramatic season.

Which room to book: For convenience, ask for a room near the restaurant.

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