What more proof could you need that hospitality is about knowledge, not real estate, than the fact that seemingly everyone who opens a hotel in the Atacama immediately goes and sets up shop in Patagonia’s Torres del Paine national park — and vice versa? Here the folks behind the Tablet favorite Awasi in Atacama are back for more, having traded otherworldly desert landscapes for, well, otherworldly mountain landscapes, and the results, as you might imagine, are more than satisfactory.
Then again, given the setting, it’d be hard not to be extraordinary. A cardboard box with a hole cut in it, through which you could look at those jagged peaks, would probably be booked weeks in advance. Suffice it to say Awasi goes quite a bit further than that. If anything, the look is almost Nordic in comparison with its desert incarnation, or whatever the Chilean Patagonian equivalent of Nordic is — surely not Nordic. But with the blond wood, the geometric forms, the low, polar light — you get the idea.
In fact when it comes to describing a place like this, it’s almost enough simply to say yes, you should go. The twelve villas are humble, almost minimal, when viewed from the outside, and from the inside they’re simply extraordinary, a 50/50 blend of rustic charm and modern gloss, with just the right amount of luxury — total comfort, zero extravagance. Hot tubs and wood-burning stoves are essential in the colder months, and while the design is thoughtful, the eye is always drawn outwards; what interior designer would dream of trying to compete with the natural view?
What sets it truly apart, however, is the personal touch. You’re given not a menu of activities or a suggested itinerary but a 4x4 and a private guide, so your excursions are truly custom-designed, and tailored for your tastes (and risk tolerance, presumably). And when you’re done for the day, it’s back to Awasi’s kitchen for an extremely cultivated bite of something or other made from the local flora and fauna, as well as a glassful of wine, Chilean or otherwise. Not the sort of place that exactly demands an aggressive sales pitch, is it?
Text Courtesy of Tablet Hotels