What to expect
- Sleep Quality
Last 5 reviews
Don't Just Go to Patagonia
a very nice addition to our Chile-based trip. Several hours (air) from Santiago, easy to get to. Definitely worth 3-4 days to experience the sites, each provied by the Lodge with great drivers and guides.
Complete Luxury in the Desert
We stayed four nights at this fantastic hotel in the Atacama. On arriving at Calama Airport they sent a car to meet us for the transfer to the hotel. I think the journey to the hotel took about 1.5 hours. The hotel is quite near to San Pedro but quite off the beaten track. On arrival we had a warm welcome from the manager Roseo, who was always there if we needed any help or advice. We were on full board, which included drinks as well as breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also included were the many tours around the desert. In places, the Atacama desert is mountainous and the landscape is diverse. There is a lot to see and the Alto Atacama Hotel is a perfect base. We made the most of the trips on offer and a few times had our own guide, Roberto, a local guide who knew everything about the desert. On other occasions we shared with another couple. The food at the hotel was very good indeed. It tasted good and was well presented. The staff were both friendly and professional. Now we are back in the UK my fondest memories of Chile are those of our stay at the Alto Atacama.
At US$ 1500 a night, this hotel is seriously overpriced. In recent months I have stayed at comparably-priced hotels in Iceland and New Zealand, and Alto Atacama is by comparison very deficient in almost every dimension. The guest rooms are ok but not consistent with the price tag. The bathroom has depressing cold-white lighting. My room had no view except of a scrubby (but old and evidently protected) tree. Only a few rooms look out on mud hills or (fewer yet) snow-capped peaks in the far distance. The facilities are limited - a number of small pools, a small spa. For entertainment you have excursions to various sites (included in the All-Inclusive price). These are good and the guides are pleasant, but definitely for the outdoorsy type. Insufficient information is given about how strenuous, even dangerous, some of the excursions are. Small children are allowed. This is unfair to all the other guests, who pay this much so as NOT to have to listen to screaming, whining, quarreling children. My party was subjected to this in the lounge, at every meal, and anywhere near the pools. The management made no effort whatever to contain the annoyance. Some staff are pleasant, some outright rude, ignoring simple requests. Some food was good, but some was tasteless; the Table d’Hote list of choices is short and basically unchanging for an entire week. There are constant demands to know “How are joo today? Are joo having a wonderful time?” This is apparently enough for most Americans to think they are getting good service, but to me it is just annoying, when not matched with real hospitality. When we made a simple request to start lunch 15 minutes early in order not to be late for a spa appointment (their lunch schedule is EXACTLY 1 pm to 2:30), we were flatly refused, showing how much they care about our “wonderful time”. When I had to ask 3 times for mayonnaise, a waitress finally brought out a small mountain of it, a gesture that in almost any Latin culture is the equivalent of giving the finger.
Enjoyed the desert experience greatly. Great staff. Great excursion. Excellent food. The guides we Re wonderful. Enjoyed the geysers and Rainbow Valley. Use the first excursions as easy ones due to the latitude. Geysers great. Early departure. Roads on. Any excursions awful.
Good design, high level of comfort, excellent cooking, fascinating excursions
This is an exceptional hotel in every respect: location; design (built on a single floor with local materials); excursions, and - relatively rare in Chile - first class cooking. The feeling is airy and tranquil: a marvellous absence of raucous and banal 'music' in the dining area, a young and lively staff, and knowledgable guides who accompany the drivers on the excursions offered by the hotel. You can be as formal and informal as you like. The superb weather encourages relaxation, not simply in the private space of one's own room, or own suite. I've only ever stayed in one other hotel (El Torre del Visco, in Spain) which can match it for its combination of elegance, comfort and cuisine with an entire lack of pretentiousness or bling. And the clarity of the stars at night is unparalleled. Highly recommended.
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