Quite a few gorgeous Patagonian retreats have been opening recently and Chile has see quite a few notable new intimate luxury hotels coming onto the scene. The latest to debut (opened in October 2014) is Hacienda Hotel Vira Vira, located in a beautiful area near Pucon.
The scenery is the star here, with stunning views of a conical volcano mountain and a lagoon in front of the hotel. You don’t just admire the hills and trails from afar though. This is an all-inclusive in the mold of other great Patagonia adventure lodges, not in the mold of a “lie around on a beach chair” type. You meet with the head guide soon after arrival to plan out what works best for your interests and what’s available that time of year.
Excursions are carried out in groups, and the list of daily activities varies by season. It could be skiing, snow–shoeing on a volcano, or husky sledding in winter (June to September). In summer, you would choose from hiking, mountain biking, horse riding, fly–fishing, kayaking, and sailing. There are also city tours, thermal pool visits, and the full–day challenge of climbing Volcano Villarica.
It’s a treat to return though, of course, with rustic luxury rooms made from local wood and outfitted with regional wall hangings and rugs. The 12 villa rooms each have their own outdoor hot tub and a wood-burning fireplace inside. Other hot tubs are dotted around the grounds for guests to gather for a sundowner or a soak under the stars.
The hotel is run by Swiss owners, so taking care of guests and ensuring there’s good food and drink on hand seem to come naturally. Much of what’s served grows locally on the farm or is produced there, including the cheese and eggs. The the Chilean wine selection is extensive, with more than 1,000 bottles stored here from well-known names and more obscure small producers.
With just 23 units total, there is plenty of personalized attention and the spacing of buildings in separate sections ensures a sense of solitude and privacy. The Pucon area is a gem that hasn’t had a true luxury hotel to bring in discerning foreign guests, so Vira Vira should open a new chapter in Chilean Tourism for this soft adventure destination.
See our full review of Hotel Vira Vira in Pucon, Chile.