We don’t do much celebrity worship on Luxury Latin America. There’s plenty of that already on TV and in magazines. When the first guests of a hotel we’ve reviewed are the likes of Antonio Banderas, Gabriel Byrne, and Juliette Binoche though, that’s notable. Especially when Hotel Wara is in the desert in Chile and the cast stayed there for a month and a half.
After all that, it’s safe to say the staff is capable of providing good service to less famous you, after dealing with Hollywood-style demands from the get-go.
This is also not the hotel manager’s first crack at this kind of hospitality.
If Wara looks somehow familiar, that’s because the owner, Susana Aránguiz, was the designer behind Awasi Atacama up in San Pedro. Like a drink made with similar ingredients, Wara and Awasi have a certain look and feel in common. The difference is that at Wara, Susana is not only the designer, but the architect, builder, landscaper and manager.
You can expect the same kind of desert-chic design that looks casual, but where every element was carefully planned. Native plants and crafts are abundant outside the adobe walls, with pops of color adding life to a bone-dry landscape that can seem threatening and lifeless. The large blue swimming pool is where many guests will be during the day, but the resort will arrange desert picnics and excursions for exploration with local tour companies. The Pacific beaches are not far away and there are some lesser-known vineyards near the Andes Mountains in the other direction.
There are just seven rooms, each with a private garden, huge bathroom, and fireplace. Guests often gravitate to the spacious lounge with its always lit fireplace and the well-regarded restaurant serving up plenty of fresh seafood from the nearby coast. This being Chile, you can expect a good wine selection as well.
The property is located in Copiapó, which is not a place that even most Chileans could find on a map. It shares some characteristics with the landscapes around San Pedro de Atacama in the same region, but without the hordes of travelers you share it with there. It’s also just an hour and a half from the airport. If you’re looking for a luxury excursion in a stark landscape where you can unwind without the crowds, put this one on your short list for Chile.
See our full review of Hotel Wara in northern Chile.