Atacama Desert, Chile

Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa

Rates from (ex tax)$1,300.00

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (USD1,300.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Natural-born thriller

Setting

Terracotta-coloured valley

Tranquil and remote, boutique stay Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa blends seamlessly with the terracotta-colored Salt Mountains. Wander the gardens of this peaceful getaway, float in your pick of six pools, or have any tensions eased away in the Puri Spa. Adventurous types will love the guided, bilingual excursions through lunar-like landscapes and local ruins. After locally-inspired evening meals, take advantage of clear skies and the on-site observatory for nights spent stargazing, or simply unwind with a pisco by the nightly bonfire.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

One hour-long massage each; GoldSmiths are also welcomed with a glass of champagne and a cheese platter

Facilities

Photos Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa facilities

Need to know

Rooms

42, including 10 suites.

Check–Out

Noon; earliest check-in is 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $1300.00.

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (USD1,300.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates include buffet breakfast. All-inclusive rates also cover round-trip airport transfers, lunch and à la carte dinners (wine and spirits included), transfers to San Pedro de Atacama, open-bar until 11.30pm and use of mountain bikes.

Also

The hotel's gardens were designed by expert botanist Verónica Poblete; you’ll find nearly every type of flora native to the Atacama Desert, including shade trees, fragrant plants and herbs. There’s also an organic garden, used by the restaurant.

At the hotel

Alfresco fire pit; spa with treatment room, steam room, hammam, sauna and hydrotherapy pool; llama corral; yoga and meditation sessions; free WiFi throughout; on-site parking; laundry service. In rooms: minibar, free bottled water, Damana bath products.

Our favourite rooms

We’re partial to the Tilo Suites, with their alfresco showers, sweeping views of the Salt Mountains and lagoon, and spacious sleeping area.

Poolside

The six outdoor pools are dotted around the lush garden. There’s also a Jacuzzi, a pool bar and a bonfire pit nearby for Saturday barbecues. Please note: the pools aren’t supervised by lifeguards.

Spa

Partially sunken Puri Spa is strategically nestled into the centre of Alto Atacama for shade from the hot desert sun. Inside, there’s a hydrotherapy pool, Watsu and mineral water baths, an indoor Jacuzzi, two treatment rooms, a hammam and a steam room. Choose from a well-honed menu of classic treatments, including deep-tissue and Swedish massages that use Weleda and organic Coesam products, or locally-inspired Altiplanic mud wraps and quinoa facials; crank up the romance level with an under-the-stars couple’s massage. After (or between) treatments, relax on the outdoor terrace with chilled water and fresh fruit. The spa is open daily from 9am to 11.30pm.

Packing tips

You’ll want to bring plenty of active wear so you can take full advantage of Alto’s excursions. Remember to throw in the swimming togs and sunblock, too.

Also

One Quitor room has been adapted for wheelchair-users and guests with other mobility issues.

Children

Very welcome; they’ll love the smattering of swimming pools (although parents will need to keep a close eye on little ones), runaround space and llama corral. There are on-loan bikes; excursions aren’t too tiring.

Eco‐friendly

Very. Designed with an eye to minimising energy waste and impact on the environment and maximising natural light, the hotel was built with recycled and eco-friendly materials. Green cleaning and bath products are used, low-flow taps help to conserve water and solar power heats the pools. Alto Atacama also has its own reverse osmosis water and compost plants, vegetable gardens and decorative gardens, where 90 per cent of what grows is native.

Food and Drink

Photos Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa food and drink

Top Table

For the best views, make a beeline for the outdoor dining area.

Dress Code

You can stay casual at Caur; veering towards active wear during the day is acceptable, but steer a bit sharper for dinners.

Hotel restaurant

Caur restaurant is helmed by chef Jaime Cisterna; the menu is influenced by traditional Atacama and Chilean cuisine, with the occasional nod to international dishes. The restaurant works closely with local producers, so most ingredients are sourced nearby, if not from the hotel’s own gardens. Spacious and softly lit, the indoor dining area is warmed by fireplaces in the winter; the outdoor, thatched-roof dining area has dramatic desert views and is cooled by the breeze. Sip on a selection of Chilean wines and try the guanaco meat, hominy grits and lamb stew, or fresh quinoa salads; save room for the refreshing ice-cream, made with rica-rica, a minty local herb. At breakfast, you’ll find a buffet of muesli, quinoa, fresh fruit, yoghurt, pastries and cooked-to-order eggs and bacon.

Hotel bar

Guests have the run of a free open bar, including a selection of eminently sippable Chilean wines. Softly lit, decorated with artwork by local artisans, and dotted with comfy couches and overstuffed chairs, the indoor bar is just the place to curl up in as you work your way through the list. There’s also an outdoor bar by the pools that’s open until the evening and an outdoor lounge space next to the nightly bonfire. Order a minty rica-rica pisco sour or a coca-leaf pisco sour and watch the stars sparkle overhead.

Last orders

Breakfast is available from 7.30am to 10am; lunch is dished up from 1pm to 2.30pm; take your evening meal between 7.30pm and 10pm.

Room service

There’s no room service, but you can raid your free in-room minibar between meals.

Location

Photos Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa location
Address
Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa
Camino Pukara, Suchor, Ayllu de quitor
San Pedro de Atacama
San Pedro de Atacama
Chile

Planes

From Santiago International Airport, hop a two-hour flight to Calama Airport; room rates include return transfers from Calama or Bolivia's Hito Cajon Airport.

Automobiles

San Pedro is seven minutes away by car; there’s on-site parking at the hotel. All-inclusive room rates include return transfers from the border with Bolivia at Hito Cajon.

Other

It’s possible to jet in or out by helicopter or private plane; just ask the hotel for local agencies’ contact details.

Worth getting out of bed for

Rotate between the six swimming pools and soothing Puri Spa. By day, visit the Atacama and Incan ruin sites of Pukará de Quitor (just next door), and at night, make your way to the observatory for first-rate stargazing. Venture further afield with Alto Atacama’s expert-led excursions, one full-day trip or two half-day trips are included in your stay. Adventures include visiting otherworldly Salar de Tara and Salar de Pujsa salt flats or Monjes de la Pacana rock formations, watching the El Tatio geysers do their thing, running down the massive sand dunes in the Valle de Muerte, or taking a moonlit walk (appropriately enough) through the Valley of the Moon. Alternatively, swap one half-day experience for a spa tour: a 'three-course massage experience'.

Reviews

Photos Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this boutique hotel in the Catarpe Valley and unpacked all the bottles of Chilean wine that would fit in their cases, a full account of their luxury break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Alto Atacama in Chile…

Surrounded by a lunar-like landscape and terracotta-coloured mountains, luxury stay Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa is just the place for perfectly remote holidays. With an eco-friendly ethos and a commitment to embracing nature, this boutique getaway is all about engaging in active, guided excursions, learning about the local culture – which, luckily, is heavy on delicious foods, Chilean wines and the inimitable pisco – and unwinding at an impressive altitude. Spend time cooling off under the carob trees or in your pick of the six pools, letting go of any built-up tensions in the organic-centric Puri spa, and watching birds swoop around Lake Tilo. 

The Guestbook

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