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Awasi at the End of the World

December 3, 2015 by Michael Eiseman divider image
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There is, perhaps, no better place in the world for the true nomads amongst us to experience such a diverse range of landscapes, habitats and ecosystems as in the Republic of Chile. A long narrow country (the longest north-south in the world, in fact), poised along much of the western coastline of South America, Chile boasts Andean mountain ranges, bustling metropolises, Neo Classical architecture, indigenous villages, mysterious moai on Rapa Nui, glistening beaches and, of course, the Atacama Desert and the End of the World— Patagonia. It also is one of the most prosperous and stable nations in all of South America, making it an ideal locale to spend some time exploring all the truly unique regions within its borders.

No one knows this better than the team behind the privately held Relais & Chateaux Awasi hotel group. One of the first VIP luxury hoteliers in the region, they provide “the joy of tailor-made” to guests in Southern Chilean Patagonia at Awasi Patagonia in Torres del Paine park and much farther north in the driest place on Earth, the Atacama desert, at Awasi Atacama.

At both properties, guests will enjoy personalized service and 100 percent private excursions adapted to each individual’s desires. You’ll even get your very own 4WD vehicle and guide for each villa so you can feel free to venture out at your own pace and are sure to experience everything on your bucket list…so long as the weather cooperates! All rates include accommodation in a private villa, all private transfers, meals and beverages (including alcohol), private excursions and a guarantee of tailor-made service.

ATACAMA

Hidden inside an ancient site and surrounded by an historic wall, Awasi Atacama is situated just a few steps from the center of San Pedro de Atacama town, making it easy to experience local life and get to know the people in what is considered the cultural cradle and archeological capital of Chile. Inside the wall you’ll find a shared living room, restaurant and bar, pool and five large circular guest rooms. Across a small street, lie the three remaining rectangular guest rooms, as well as the reception area and a large patio.

With only eight total rooms, constructed with respect for the natural surroundings in the traditional adobe, stone and wood with thatch roofs, the hotel exudes a romance and intimacy where guests can relax in privacy in spacious indoor comfort or on private open-air patios with showers and solariums. Join the other guests poolside by day or stroll into town to visit the museum, the church, the market or a number of locally-owned shops. Once back at the hotel, dine at the exclusive Awasi restaurant under the sophisticated menu of head chef Juan Pablo Mardones before enjoying an evening under the stars by firelight (this is one of the best spots to stargaze in the world).

While the hotel itself is simply extraordinary and the dedicated team will quietly and unobtrusively see to your every need and desire, the real stunner here is the magnificent surroundings— and the hotel knows it! They encourage all guests to discover the desert on individually-designed tailor-made outings created especially with you in mind. Choose from half- or full-day trips that inspire learning, keep traditions alive and foster responsible tourism in a region that has been populated by indigenous groups for as much as 11,000 years.

Within easy distance, you’ll find volcanoes, mountain ranges, salt flats, shimmering lagoons, marshes, geysers and thermal pools and a wide variety of flora and fauna, including vicunas, llamas, flamingos, lizards, fox and more.  Explore it all on foot, horseback or bicycle or via that private 4WD car, but be mindful that desert climates are unpredictable and often experience marked fluctuations between day and night. There’s no one better to advise than your guide.

PATAGONIA

Once you’ve experienced the driest place on Earth, why not head south to the end of the Earth in Chilean Patagonia? Nestled inside a private reserve bordering the simply staggering Torres del Paine National Park, the Awasi Patagonia offers imposing views of Lake Sarmiento and the mountain peaks that will have you questioning whether you could possibly still be in the same country as at Atacama. With a more lodge-like ambiance but still constructed in a way that ensures privacy and the protection of the natural surroundings, you’ll find only 11 private villas and one two-bedroom master villa within the Awasi reserve, as well as a main house offering a restaurant, bar, lounges and reception.

Each of the private villas has been individually designed and laid out with unique characteristics amongst the rugged terrain. Some are as close to the main house as 160 feet, while others are as far away as 1,300 feet. Guests can walk back and forth or request a ride from the hotel staff, but you’ll always be as at one with the wilds of Patagonia as you choose to be. Here, tucked into the natural forest, everything seems larger than life and provides a constant source of wonderment and awe.

In Patagonia, a place virtually unchanged across hundreds of years, each new visitor is an explorer through massive glaciers and glacial turquoise lakes, expansive forests, immense ice flows, dazzling mountains and a feeling of infinite connection to the world beneath your feet. It is wild, vast and one of the truly spectacular places in the world that simply takes your breath away. Private excursions through this remote territory grant unparalleled access to the region’s wildlife, including 120 bird species, 25 mammals (including the giant condor and elusive puma) and 272 plant species, which you can explore on foot, bicycle, horseback or via kayak or car.

Back at the lodge, delight your palate with a meal in the exclusive restaurant featuring Patagonian cuisine by chef Frederico Ziegler or relax fireside in one of the inviting lounges and peer at the awe-inspiring natural landscape from the cozy comfort of a plush lounger. Although Awasi Patagonia is one of the most opulent and warm lodges in the world, any trip to Patagonia should be categorized as adventure travel. Part of the experience here is the intense and unpredictable climate, and you should be prepared for sun, rain, wind and snow regardless of the season you plan to visit.

Whether you’d like to visit one or both of the Chilean Awasi properties, we can help you customize a dream getaway to Awasi Atacama, Awasi Patagonia or both! Call us today to get started on your trip to the end of the world!


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