Atacama Desert, Chile
Hotel Altiplánico melds seamlessly into the backdrop of Chile's Atacama Desert, placing guests in the very heart of the region's austere natural beauty in view of Licancabur Volcano and the summits of the surrounding Andes. The hotel's architecture, incorporating indigenous design and materials from the local environment, was developed following the concept of "visual silence,"with the eye registering it seamlessly in accord with the immensity of the Atacama Desert. Its features evoke the dwellings of the original inhabitants of the Andean highlands, yet with every amenity to assure the comforts of today. Twenty-nine rooms, each uniquely decorated, are arranged in three semi-circles with cultivated fields in between. Walls are thick and windows small, for insulation from hot summer days and bitter-cold winter nights. Simple, elegant interiors have stucco walls, wood beams and comfortable beds dressed in warm colors. Some rooms even have outdoor showers for extra enjoyment of starry nights and sunny days. The excellent restaurant on site serves menus derived from Peruvian, Chilean and Atacameñan inspiration, and dishes frequently highlight local ingredients including quinoa, purple potatoes, scallops, chañar and Indian corn. A cozy bar and refreshing outdoor swimming pool invite relaxation after full days touring the desert environs.