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Santiago: Chile’s Comeback City

By Rocky Casale

Apr 3, 2012

From the May/June 2012 issue

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Photo by Oliver Maugis.

More visitors are heading to Santiago every day as the capital rebuilds to a bigger and better city.

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As anxiety from the 2010 earthquake ebbs, Chile is rebuilding its capital bigger and better. Such creative enclaves as Barrio Italia have become hives for galleries and design studios, and the wineries just outside Santiago are turning more heads toward Chile every day.

Made in Mimbre, Santiago, Chile

A project of Santiago design company the Andes House, Made in Mimbre has transformed an old Chilean craft into high-style light fixtures and furniture. Artisans in the neighboring village of Chimbarongo hand-weave mimbre (wicker) into Asian-inspired lamp shades, minimalist side tables, and unique magazine racks, such as this x-shaped stand.

W Hotel, Santiago, Chile

The 196-room W Santiago, which opened in 2009, was designed to emphasize the surrounding landscape. That applies especially to the 21st-floor rooftop pool area, where guests can enjoy views of Santiago and the Andes while slurping oysters and sipping pisco sours served in champagne glasses.

Bloc Art Gallery, Santiago, Chile

A new collective of young artists has repurposed an old bread factory in the Barrio Italia district into a lofty workspace called Bloc. When resident artists aren’t creating provocative, politically charged works, they’re hosting art courses, documentary film screenings, and raucous neighborhood parties.

Lastarria Hotel, Santiago, Chile

The family-owned Lastarria Hotel occupies a restored 1920s French colonial home in the lively Lastarria district. Request a room with a balcony so you can people-watch into the evening before sampling cold cuts on the restaurant’s candlelit patio.

>> Next: The AFAR Guide to Santiago

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