Built in the 1920s by a Croatian businessman, Palacio Astoreca underwent two years of refurbishment and restoration before opening its doors as a boutique hotel in 2012. The work was carried out to a meticulous degree, maintaining the original parquet floors, and adding splashes of color with art deco furniture and modern art, including one piece by Switzerland’s Frédéric Clot. The stucco-and-brick mansion rises up from the streets of Chile’s port city, Valparaiso, like a piece of red-and-white confectionary.
A statement staircase winds up to the 23 rooms, some of which have stand-alone bathtubs. And the basement level is home to a small spa with an open-air, wood-fueled hot tub set alongside a living wall. The reception level and entrance hall open out onto a terrace where lunch, tea, and cocktails are served, allowing guests prime views over the hilly city and Pacific Ocean. There are quiet corners for those seeking a solitary moment, including a library and a piano bar, which comes to life in the evenings with live music.
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Just 90 minutes from the capital, the UNESCO World Heritage city of Valparaiso is famous for its street art and 100-year-old city elevators. More than 40 hills, or cerros, define the city’s various neighborhoods. Palacio Astoreca takes pride of place on Cerro Alegre, the most gentle of all the hills. The nearby Paseo Yugoslavo is home to the green copper turrets of Palacio Baburizza, a former family home turned art gallery. From Cerro Alegre (once known as the Yugoslavian Quarter), you can easily wander across to the British Quarter, known as Cerro Concepción. Here Atkinson Street will take you to the Ascensor Reina Victoria, a funicular that carries locals and tourists up and down the steep city hills.
Need to Know
Rooms: 23 rooms, from $261. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: Chilean chef Francisco Araya takes the helm at Palacio Astoreca’s restaurant Alegre. The menu is inspired by local folklore and incorporates produce from Chile’s Central Valley, as well as fresh seafood from the city’s port. Highlights include oysters in peanut oil with saffron and quinoa or Wagyu beef with pea puree and corn foam. There’s also a wine cave where guests can sample a large range of Chilean, Argentinean, and French wines. Spa and gym details: The lower-level spa is small but has everything you need, with a hammam, swimming pool, and open-air wooden hot tub.
Who's it for: Travelers who want a pocket of luxury in the edgy city of Valparaiso. Tailored toward families, groups, and couples. Our favorite rooms: The Deluxe Suite, with its private terrace covered in harlequin tiles, affords incredible views over the port. Local highlight:Ask for directions to Ascensor Polanco at the bottom of Cerro Polanco. The funicular dates back to 1915 and is one of only three completely vertical city lifts in the world.