The first luxury lodge to come to Chile’s second biggest island, Tierra Chiloé opened in 2012 and became a member of the Tierra hotel group in 2014. Designed by Chilean architect Patricio Browne, the hotel looks like a boat on stilts and was inspired by the homes of local fishermen, which take the same form and are known as palafitos. The exterior is made from picturesque larch wood shingles—a building technique that’s very typical on Chiloé and is seen on the famous UNESCO World Heritage churches that dot the islands.
Inside, guests find more wood. The hotel’s wood walls and ceilings are made from indigenous species . The decorations are locally inspired with plenty of handicrafts such as wicker baskets, handwoven rugs, and wooden carvings. The focal point is the meadow and Reloncaví Sound below, where the hotel’s boat is harbored. Large windows line the building on both floors and provide excellent views. Guests can relax in a small spa, a winetasting room, or a book-filled upstairs studio upstairs. The living room with fireplace makes a perfect spot for an end-of-day pisco sour.
Tierra Chiloé Hotel & Spa
The avant-garde design of Tierra Chiloé Hotel & Spa somehow fits its setting on the largest island in the Chiloé archipelago, just north of Patagonia. Hike the island’s primordial evergreen rainforest and then visit UNESCO World Heritage−designated wooden Jesuit churches in the hotel’s private boat, Williche. Local shellfish, meat, and potatoes star in curanto, Chile’s version of a clam bake. Local artisans have created items such as wool slippers (which guests take home as a gift) and art found throughout the hotel. The picture windows look out on the Andes and Reloncaví Sound.
Formerly Refugia Lodge, Chiloé Island, Chile
One of the most enjoyable meals I had was curanto, in Chiloe Island, Chile. It’s a local specialty where shellfish, potatoes, sausages, ham, and dumplings are wrapped in nalca leaves and cooked just right in a pit in a ground.