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“Amazing Atacama” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa

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Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Camino Pukara | Sector Suchor, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile   |  
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Geneva
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Amazing Atacama”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2014 via mobile

This is indeed a great base for seeing the sights of the Atacama. The hotel is beautifully appointed, the food is varied and delicious and there is a wide choice of wine at both lunch and dinner. The trips are very professionally organized, with knowledgeable, friendly guides. The only thing that was completely baffling about this hotel was the bar service. During our entire four night stay, getting afternoon or pre-dinner drinks always seemed to be a challenge. Either there was nobody at the bar or the preparation of drinks simply took too long. Both situations we found unacceptable for a resort with whom we had booked an "all-in" package.

Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CustomerServiceHAA, Guest Relations Manager at Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa, responded to this review, May 8, 2014
GenevaBeach,
The Alto Atacama's prime location is just one of the things that make this such a special place, and we're glad you enjoyed it to the fullest. We also understand the importance of a refreshing cocktail following a long day out and about, and we'd like to report that we now not only have a new bartender but two, so that we can be sure our guests receive prompt service.

Best regards,
Kristina Schreck
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442 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (50)
Date | Rating
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English first
River Vale, New Jersey
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2014

As others have said, the setting is breathtaking, the lodge blends in beautifully with the surroundings. What impressed us the most was how the staff welcomed us and strived to make sure that each moment of our day was exceeding our expectations. The excursions were each unique and challenging, the guides were there to teach you about all that we saw and to make sure we were able to handle the terrain. By the end of each excursion we felt as though we had made new friends. On our last day my husband fell, accidents do happen and here's where we were so glad to be at Alto Atacama - Matias, the asst. mgr. stayed by our side to make sure my husband received the best care possible. I cried when we left because of the amazing way we were treated and taken care of! Definitely would recommend coming here if you want to be both pampered and challenged.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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CustomerServiceHAA, Guest Relations Manager at Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa, responded to this review, May 8, 2014
Jayne,
What a wonderful post! Our managers, such as Matias, are indeed first-class, and the feeling at the hotel is that all of the Alto's guests are like family. We're very happy to hear that you enjoyed yourself so much and we'd love to have you back some time in the future.

Best regards,
Kristina Schreck
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San Jose, California
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2014

We enjoyed this place for its beautiful landscape/gardens, a place to see stars using telescope at night, friendly staff, wonderful food/drinks and a private/quiet suite with a view of gardens/a pond. It's a wonderful to wake up to the songs of Pacific Doves in the mornings.

Excursions: We are very grateful for our guide (Mariano) and driver (Sandro) for taking us to the beautiful and private spots for breakfast at sunrise, lunches at beautiful lagoons, snacks at sunset, and the opportunity to take photos, watch wildlife, and easy hiking. The design of our excursions is perfectly aligned with our interests and preferences.

Restaurant: Excellent service, delicious food with fine wines and friendly staff.

We like to add our gratitude towards the Lodge Manager (Alvaro Mendez) for the private gardens tour and introducing us to the remarkable landscape designer. We truly appreciate the front-desk staff and Mariano for going out of way to provide the airport assistance to ensure that our journey to Patagonia was smooth.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wilmslow, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2014

Staying here is a sensational experience. Each bedroom is arranged round large circular gardens full of cacti and trees so that you feel as if you are staying in your own individual villa. The one storey and rock-coloured buildings blend perfectly into the spectacular surrounding cliffs. The hotel’s location a couple of kilometres outside town makes for that closeness to nature we want.
Taking lunch on the patio under shade is about as good as it gets.
But what makes this place special are the excursions, all arranged by the hotel including trekking, visits to spectacular scenery, cycling in small groups with good guides. Whether your deal includes these excursions or not make sure you take some.
Finally those previous commentators that pick on tiny things that upset them (swimming pool not warm enough, cheaper food in town,..) are failing to see the bigger picture. This is just a simply extraordinary experience. Five star does not begin to do it justice.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CustomerServiceHAA, Guest Relations Manager at Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa, responded to this review, May 8, 2014
Chris,
One of the "eco" elements of the Alto Atacama is its architecture, which was designed to blend seamlessly into its environment -- and there are few hotels in South America that have achieved this so well. We want our guests to experience privacy and absolute tranquility, and we're glad that you did just this. Thanks for taking the time to share your experience.

Best regards,
Kristina Schreck
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london
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
55 hotel reviews
Reviews in 53 cities Reviews in 53 cities
131 helpful votes 131 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2014

We spent 3 nights here and as previous reviewers have said the staff are fantastic, nothing is too much trouble. The setting is beautiful and gardens and pool areas are lovely. The guides are exceptional and the trips we took amazing and we well looked after.
The food was delicious, especially the Barbeque.
Our room was so comfortable with a lovely big bathroom.
Highly recommended. Don't miss the amazing night skies and the in house telescope.

Room Tip: any room would be great
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
178 reviews 178 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
91 helpful votes 91 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2014

You really will be blown away by the setting of Alto Atacama Desert Lodge. Its nestled in a small canyon, surrounded by such exquisite coloured cliffs. The property has a main building housing the reception, lounge and restaurant with rooms spreading out from the main building around a spa and pool area in immaculately maintained grounds.

Our room was a bit late in being ready after check in time and we were getting quite frustrated at being kept waiting after a long journey and early start but once we got into our room, which was type Tilo, we relaxed in its sumptuous luxury. The bathroom opens to a fully enclosed outside patio with outside shower and the room also had a comfortable and private terrace. Drinks in the mini bar were included and restocked daily and the bed very comfortable and room well looked after by staff through out our stay.

We arrived on the 31 December and the lodge put on a delicious New Years Eve barbecue dinner with entertainment. There was plenty of drinks available and the evening under the stars was a complete delight.

All the excursions were well organised and catered to your interests. Drives were in comfortable vehicles and guides were friendly and informative.

There is so much about this property that is perfect for a stay in San Pedro de Atacama its just a pity that the food in the restaurant didn't meet the standards of the rest of the property. The service in the restaurant was friendly and on the ball. Breakfast was more than adequate and well served. Lunch and dinner was however limited in variety and lacking in quality for an establishment of this caliber. A few times over our four night stay, the menu of about four choices would have one vegetarian main course listed, another vegetarian main course not listed as vegetarian and a meat dish of sub standard quality. I am quite adventurous with eating but couldn't really find dishes on the menu that were tasty. Drinks with the meals were plentiful and service good but really the chef needs to up his game. We discussed this with other guest who agreed with us and also had a discussion with one of the hotel managers who agreed there was room for improvement from the restaurant offerings.

All in all, I would still recommend this lodge, absolutely, its just a pity, considering the effort to get there and the expense, that the restaurant lets it down.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Brummen, The Netherlands
Top Contributor
101 reviews 101 reviews
60 hotel reviews
Reviews in 61 cities Reviews in 61 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2014

The hotel is nicely built in adobe style. The rooms are arranged in wings around the main building. Rooms are big, all with a private terrace. They have a fan for circulation of the air and we can’t remember if there was also an airco (at least we didn’t use it). Anyhow, the rooms were cool enough at night. The bathroom is roomy with a good size (rain)shower. In addition to the morning service, the staff also cleaned the bathroom a bit every evening. And fresh towels were only added if we had put the used ones on the ground. So they take their environmental policy serious!

The gardens are especially designed to fit in with the landscape and are immaculate. The pool area has different pools with different temperatures. So, with about 7 pools and sitting areas, it never felt really crowded. We haven’t tried the spa but had a look inside and the haman and sauna looked inviting but not for us while it was 36 Celsius outside!

We had the full package, so including excursions. Every day there were morning and afternoon excursions. We liked the ones to the geysers and the canyon most. As soon as the guides noticed that one of us is an amateur nature photographer, they gave us lots of time and space to stop and take pictures. By the way, the wetlands alongside the road to the geysers are really worth a visit! We also watched the sky at night with the big telescope, which was rather difficult because of the strong wind, but it was nice to do. We saw Saturn with 4 of its moons.

The restaurant probably has gastronomic ambitions but there we feel they fail a bit. It was a bit hit and miss: some dishes were nice and tasteful (especially their appetizers), others were badly cooked (very tough stew or slimy baked iceberg salade) or disappointing (the vegetarian ‘risotto with asparagus’ came with one asparagus). On the other hand, the wine selection included in the full package was of a good quality and their premium wines even more.
Breakfast was good, with a large selection of bread, eggs, cheese etc and fresh orange juice.

So, all in all we had a good stay (4 nights), the staff was very helpful with the problem of getting our motorbikes fixed (thanks again!) but we still have the feeling that the overall price for the full package is just a bit high.
One more remark: finding this place in the dark is hell, the road to it also….. Some more road signs would be helpful!!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa

Address: Camino Pukara | Sector Suchor, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
Location: Chile > Antofagasta Region > San Pedro de Atacama
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in San Pedro de Atacama
#2 Luxury Hotel in San Pedro de Atacama
#2 Family Hotel in San Pedro de Atacama
#4 Romantic Hotel in San Pedro de Atacama
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 42
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Alto Atacama is located in the fertile Catarpe valley, just 3 kilometers away from the San Pedro plaza. Our total area is 3.5 hectares, with a park area of 2 hectares. The Hotel has 42 spacious rooms and state of the art facilities including an award-winning spa, business center, hot tub, wooden decks with 6 swimming pools and we offer more than 25 excursions to get a closer look at the Atacama. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Alto Atacama Hotel
Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa San Pedro De Atacama, Chile

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