My partner and I had a wonderful stay at this gorgeous hotel - a big thank you to all the team who looked after us so well over the 3 days we were there.
The hotel not just looks architecturally stunning, it is well-designed – it felt spacious yet comfortable and inviting. And so in keeping with the traditional wooden buildings that Chiloe is famous for. We loved the furnishing and furniture within as well, all looking like they were made especially for this place. The artwork comprising colorful knits near the entrance and subtle splashes of color on some of the furnishings and pieces of furniture set off well and highlighted the harmonious unifying feel of the wood finish throughout. The views were of course pretty amazing, especially when we were fortunate to have the perfect weather that we had. We imagine that the place would feel very much like a very luxurious refuge in inclement weather, looking out through the glass walls into the Pacific Ocean whilst snug and cosy within.
The service level was generally first class throughout. Maria Jose led the team that looked after us in the hotel and she was brilliant. We were very impressed by the genuine warmth and care balanced with a professional approach we experienced. We were pretty surprised by the standard of the cuisine. We've spent the last few months in Chile and have to be honest we think the cuisine is not one of Chile's highlights. But we are now big fans of Pancho the chef here – we enjoyed every meal especially the starters and mains. We liked that the food was not too fussy nor too rustic but most of all simply delicious. Breakfast would be amongst the best that we've had in any hotel. Pretty impressive and this is even without taking into account the remoteness of Chiloe.
The rooms are not large but more than adequate especially when there are many living spaces to stretch around and relax. No TV in the room but who needs one when every room looks out onto the bay and the mainland including a view of the Andes with snow-peaked mountains. There is a spa (which was not open when we were there) as well as a large TV room a level below the living and dining areas.
It's an all inclusive hotel and we experienced a variety of excursions - a coastal walk with plenty of wildlife - dolphins and a variety of birds. It was also our first experience of the tabano - a local horsefly that is annoying and huge so it takes a bit of getting use to. Both Raymondo and Carolina our guides were fantastic, well-trained we could tell from their Explora days. There were a couple of local festivities around the islands in the archipelago the next day when we sailed around the bay with Carolina under the navigation of captain Luis of Williche, a well equipped and exceedingly comfortable vessel belonging to Refugia. Even saw some walruses. We had a special guest, Katy, on board with us who is involved in restoring the many wooden churches of Chiloe (many of them dating back to the 18th century and 16 of them protected by UNESCO as World Heritage sites). We managed even to sneak a little visit to a wet market in Castro and saw the palafitos, traditional houses on stilts.
There seems to be plenty to see in Chiloe and I think we found the best way to do it at Refugia.
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Refugia Castro, Chile - Isla Chiloe