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“Great hotel to explore Atacama”

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Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa
1 review
“Great hotel to explore Atacama”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 15, 2012 via mobile

The Alto Atacama hotel is excellent and we highly recommend it to anyone looking for comfort and rustic luxury while enjoying a wonderful landscape and beautifully designed facilities. We had the chance to stay in the suite and the regular room and both are very comfortable. The main difference between the two is that the suite's bathroom is very large and partially outdoor. it has a very nice warm shower in this outside area from where you can see the mountains with privacy. But if you are not willing to pay the higher fees, the regular room is just fine as well. The hotel staff is very kind and friendly, the tour guides and drivers are great and the excursions are very well organized. The staff takes care of nearly everything for you so the experience is really relaxing. If you are in doubt, we recommend you to go for the all-inclusive rate, which includes the excursions in addition to the meals and food, which is good by the way. We would like to thank the entire hotel staff, especially Matias, Macarena, the tour guides Joel, Mauro, Martin and Gustavo and the drivers who all contributed to our great experience in Atacama.

Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Daniel M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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711 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (77)
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English first
Dunblane, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 13, 2012

Alto Atacama is not up to the standard of a 4.5 hotel and if you are on B&B basis then be prepared to be treated as a sceond class citizen!
My husband and i finished our fantastic 4 week trip around S. America here and on arrival no-one helped with our cases from the vehicle.(11pm) The next day we made inquiries about trips and were told none were available as there were no 'All Inclusive' people there to do the trips. (the hotel was very quiet) We offered to pay for private but were told that would cost 400,000 pesos (Aprox $900USA) which was outrageous! Also if 'All Inclusives' came along and took trips we could join those but if they were full we would be unable to go.
We had emailed the hotel well in advance to say we were particularly interested in the hotel's astronomy facility only to find that there was no-one to do that when we were there!
Eventually we took trips with Touris Tours in the town and one with Ciel Notre (a private one costing 95.000 pesos). Would recommend Touris Tours who were very good.
The cost of the hotel bus into San Pedro is 3 times that of a taxi...again ridiculous! (It's free to All Inclusives)
We were so unhappy with what we had come across we wanted to leave the hotel and move elsewhere but Alto Atacama would not refund any money so we stuck it out. We were there for 5 nights and it was on the last night we managed to speak to the deputy manager who had just come back from holiday and he was aghast at the situation in which we had found ourselves.
We received no communication from the management until that point.
All very disappointing.
The management should realise that people like us (we are middle-aged) would spend more in their hotel if we were made to feel welcome but as it was we ate out in the town most days and evenings.
To crown it all, we did not get the wake up call we had reqested the day we left and again no help with our cases to the car....the reception staff need re-training!
Until the Owners or Management change their attitude to those who do not want to All Inclusive we would not recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank FaeryKnowe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ireland
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 10, 2012

We started our honeymoon in this hotel and it was perfect. The only downside was having to leave. From the moment we entered we were made feel very welcome. Mattheus the assistant manager was brilliant and extremely attentive. The room and bathroom were fab and the lack of tv was very relaxing,We booked the b&b option but ended up eating in the hotel every evening. We tried out a restaurant in town and had an awful meal so decided rather than the hassle of traveling into and out of town we'd just eat at the hotel. It didn't work out very expensive, it was lovely being able to sit outside after dinner beside the open log fire and watch the stars.
The pools were really nice and we ended up having a pool to ourselves any time we were there. We found the staff all very friendly especially mattheus and Daniella (waitress).
The whole setting of the hotel is really different. You are a good bit out of town but there really isn't a whole lot in atacama so we didn't feel we missed out on anything. The views from the Rooms and the resort are amazing. If we win the lotto we would love to go back to alto atacama and spend a lot more time there next time,

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Mayo88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santiago, Chile
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 5, 2012

I made this reservation for my boss and his girlfriend for their anniversary. I was very nervous because it's always hard to make a recommendation for others, especially sight unseen… especially for such a special occasion.

But they had an extremely positive experience. They liked the setting the best and the over all atmosphere in the mountains. They also had a great experience because of the people- the guides were super helpful and they couldn't get over the manager who came to say hello to every guest individually each morning. So warm and friendly.

I would recommend this place to anyone!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank andreaekelly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 2, 2012

Stayed in Alto Atacama with my wife in November 2012 and got the all-inclusive package. The service was great, all the personel was friendly and the tours where different from the ones offered in the agencies in town so for example when visiting "valle de la luna" instead of watching the sunset in a crowded and laud place they took us different location where we could really enjoy the calmness and immensity of the place. Guides were friendly and fun. Food was great most of the times using a lot of local ingredients. The difference between staying in Alto Atacama and the other similar hotels is location. The hotel is located outside the city in a magnificent valley of Pucara de Quitor. The layout is harmonious with the surrounding landscape. Note: using the personal pools to enjoy a calm afternoon, priceless). Rooms don't have TV, which in this case it's highly appreciated since you can really relax and enjoy the view from the rooms. Overall, if you want to have a relaxed stay and really disconnect Alto Atacama is the hotel to choose, the offer of similar hotels in the area is large and some might seem similar (good service, exclusive excursions, good food) but location is what makes Alto Atacama different!!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ignacio C
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, July 23, 2013
Ignacio,
Thank you for pointing out one of the major highlights of the Alto Atacama Lodge -- its location. The Alto Atacama sits less than 3km outside of town in the mesmerizing Catarpe Valley, with a lush river and jagged orange salt mountains. It is the only lodge located 100% in a natural setting. Our location means many things, including:

-- Absolute tranquility and silence.
-- No light pollution = superior stargazing at our on-site observatory.
-- A wide-open space with many small swimming pools for our guests to enjoy privately.
-- Open alfalfa fields where our stable of llamas graze.
-- Direct access to mountain biking trails.
-- Next-door to the Pukara ruins.

We offer a free round-trip to the village each day, and we offer bicycles for the 10- to 15-minute ride on flat road to town. Most of our guests book all-inclusive packages that include daily excursions.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
brazil
Level Contributor
32 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 20, 2012

My family stayed in Hotel Alto Atacama for 5 nights, during the month of november. We choosed the Premium program, that includes all tours and meals.
We were surprised with the hotel setting: located in a beautiful spot, the hotel rooms are large, well decorated and comfortable. The tours are well organzed, with great guides, and we really enjoyed the overall experience.
There were only minor downsides, such as: rooms were very, very hot at night, and the absence of humidifiers in the rooms (at the check out I found out we could ask for humidifiers as the hotel owns some units, but I was not informed about it).
The food was great in some meals, and not very good in others. Overall, it´s above average but not excellent.
As a summary, I really recommend the hotel as an excellent choice for Atacama!

Room Tip: Ask for a humidifier to the room. Will help a lot at night as the desert is too dry.
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank zampra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 20, 2012

I stayed at Alto Atacama lodge in November 2012, and got the bed&breakfast room.

The hotel is pretty nice and clean, on the expensive side, and at 3km of the village, meaning 25min walking-distance or 10min with a car.

Problem comes with the management and reception. I travel all over the world and stay at 4 or 5 star hotels, so know what to expect as far as service goes, in different countries, and am not comparing it to the service we receive in the USA only.

At Alto Atacama, I felt that if you take their b&b and not the all-inclusive, you're considered like a second hand citizen. The all-inclusive really doesn't worth it, since you're stuck in the hotel to eat.

Regarding their tours if you take them separately, they charge 85000 pesos for a full day tour and half of it for the half-day tour. If you go to town, there are tons of tours you can choose from, and the one I got which had great reviews on tripadvisor, called Cosmo Andino, is great and I had 2 full day AND one half-day tour for 100 000 pesos, including the park entrance fees.

On top of that, at Alto Atacama, they Valle de la Luna tour, includes Valle de la Muerte, only if they have time at the end of the tour, vs at the tour I got, it is included. Another tour that they suggest at Alto Atacama, is the Cactus Valley tour, which is a separate half-day tour, bit was included in my Tatio Geyser tour!

The bad management and hospitality comes with the fact that if you're not among their all-inclusive, you have to pay 15000 pesos for their van, or 5000 pesos taxi, to go to town. The receptionist told me though, that if the van goes with other passengers, then you share the 15000 pesos with other passenger. One time, there was a van going to town with 2 people, and when I asked the same receptionist about the price, she said you still have to pay 15000 pesos, because the other people are all-inclusive; so we basically left the hotel at the same time, to town, me walking, and them with the van!

For the food, they say they have snacks but one night, I had to wait for dinner time because there was no snacks. It really does worth it to eat on town, with a lot of good and lively restaurants, even if you have to pay a taxi round trip from/to he hotel, because the food at the hotel is 32000 pesos for a menu where you only have 3 choices. The food was not bad though.

So except if you're retiring or ate not active, if you choose the hotel, only do the bed and breakfast, and do the tours and food in town. Anyway in full day tours, your lunch is included in the price.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Worldsbeauty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa

Property: Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa
Address: Camino Pukara s/n | Ayllu de Quitor, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
Phone Number:
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 Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in San Pedro de Atacama
#1 Spa Hotel in San Pedro de Atacama
#1 Family Hotel in San Pedro de Atacama
#2 Luxury Hotel in San Pedro de Atacama
#3 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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