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Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 29, 2012

The hotel staff are all very friendly and the 2 managers (matias and Alvaro) were helpful.
The surroundings are beautiful just like the hotel photos show, the room was comfortable, nice design and cool enough without AC.
We did the bed and breakfast option and did not feel mistreated as other reviews have mentioned.
One of the nights there was an outdoor BBQ that was very nice.
On the downside, the service was slightly lacking. It did not feel like any other hotels we have stayed in at this price range ($400US/night). Things happened slowly and was difficult to get service at times (towels, room cleaning, drinks, etc.)
During the day most (all) guests go on excursions so the pool area is completely empty which is nice for privacy. There is a bar but no one working at it so tough to get a drink. The pools were quite dirty.
The hotel location away from the city is fine, I didn't have any reason to travel back and forth to the city as the days were full with excursions, it is an amazing surrounding.
Overall, great place and super friendly staff. Just needs to step it up on the service and cleaning side.

Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
Thank Travelingerz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 27, 2012

I started off just with the b&b option but changed to the all inclusive. Even though I could have gotten the tours cheaper in town, the intent of this stay for me was a bit of pampering-and the excursions run from the hotel included the fact that there was only 8 passengers, or so and the extra niceties of having a sunset cocktail out on an excursion was worth the extra money. I ate in town when I wanted to and the hotel dropped me in there and picked me back up. The rooms are elegant and your own terrace reminded me of my stay in African safari establishments. I wasn't overly impressed with the food, but the service was fantastic. Highly recommended for a pampered time out stay.

Stayed: December 2012, traveled solo
Thank Sue L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 27, 2012

I had the pleasure of experiencing this amazing hotel for 4 nights in mid-late november. I have to say it was one of the greatest vacations of my entire life. While there are (too) many hotels to choose from in the area, a friend recommended this one and we (my wife and I) could not have been happier with our decision.

The pictures really do not do this place justice - it's something that you need to experience to believe. The structure blends almost perfectly into the rocks and the surrounding area, and the views are just spectacular, especially at sunrise and sunste - not to mention the stars at night. It is clear that the hotel was designed and built with minimal environmental impact in mind, which is a big selling point to me, especially in such a natural and beautiful place.

We stayed with the all-inclusive option, which more than made up for the added cost in the reduced stress and worry free trip we got as a result. Transfers, meals, excursions, all were included and all we needed to do was let the staff know what we wanted to do and when. The hardest part of the whole trip was making the decisions, as the atacama desert is one of those magical places that you really can't go wrong with whatever you choose to do. Indeed at the end of our trip, while we experienced a TON of amazing things, we both felt that we could stay another day, week, or month, and be extremely happy. It was hard to leave.

The staff were all very professional, and while at times you could tell things were a bit hectic, the most important part was that they went above and beyond to make sure that we were happy and to satisfy our wants and needs. And all with a smile. To me, that is the most important part of any luxury hotel experience, especially in an environment such as the Atacama Desert. It was obvious that their #1 priority was to give their guests a first class experience, and they did a wonderful job of living up to their charge.

I can't say enough good things about this hotel. The room was beautiful and comfortable, the view was spectacular, and the food was fantastic. The staff, the excursions, and just about everything there far exceeded our expectations.

All in all, i can't recommend this hotel, and more importantly, the atacama desert, enough. It was a long trip (we live in NY) but one that I will certainly make again. From the moment we left, we couldn't wait to get back. One of the best experiences I've had in a long long time.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Michael O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 26, 2012

We stayed here for 6 nights in one of the suites in mid December and this is a beautiful property in a terrific setting. The rooms are very nicely appointed and have a great indoor/outdoor space with a nice patio, outdoor shower (in the suites). the bathrooms in the rooms are beautiful as well. Throughout the property artwork representative of the indigenous history of the Atacama can be seen. Tasteful LED lighting is also all across the property. The pool area is also very welcoming with six small pools (including one thats heated) with a bar area in the middle.

A few items to consider (especially if you are NOT booking the all inclusive option)

1) If you don't book the all inclusive rate..expect to pay 3-5X the going rate for hotel transfer to San Pedro town or to Calama airport if you choose transportation through the hotel

2) the road leading to the hotel is under heavy construction and many tour operators, hotel transfer services will not go to the Alto Atacama if they have a bigger vehicle. its not clear when this construction will be complete. You can get a taxi but they are available between 8 am and 11 pm

3) There is no room service at the hotel. Breakfast is from 7-10 every day, Lunch from 12-2:30 and dinner from 5:30. The menu is limited in both the number of items and variety. The staff are certainly nice enough to do their best to accommodate your requests (i had a craving for guacamole and they made it for me :))

4) Cell phone service is quite poor because of the property's location..you have to be outside and closer to the front of the hotel to use a phone

5) One of the deciding factors for us in booking the Alto Atacama was learning that they now had a Meade 16" telescope onsite at the property! Since stargazing and astronomy is one of the major appeals of the Atacama we were quite excited about this. However only upon arrival did we learn that the telescope is only available as part of a paid excursion by one of their tour guides on certain nights for about $130/person. This was disappointing

Room Tip: If you are here for more than just a few days and would like to not be completely disconnected from...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank SK1212000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 18, 2012

We spent 4 nights at this very stylish, low rise hotel that blends in perfectly with the surrounding rock and sand.
We loved the large and airy bedrooms and the modern bathrooms with twinkling lights under pebbles below the washbasins. We had a private patio looking on to the rock face beyond and a perfect place to watch the amazing stars at night. There are several small swimming pools so you can usually find a quiet private spot to relax in. It is all very clean and well cared for.
We found all staff members very friendly and management helpful. They were slightly disorganised at breakfast but were up to speed by our last day there. The barbecue evening with entertainment was great fun and meals were good. They were flexible and able to organise food when we were late back from an excursion. The hotel is a fair distance from St Pedro so you need your own transport or to use the hotel's transfers.
We just loved the wonderful walks in the area, visits to the geysers and salt flats and wandering around San Pedro's streets and market.
As we were part of an organised tour, we didn't use the hotel's tours so can't comment on these. I just wish I had had more time to enjoy the facilities and would love to go back,

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Geo47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 15, 2012

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
Thank Daniel M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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5  Thank FaeryKnowe
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

Address: Camino Pukara s/n | Ayllu de Quitor, 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 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 Family Hotel in San Pedro de Atacama
#3 Romantic Hotel in San Pedro de Atacama
#3 Spa Hotel in San Pedro de Atacama
#4 Luxury Hotel in San Pedro de Atacama
Price Range: $931 - $1,385 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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