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“One of the best hotels I have ever stayed at - anywhere!”

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Awasi Atacama - Relais & Chateaux
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 21, 2012

I travel for a living, and I travel extensively on vacations. I have traveled to all 7 continents and have lived on 4 of them. That being said, I can honestly say that this was one of the best hotels I have EVER stayed at - anywhere in the world - and that is saying a lot! (We have stayed in several Relais and Chateaux properties throughout France - we have never been disappointed with them - and the Awasi has to be one of the very best of them.) It's hard to believe that a magical 5-star oasis exists behind the rather drab adobe walls with bamboo/wicker/stick gates which typify the village of San Pedro de Atacama, but an absolute "oasis" is the best description for the Awasi. (We were there from 28 Nov-01 Dec 2012.)

We were lucky to have room #3 - a HUGE round room with an enormous and beautifully appointed bathroom. Lots of bathroom amenities, including natural lava pumice rocks. The body lotion and lip balm were hugely appreciated in that climate, and were put to good use. We received special surprise treats, which were wrapped in scrolls and placed inside our "treasure box" each night. They were thoughtful touches which made the whole experience special - it wasn't just your typical "mint-on-the-pillow" thing with the nightly turn-down service. (Like little kids, we would come back to the room after dinner and excitedly say, "Oooh! - what do we have in the treasure chest tonight?")

Besides the gorgeous rooms and common areas (loved the fire pit at night in the common sitting area), the service throughout the hotel was impeccable. We were greeted upon arrival (after an hour's drive from the Calama airport) with tall glassses of delicious icy lemonade containing Rica Rica (a refreshing herb which helps the stomach), and an herb tea ("Chachacomo" - sp?) which also helps with altitude sickness. (Luckily, we didn't need any altitude remedies, but the lemonade fast became a favorite drink of ours.) In the dining room, beautiful little hand-made dolls were placed on the plates at lunch and dinner, and blankets (for the chilly nights) were placed over the back of the chairs with lots of cushions - everything was thoughtfully provided for comfort and ambiance. We mainly interacted with Son (who was lovely and helpful), but all the staff could not have been nicer to us.

The food was delicious and beautiful - we took pictures of several of the courses, they were so pretty! (BTW - I thought the quinoa risotto with vegetables was outstanding!)

Our guide was the amazing Jorge - and from reading several other reviews here, it is apparent that we were really lucky to get him. Just can't say enough good things about him - it is obvious that he really loves his job, and loves showing people all the sights in his desert. He worked incredibly long hours with us (from early morning to late at night, every day for 4 days), including his special night-time stargazing experience. Pedro is an expert in flora, fauna, geology, and astronomy, among a myriad of other topics. We had a blast with him, and he perfectly tailored our excursions to our wishes and hiking abilities. We could not have had a better guide or been happier with our experience here.

I hope I have covered everything - we had a fabulous time, and will highly recommend the Awasi to anyone going to San Pedro de Atacama.

Room Tip: We loved our huge round room #3.
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank bonmacp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AwasiAtacama, Director General at Awasi Atacama - Relais & Chateaux, responded to this reviewResponded December 30, 2012

Dear Guest:

Thank you very much for your review. We are overwhelmingly shocked at how detailed your feedback is and absolutely overjoyed to read it.
Given your background and experience in traveling throughout the world, it really is an immense compliment to receive from you.
We loved the pictures that you posted up of your trip with us.

We have have a feeling that you will also love our newest endeavor: Charming villas overlooking the Torres del Paine National Park in the Chilean Patagonia! Stay tuned for more details on how to check off another great destination on your bucket list.

We can absolutely see you getting back to Awasi and enjoying that tall glass of our refreshing lemonade.

See you soon and warmest regards,

The Awasi team

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Reviewed December 4, 2012

Although this is a very expensive property,the value is well worth it! From the moment we were greeted at the airport, we were treated first class all the way. Our suite was beautiful, staff warm& helpful, food outstanding, but most important was our knowledgable, friendly, guide that showed us the atacama desert for 4days..bravo!!!

  • Stayed: November 2012
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Thank jlkToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AwasiAtacama, Director General at Awasi Atacama - Relais & Chateaux, responded to this reviewResponded December 6, 2012

Dear Guest:
We are so glad to see that an experienced and avid traveler as yourself, was able to truly enjoy and understand the value of the Awasi experience…and that was just in 4 days!
Kudos to our guide who also sends his best to you. Can’t wait to welcome you back to the Atacama Desert or to our upcoming Torres del Paine, property at the Chilean Patagonia.

We send you warm regards from the Awasi Family!

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Reviewed November 23, 2012

This was my second time in Awasi, and once more we had a great stay and new experiences. We had booked superior round suite connected with round suite by joint garden, and though at our arrival we had been placed in separated rooms, next morning the issue was solved. This worked great since having two rooms together, we had like one big suite but still some privacy. This was first time for my husband, so we included some of the musts, such as Geysers, Cejar salt lake, and Puritama hot springs to our trips, and even second time they were great fun. Awasi has also broaden their selection of activities so this time we also tried some sandbording and stargazing, truly recommendable experiences. The rooms of the hotel are very cozy and their public areas very well thought to Atacama environment, just beautiful. The service is very attentive and friendly, always ready for special requests such as ceviche. The food is good and I especially like their local touches in their dishes. The tours with Awasi are very well planned with excellent guides and drivers, and always with pampering touches. First day my husband and sons wanted to have a long horseride,and there were no problem to arrange me another guide for a bicycle tour and have a meeting point along our excursions. Rest of the trips we did together, and must say this place is excellent for teenagers; for a while they forget their computers and enjoy activities and special experiences in nature, and it is wonderful to see so many smiles and laughes in their faces! In overall, once more we had a truly great stay and I can highly recommend Atacama at Awasi Style.

Room Tip: If you are a family of four, try to get round rooms with connecting garden; It makes yours and other...
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank expataecl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AwasiAtacama, Director General at Awasi Atacama - Relais & Chateaux, responded to this reviewResponded November 27, 2012

Dear family:

Thank you so much for the lovely comments.

It was great having you and your boys back with us and we are glad that you were able to convince your husband to tag along for a few days. Not only Awasi but also the backdrop of the Atacama makes it for an amazing few days of complete disconnection to the outside world, which at times, we all need it.

Unfortunately, we are not exempt to human errors but are glad that your room distribution/assignment was able to be resolved on the following morning. We would still like to apologize for the inconvenience that you went through upon arrival to your quarters.

Well, we see that you not only got to re-experience the highlights of the Atacama but enjoyed sandboarding and stargazing – Good times! I am sure that your teenagers must have loved the thrill of being able to sand-board in the world´s driest desert. Wait until you guys are all able to make time again and enjoy the Awasi experience at the Chilean Patagonia. There will be lots of trekking and more enjoyment of the natural surroundings.
We really hope to be able to welcome you and your family again!

Warmest Regards,

The Awasi team

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Reviewed November 21, 2012 via mobile

My husband and I can't stop talking about our stay at Awasi. There are no words to adequately describe exactly how friendly, genuine, kind, and top notch the hotel staff is. The day prior to our arrival my husband came down with a stomach bug that bothered him most of our stay. The hosts went out of their way to bring him special herbal tea, offer him chicken and rice for dinner and toast at lunch, and to check on his well being. Our guide, Harald, speaks at least five languages and was extremely knowledgeable and kind and helped to adjust our plans to accommodate my husband. We were able to enjoy horseback riding around the village, cycling through Moon Valley, a jeep trip to view ancient petroglyphs and wildlife, and a hiking trip up to 18,000 feet (when my husband was feeling a bit better). Every interaction with a staff member, large or small, was overwhelmingly positive.

The cuisine (which I enjoyed daily) was incredible. Among my favorites were crab cannelloni, quinoa risotto, and an out of this world passion fruit cake layered with dulce de leche and meringue. The selection of Chilean wines is diverse and terrific. There were always ample snacks for each of our excursions.

We stayed in a rectangular room, which offered lots of space and was quiet and comfortable. We slept with the patio doors open each night and enjoyed the fresh air. We enjoyed the hotel's location in the village, which allowed us to take daily walks and explore.

I could go on and on, but in sum, Awasi is an unforgettable place, and we feel privileged and lucky to have had the chance to stay there.

  • Stayed: November 2012
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Thank eca5416
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AwasiAtacama, Director General at Awasi Atacama - Relais & Chateaux, responded to this reviewResponded November 27, 2012

Dear Guests:

Thank you so much for your great comments on your stay.

It made us really happy knowing that the local herbs that people in Atacama have used for centuries helped your husband.
We were really worried when we saw your husband arriving sick to Awasi. We thought that maybe he was not going to be able to enjoy his staying with us. But it seems that the local herbs really helped, as you were both able to trek up pretty high together with your guide Harald!

Great to read that you enjoyed our Chef´s daily delights from the kitchen! Isn´t it fascinating to see such a change in a recipe as risotto? Normally, arborio rice is used for this dish but he was able to switch it up and instead utilized the local quinoa.

Well, we sure are glad you had a great time with us and hope to be able to welcome you again at either Awasi Atacama and/or Awasi Patagonia (coming soon!).

Warmest regards from all of us!

The Awasi team

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Reviewed November 19, 2012

This experience not only met but exceeded our expectations. We were on the road for all four days of our stay and we saw such amazing things, I can hardly describe them.

Our guide Jorge was knowledgeable, friendly and a lot of fun. It is great to be in the company of someone so passionate about the surroundings.

We went out stargazing one night (my birthday) with another couple and Jorge treated us to a real show - and even a bottle of bubbly. We also enjoyed the french toast at breakfast, the birthday cake, the fireside dinners and the relaxing end-of-day cocktails.

My only regret is that we didn't stay longer. Thanks again to all the staff.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Quevin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AwasiAtacama, Director General at Awasi Atacama - Relais & Chateaux, responded to this reviewResponded November 26, 2012

Dear Quevin,

First and foremost, the entire Awasi team would like to thank YOU for the comments.
Letting us know that we were able to exceed your expectations was a very nice gift to all of us.

We always aim to not only meet our guests´ expectations but exceed them and you validation means quite a lot to us all.

Jorge, personally sends his regards to you and is glad that you were able to enjoy his "show"…(His stargazing excursion).
It is truly an experience that not only our guests enjoy but Jorge loves too.

Allowing us to be a part of your birthday celebration was definitely a privilege that we honor to share with you. We are glad that you had a memorable birthday and a great experience at Awasi

Do not regret the short amount of time you spent with us. We are in the construction period of Awasi Patagonia right outside of Torres del Paine National Park, so this could be a good excuse to visit us again not only in Atacama but also in Patagonia

Thanks a lot for the amazing pictures that you have included in this review

Warmest Regards and See You Very Soon!!

The Awasi team

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Reviewed November 13, 2012

we bought an ALL inclusive 5 night package. The place is all built with local material and blends right into it's environment. Every day, we were driven out to some amazing location to hike and sightsee. The day, we w left for the geyers at 6am, so breakfast was served at a wonderful secluded location. It was WONDERFUL!!. Our guide is soooo knowledgeable and have explored 80% of the region. They do take special care to plan your activities according to your interest and physical ability. The food is just amazing!! The chef is not serves delicious creations, he is very artistic in his plating and presentation. I can't say enough nice things about this place.

Room Tip: altitude sickness is the only thing that will slow or limit your exploration of the area.
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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Thank horse54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AwasiAtacama, Gerente at Awasi Atacama - Relais & Chateaux, responded to this reviewResponded November 19, 2012

Dear Caroline,

Just title of “so pampered!!!” surely brought a smile to our face! We love to receive these great comments and want to personally thank you for taking your time to do so.

Even with 5 nights at Atacama, sometimes it seems like you do not get enough but am glad that you were able to enjoy the highlights.

We would like to welcome you and yours again to the Atacama Desert or maybe to our new destination in Chile…Torres del Paine, at the Chilean Patagonia

Warmest Regards,

The Awasi Team

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Reviewed November 11, 2012

My wife and I just returned from a trip to Atacama, and had the unusual experience of trying two wonderful hotels there, the Awasi and another of the top hotels in San Pedro (which I won't name, because I don't want to suggest it wasn't a great place -- but this review is about Awasi). Because of our late booking, we couldn't reserve our whole stay at either hotel.

The two days at Awasi stand out as among the best two I've spent at a hotel -- ever. (Which, for me, is about 60 countries in 35 years, including some really wonderful hotels).

We had of course read other Awasi reviews, but to be honest, I was a little skeptical. It's nice to have helpful staff, but as long as they are responsive and polite, as they are in any hotel in this range, can they really make that much of a difference? In fact, I actually dislike some hotels and restaurants which, in the name of "great service", actually manage to seem invasive in a way, or even annoying. (Such as the "courtesy call" from the front desk asking you if everything is OK when you've just moved into the room). But the experience at Awasi has changed my perspective.

For example, our personal guide (no group tours at Awasi!) grew up in San Pedro. But unlike many of the other locals, he was not just a naturalist, but a biologist, a leader in the local community, and a deeply engaging, warm and interesting person. He also happened to be someone whose ancestors were the original inhabitants of the region. Spending time with him was like visiting a friend who lived in the region. After experiencing this, the return to "excursions" in a van with a group of other tourists at the other hotel was quite a letdown -- even though we had a good time on those excursions.

Another example: when my wife and I noticed that we had misplaced a bottle of prescription medication, we stopped into the office and mentioned it to someone in the office in our way to lunch, in case it turned up somewhere. (We had probably lost it in a prior hotel). We went to lunch, and as we gave our appetizer order, the waitress pleasantly told us that she had heard from the housekeeping staff, and the medicine hadn't been found. They were very sorry. We were amazed -- not just at how fast they had responded, but how seamlessly they had worked together. They truly worked as one, often anticipating needs before we'd thought of them.

Another story: at dinner, my wife was curious about a wine other than the one we'd ordered. A few moments later, not only had a tasting glass of that wine showed up, but also another that they thought would be good to compare. They seemed to have as much fun exposing us to wine, food, and new flavors as we did. (Side note: unlike anywhere else we saw or heard of in San Pedro, the food at Awasi was as good as any we'd ever had: imaginative, original, local, fresh, and delicious. Some of the desserts qualified as works of art.)

I came away with some new ideas about how to think about service at a hotel. "Good" service, to me, simply means competence -- you can get what you request and need. "Excellent" service is more prominent: everything is done lavishly and with more fanfare. But Awasi is beyond this. At this level, the service is not more prominent: in fact, it actually disappears into the experience, and all you realize is that you are in a place of great luxury where you are being so well cared-for that you can stop taking the time to even think about what it is you need. All you experience are the company of friends, and a constant stream of surprises you wouldn't have thought to ask for.

One piece of advice: It's tempting for some, when they spend this much on a hotel, to expect perfection. Or to want to keep score in order to insure that they "get their money's worth". That approach can make it hard to relax, and ironically can get in the way of an otherwise great experience. What worked for us was to just put ourselves in the hands of this fine hotel and staff and let *them* worry about our getting our money's worth. We're glad we did.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank David G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AwasiAtacama, Gerente at Awasi Atacama - Relais & Chateaux, responded to this reviewResponded November 19, 2012

Dear David,

We are so glad that you and your wife were able to experience Awasi.
Thank you very much or such an amazing review.

You have perfectly described the "Awasi spirit" and the type of service in which we really believe.
The examples that you gave about our service are those small details that make the difference and we are very proud as a team that you and your wife were able to enjoy them.

We are overjoyed in reading all of your comments as it assures us that we have been able to provide you with a home away from home. Knowing that you both had a great time and trusted us in providing you with a different experience than one you expected pleases us.

I will be sure to pass on your comments to your guide and to the rest of the staff. Sure hope we can remain alive in your hearts and prompt you to come back for a longer stay next time or visit our new project at Torres del Paine. Who knows? Maybe, we can woo you enough to pair up both sites!

We really look forward to seeing you again soon

The Awasi Team!

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Additional Information about Awasi Atacama - Relais & Chateaux

Address: Tocopilla 4, 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 Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in San Pedro de Atacama
#1 Romantic Hotel in San Pedro de Atacama
#2 Family Hotel in San Pedro de Atacama
Price Range: $1,371 - $2,450 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Awasi Atacama - Relais & Chateaux 4.5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Luxury lodge located in the Atacama Desert, Chile. Only property in the region to be an affiliate of Relais & Chateaux. With only 10 ample rooms, we provide tailor-made experiences, assigning a private guide and a 4x4 vehicle to each room. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Awasi Hotel San Pedro De Atacama
Awasi San Pedro De Atacama
Awasi Atacama - Relais & Chateaux San Pedro De Atacama, Chile

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