| The Experience |
Upon climbing into my getaway van after a safe touch down and the cold sweat had subsided, I knew I was in for a luxurious kind of adventure. Hotel Tierra Atacama was an hour and a half from the airport into the quaint town of San Pedro de Atacama, and with the help of the copious water bottles by my side, I started salivating over the scenery along the drive. After the dust and sand had settled upon arrival, I was greeted by hotel staff, the effortless beauty of the lobby and the volcanic view outside room #7. I realized immediately that Tierra Atacama was going to do much more than simply quench my thirst.
I’m a firm believer that it’s the little things that make life beautiful, and this is the very foundation upon which Tierra Atacama is built. With attention to detail as their speciality, this luxury all-inclusive hotel puts emphasis on efficient service, modern, local design, and tailor-made excursions into the Atacama Desert. Feel like stargazing in the middle of nowhere at midnight? You can do that. What about hiking a volcano? You can do that, too. The activities are as much a part of the affair as the unobtrusive service that can be seen in the warm staff, the welcoming guides and even the little milk chocolates that are delicately placed upon your pillow at night.
I mentioned the hotel’s all-inclusive aspect. Normally, I’d scoff at the phrase, but now I know that the term goes beyond claustrophobic cruises and drunken Mexico spring breaks. The idea is to leave the bills behind as payment is made prior to arrival, just the way I like it. All the meals served at Tierra Atacama were delicious, but the fact that I never received a check upon leaving made it even tastier. The level of freshness and flavor that the chef achieved throughout his Chilean and Andean dishes was beyond impressive. After all, the Atacama Desert is in the middle of nowhere. What Whole Foods?
| The Room |
After tearing my eyes away from the midcentury modern interiors of the lobby, I made my way down a path to room numero 7 – the room with the dead-on view of Licancabur volcano. I lusted after all the elements and inhabitants, namely the comfy king-sized bed complete with roll-down shades. Okay, in reality they didn’t shade much of anything, but as they say – it’s all in the details.
Moving into the frosted-glass enclosed bathroom, I immediately noticed the lack of bathtub. This was a strike in my book seeing as how I’m more-than-mildly obsessed with baths, accomplishing two-a-days on a good day. But what Tierra Atacama doesn’t have indoors, they make up for in outdoor luxuries. A bubble bath can’t exactly rival an outdoor shower circa 10pm with the Milky Way shining bright above. And if it’s not the shower, the private terrace offers oh so romantical views of the stars as well.
| The Pool & Uma Spa |
More so than the bed with the roll-down shades, next up on my want-list are the plush, curved pool chairs that exude luxury. I mean look at those things! Put me in the egg-shaped cocoon and let me sun bake me for hours on end with a few pisco sours by my side. I need nothing more in life. Next to the infinity pool is a jacuzzi, but head inside and find an additional heated pool with crazy weird features like oversized water jets and bubble beds. Yep, bubble beds. Intriguing, right? The steam rooms are on offer as well. After experiencing these small luxuries, my boyfriend and I indulged in a couple’s massage. It was a really tough day.
The various excursions offered by the incredibly knowledgable guides of Tierra Atacama are so mind-blowing, they deserve their very own post. Because Atacama has almost zero pollution, it’s no wonder this high altitude area with its crystal clear skies is a major hub for astronomical research and home to cutting-edge observatories. Below the stars, though, exist numerous activities for the avid hiker to the lazy vacationer. Think turquoise hot springs, salt lagoons so dense you float, smoking hot geysers, high sand dunes and salt flats chock full of flamingos. The sky’s the limit with Tierra Atacama.
| Book This Hotel If… |
- You’re in search of luxury just as much as you are adventure
- You’re in love with rugged landscapes just as much as you are with the sky above it
- You want to travel to a remote destination but not at the expense of creature comforts
- You’re on a honeymoon, a couple’s weekend, or even a family vacation
- You love a good sunrise
Rates start at $1,650 per person for a 2 night minimum. All-inclusive package includes:
- Transfers between the hotel and Calama airport
- Accommodations at Tierra Atacama
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Open bar – soft drinks, mineral water, juices, house wines, beers and liquor
- Daily excursions
- Full use of all the hotel facilities, including gardens, pools, saunas and Jacuzzi