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Awasi Atacama, Atacama Desert

Awasi Atacama, Atacama Desert

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Old Jun 4, 18, 9:17 am
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Awasi Atacama, Atacama Desert

Awasi Atacama

Map| 2 Reviews | 100% Recommended

Awasi Atacama

Tocopilla 4 San Pedro de Atacama, CL

Awasi Atacama, Atacama Desert (19 Photos)

Awasi Atacama

A luxury lodge in the Atacama Desert. Awasi is one of the most luxurious lodges in the area and the only one that offers private excursions. The lodge is all inclusive including all food, drink, activities, and one laundry load. Spa treatments are extra. 

Check In

We were collected from the airport by one of the Awasi guides for a smooth transfer to the property, it's about an hour's drive. When we arrived at the hotel we were greeted with a home made lemonade made using local herbs and then taken straight to our room where there was a quick informal check in. 

Room

The property is split across a road. On one side is the reception and a few rooms on the other is the majority of the rooms, the restaurant and pool. There are ten rooms in total. 

We had a superior round room which I believe is their best category. There are also rectangular rooms which I think are slightly bigger and better for families. 

The whole property is supposted to resemble an authentic village with the rooms being adobe huts. 

Awasi Atacama (8 of 61).jpg

Our rooms had its own outdoor area - other rooms have to share this area between two. 

Awasi Atacama (1 of 61).jpgAwasi Atacama (2 of 61).jpgAwasi Atacama (3 of 61).jpg

The room itself is spacious and I appreciated the authentic design detail. There's a free mini bar and special tea to help with altitude sickness. We really appreciated the cute little gifts they gave us in the evening. 

Awasi Atacama (4 of 61).jpgAwasi Atacama (5 of 61).jpg

The stone bathroom is lovely, my only complaint was that the didn't replenish the amentities enough. 

Awasi Atacama (25 of 61).jpgAwasi Atacama (26 of 61).jpg

There was also a generously sized back area with outdoor shower. 

Service

Service is where this hotel really excels. There's no cocktail list as they'll make anything for you. The staff and warm but not over bearing. Big props go to the the restuarant manager and sommelier. Whenever you head for you meal the table is already set up for you and the sommelier comes along quickly with a recommendation. 

Above all members of staff I must praise Claudio, our private guide. You meet with your guide when you arrive to discuss you needs and what excursions you like so your whole itinerary is bespoke to you. We really enjoyed our excursions and Claudio was incredibly genial and knowledgable. 

Dining

There is a small restaurant of about ten tables and it is for guests only. Though you can eat outside the hotel and there are few local restaurants I think most people would choose as we did to eat at the hotel. Partly owing to the all inclusive basis and partly owing to the excellent quality. It's a Relais and Chateaux so food quality is paramount. 

There's a set menu for lunch and the evening menu changes every night with three choices for starter, main course and dessert. The food is excellent with ingredients of the highest quality. The ambience is also lovely. On the last night they set up a separate table by the fire and served us a five course tasting menu. 

Awasi Atacama (15 of 61).jpgAwasi Atacama (16 of 61).jpgAwasi Atacama (21 of 61).jpgAwasi Atacama (22 of 61).jpgAwasi Atacama (29 of 61).jpgAwasi Atacama (41 of 61).jpgAwasi Atacama (42 of 61).jpgAwasi Atacama (43 of 61).jpg

Breakfast is a small but perfectly formed fresh buffet as well as other dishes made to order. 

Location

Location is an interesting one. We were glad for the short drive of only an hour from the airport as Awasi Patagonia is an eye watering five hour drive...

However some people may be disappointed by the fact the hotel is right in the centre of San Pedro. 

Awasi Atacama (19 of 61).jpg

It's still very private and behind a locked wall. Personally I found pros and cons to this. I believe they're trying to make the hotel feel like an authentic slice of village life but some people may not find it private enough. Competitors Tierra and Explora have a more remote location. 

There is also no view from the hotel whereas Tierra looks to have a spectacular view. 

Overall

What truly sets Awasi apart from its competitors is the bespoke experience and private tours. My husband and I do like meeting people but when it comes to tours and activities were prefer not to have to wait for other people who are late or be told off if wer'e five minutes late ourselves. Both of which have happened to us. 

For this reason the hotel was the perfect choice for us. The location didn't bother me but I would have liked a view but I already knew there wasn't one so my expectation was managed. 

Pool

There's a lovely small pool in the hotel, this suited our needs but those with families may want bigger. Hotels like Alto Atacama have six pools I believe. Awasi Atacama 1 (29 of 30).jpg

Amenities

We absolutely loved the outdoor living area with the open fire. It rarely rains in the Atcama desert so this totally makes sense. 

Awasi Atacama (10 of 61).jpg

Activities were excellent. You can choose full day or half day and explore by foot, car or horseack. They will totally tailor everything to you and the landscape is beautiful!

Spa

There is no spa though they can do in room treatments. Those looking for more facilities may want to consider the other luxury properties in the area - Alto, Tierra and Explora. Again this was no problem for us. 

Awasi Atacama, Atacama Desert

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Old Jun 4, 18, 9:40 am
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How about air conditioning? I may be wrong but that was my concern...as it really restricts when to go and so forth.
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Old Jun 4, 18, 9:42 am
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There was air conditioning in the room. We went in April during Autumn which I'd definitely recommend as we enjoyed moderate temperatures.
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Old Jun 4, 18, 10:29 am
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I remember my ex-wife wanted to stay here and I was not convinced I really apreciate your report, thanks!
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Old Jun 4, 18, 11:44 am
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Thanks for the report. Can you elaborate on the activities on offer, as well as the ones you partook in (and the quality of the experiences)?
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Old Jun 4, 18, 12:03 pm
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Originally Posted by SilverSpoon View Post
There was air conditioning in the room. We went in April during Autumn which I'd definitely recommend as we enjoyed moderate temperatures.
Thanks for the review!

What do you consider moderate? To what temperature did the air con cool down your room if you recall? ​​​​​​
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Old Jun 4, 18, 12:19 pm
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Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post


Thanks for the review!

What do you consider moderate? To what temperature did the air con cool down your room if you recall? ​​​​​​
Remember that it cools down at night a lot. It can be 100 during the day and 40 at night. And it is at a very high altitude so not as hot as Palm Springs or the area Amangiri is in.

Having said that I like to sleep in a cold room and donít recall having any issues. But I didnít try pushing it to your levels of preferred frigidity.


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Old Jun 4, 18, 12:22 pm
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Originally Posted by ridefar View Post
Remember that it cools down at night a lot. It can be 100 during the day and 40 at night. And it is at a very high altitude so not as hot as Palm Springs or the area Amangiri is in.

Having said that I like to sleep in a cold room and donít recall having any issues. But I didnít try pushing it to your levels of preferred frigidity.
Itís during the very hot day that most concerns me; thatís when Iíd need to know the air con truly works to keep the room comfortable for me (at least 70 F Iíd hope). Iíd hope that nights would allow 68 F or less, either naturally or via the air con.
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Old Jun 4, 18, 12:42 pm
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Maybe this is the best one can do in this area but the room pictures look more like a midrange hotel to me.
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Old Jun 4, 18, 1:20 pm
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Awasi can be a good hotel, but there are huge risks involved. If things go wrong at an Awasi, they have a tendency to blame the customer. Reading their Trip Advisor responses betrays a level of snarkiness and smugness. And oddly, whenever a less than stellar review gets posted it immediately gets "removed" from TripAdvisor. I suspect something is amiss. I would not trust the group. And besides, their Atacama furnishings are cheap and the location is not good.
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Old Jun 4, 18, 1:43 pm
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I stayed at this property (as well as Alto) a few months ago. The overall experience is spectacular - if you treat it as a base for self directed exploration of a fascinating area. Awasi works because of the customization of the tours and quality of the F&B, rather than the opulence of the hard product. I would agree that if one is looking for a traditional resort, you may be better off at one of the other places like Explora or Tierra, and it is true that the furnishings and common areas are not luxurious. Keep in mind that you are in the Atacama, though - and even at Alto, I found it somewhat basic. There are limits to what can be done in the region.

I was fine with the San Pedro location, as at least you can walk into the town - otherwise, you are on a bus in and out of town.

I think it is not for everyone and all experiences, but it is all about the guides and the self directed excursions as opposed to being a pool hangout.
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Old Jun 4, 18, 1:46 pm
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Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post


Thanks for the review!

What do you consider moderate? To what temperature did the air con cool down your room if you recall? ​​​​​​
I knew you ask If I ever open a hotel I will create an Ice-Suite or cooling chamber in your favour

Btw: Was there only the outdoor shower?
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Old Jun 4, 18, 2:41 pm
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Originally Posted by DSI View Post
Awasi can be a good hotel, but there are huge risks involved. If things go wrong at an Awasi, they have a tendency to blame the customer. Reading their Trip Advisor responses betrays a level of snarkiness and smugness. And oddly, whenever a less than stellar review gets posted it immediately gets "removed" from TripAdvisor. I suspect something is amiss. I would not trust the group. And besides, their Atacama furnishings are cheap and the location is not good.
I must agree that Iíve found their TripAdvisor responses to be quite defensive and/or surprisingly questionable at best. They donít reassure me of their level of service or ability to offer service recovery if and when something should go awry.

I also just found this on TripAdvisor, eliminating any interest on my part:

Also keep in mind that the Atacama Desert has very limited energy infrastructure, and that our room design makes them very fresh and also allow us to avoid the use of air conditioning systems. AwasiAtacama, Director General at Awasi Atacama - Relais & Chateaux, responded to this review April 25, 2011
Unless theyíve added air con, nope. Not a chance for me!
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Old Jun 4, 18, 4:01 pm
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Originally Posted by offerendum View Post
I remember my ex-wife wanted to stay here and I was not convinced I really apreciate your report, thanks!
I think it really depends on if location is a priority.
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Old Jun 4, 18, 4:05 pm
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Originally Posted by KI-NRT View Post
Thanks for the report. Can you elaborate on the activities on offer, as well as the ones you partook in (and the quality of the experiences)?
The experiences were private and high quality in my opinion. We took a horse ride through the desert which was the highlight of the trip for me. We went diving in the hot springs, visited the Chaxa Lagoon, the Moon Valley and had a star gazing lesson. We didn't have time to visit the Tatio Geyser though that was an option. Higher altitude activities are taken nearer the end so that you have acclimatised. I wrote a blog post about the activities in detail with pictures:

Eight Things To Do in the Atacama Desert - SilverSpoon London
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