The article made reference to the San José miners as the event that has brought Chile into the international spotlight, the article also indicates Chile’s growing tourism industry, revenues from which have increased from US$1.2 billion in 2006 to more than US$2 billion in 2010, according to a Euromonitor report cited in The Independent.
Ireland, India and South Africa also featured in The Independent’s weekly list, that is based on the millions of reviews and ratings posted on Tripadvisor.com, a website designed to provide a forum for the opinions of independent travelers.
In Chile’s capital and largest city, Santiago, the top spot went to Petit Hotel Meridiano Sur (Sta. Beatriz 256), a newly-renovated stucco house near the popular restaurants and bars of the cosmopolitan Providencia neighborhood. Nightly rates for the cozy, brightly decorated rooms range from US$72 for a standard single to US$260 for a loft with a small kitchen that can house up to five, all including breakfast.
Chile’s second largest city of Concepción is known primarily for its vibrant university life. Here the larger, more traditional Hotel Alborada took high marks. The 60 guest rooms range in price from about US$90-100, with wireless internet in common rooms, room service and cable amongst the services on offer.
The northern beach city of La Serena, which boasts the best preserved colonial center in the country, is popular amongst visitors from within Chile and abroad as much for its beaches as for its picturesque old buildings. Here, the budget property Hotel del Cid (O’Higgins 138) in a colonial-style courtyard building was most popular amongst reviewers. Single, double and triple rooms with private bathrooms range from US$60-80 nightly.
In the southern city of Temuco, center of Chile’s indigenous Mapuche culture and transportation hub for the parks, lakes and volcanoes of the Araucanía district, the Dreams Hotel, Spa and Casino (Av. Alemania 0945) was the most popular. The 96-room, five star resort is the largest of the top hotels and has sleek, modern rooms ranging from US$112-124 varying by date.
Another small hotel was voted the best for Chile’s bohemian capital, the UNESCO protected port city of Valparaíso. The 13 rooms at the Hotel Acontraluz (San Enríque 473, Cerro Alegre) are arranged on three floors of a 19th-century house, each with a view of the city, and many with private terraces that also look out over the pacific. Acontraluz also features an underground bar and wine cellar, a private garden and dining rooms both within the house and on terraces overlooking the city. Prices range from US$192 for a standard room, to US$312 for an ocean view suite.