The island archipelago of Chiloé is celebrated for it’s rustic architecture, steaming fish stews, and stunning views, but less so for its luxury lodgings – until now. With the opening of Hotel Refugia on September 1, travelers can now experience this remote island in Southern Chile from the comfort of top-notch accommodation.
Located 20 minutes drive outside of Chiloé’s main city, Castro, Hotel Refugia sits atop a hill at the edge of the sea on the banks of the Rilán Peninsula. Chiloé is famous for its palafitos, wooden houses perched on stilts along the waterfront, and the wood-shingled exterior and pillared structure of Hotel Refugia was designed to reflect this traditional style.
The 12 bedrooms of the hotel enjoy large picture windows with ocean views, and each room features textiles and wooden furniture crafted by local artists. The hotel is all-inclusive, with three meals a day from a menu chosen by the chef, bar service, use of the spa, and daily excursions included with the price of your room (US$530 per person for a double occupancy). The hotel has its own 20-person boat for excursions, leading trips to a variety of Chiloé’s most treasured sites.
The Chiloé archipelago is a fascinating place to explore. Named by The New York Times as one of the “45 Places to Go in 2012,” the area is culturally and ethnically distinct from mainland Chile due to years of physical isolation, and is known for its iconic Jesuit churches (14 of which are UNESCO World Heritage sites).
“Just off the west coast of Chile,” writes The New York Times, “where the land starts to look as if it had been broken apart by a jackhammer, Chiloé Island – known for its stilt houses, UNESCO-anointed churches, nature preserves, unusual wildlife and raw natural beauty – is getting a facelift.”
The “facelift” described here refers to the variety of infrastructure projects now underway on Chiloé. While the island is currently accessible only by ferry, LAN has recently announced plans to offer flights to Castro’s Mocopulli airport beginning November 7 (and a stay at Hotel Refugia Chiloé will include roundtrip transportation from the airport).
Until then, the easiest way to reach the island is by bus from Puerto Montt; busses from Puerto Montt to Castro take approximately 3.5 hours and leave every 30 minutes.