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Four of the best heritage hotels in Valparaíso, Chile for 2021

Check in to one of the Chilean city’s historic hideaways, where heritage, design and spectacular views blend seamlessly.

Published 30 Sept 2021, 06:07 BST, Updated 30 Sept 2021, 10:08 BST
Crafted from a 19th-century house in Cerro Alegre, Casa Galos is a thoroughly modern, boho hotel ...

Crafted from a 19th-century house in Cerro Alegre, Casa Galos is a thoroughly modern, boho hotel in Chile's vibrant port city of Valparaiso.

Photograph by Alex Ottero / Casa Galos

Streets draped across rippling hills; cobbled roads and pastel-coloured houses; and everything rolling down to the deep blue of the Pacific. Valparaíso — also known as ‘Valpo’ — is Chile at its most colourful and charismatic, and its UNESCO-protected historic quarter means things aren’t in any danger of changing fast. This respect for its history is encapsulated in its hotel scene, a gorgeous collection of tourist retreats located in old buildings — grand houses transformed into places of boutique beauty.

1. Casablu

The latest of these to open is CasaBlu: a large, clapboard house painted (as the name suggests) rich blue, in the Cerro Alegre, one of Valparaíso’s cerros, or hills, that’s now one of the trendiest parts of town. History is everywhere here, from the front door, shipped over from England at the start of the 20th century, and colourful tiles, to Latin American religious sculptures and antique Buddhas. But, as with all the best house-hotels in the city, that history is updated for the 20th century — so you’ll also find street art-style madonnas, mismatched furniture and headboards that each seem bigger, and funkier, than the last. Coffered ceilings fight for attention with fluted, art nouveau-style windows while colourful, stylised angel faces float above the beds. Whether you opt for a view of the bijou garden (where breakfast is served), the cerro or the bay, all of the 13 rooms are consistently stylish. From the rooftop terrace — another signature feature of many of Valparaíso’s hotels — there are sweeping views of the bay, and the historic port below. From £115, B&B.

2. Hotel Casa Somerscales

This was once the home of Thomas Somerscales, an English painter and sailor who decamped to Cerro Alegre. Now it’s a pretty eight-bedroom hotel, with reproductions of his works on the walls. Head to the terrace, where lovely views of the cerros and bay spread out before you. From £87, B&B.

3. Casa Galos

Crafted from a 19th-century house in Cerro Alegre, Casa Galos is a thoroughly modern, boho hotel. Downstairs there’s a hipster feel, with exposed brick and inspirational quotes on the walls, while upstairs are nine rooms with bleached wood furniture, and a rooftop terrace overlooking the bay. There are also six duplex lofts. From £87, B&B.

4. Casa Higueras

You can’t beat the views from the palm-shaded pool at this 1920s mansion spilling down the hillside. If you can tear yourself away from the vistas, you’ll find a deft renovation that combines an lots of dark wood cladding with modern touches, such as smart leather headboards. There’s a restaurant, too, and a little spa. From £162, B&B.

Published in the October 2021 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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