New hotels (and a sleeper train) to check out in South America

As South America’s popularity as a tourist destination continues to rise, a number of luxury hotels are investing in renovations while new ones are opening across the continent.


Explora Valle Sagrado made its debut this month in the Sacred Valley of the Incas in Peru. Set on a remote hacienda of terraced cornfields, the sustainable hotel’s 50 guest rooms overlook farmland and Andean highlands. The stand-alone spa is housed in a 17th-century colonial home that is ideal for relaxing after one of the property’s various explorations led by in-house guides. In the Atacama Desert of Chile, Explora Atacama is being refurbished and will reopen with updated guest rooms and public spaces, an expanded terrace overlooking the Licancabur volcano, and new excursions. It is scheduled to reopen in January 2017; rates from $2,298 for all-inclusive three-night stays.

Hotel Magnolia

The architect Cazú Zegers transformed a 1929 mansion in the El Centro neighborhood of Santiago, Chile, into a chic 42-room boutique hotel. The landmark building retains its neo-Gothic facade, grand marble staircase and stained-glass windows, with original floorboards repurposed as wall paneling in common areas. The designer Carolina Delpiano added a modern feel to the rooms with eucalyptus finishes, geometric rugs and minimalist furniture, while local artists hand-painted headboards and made bathroom sinks. The lobby level features a brass-and-marble bar and a restaurant serving Chilean cuisine, and the rooftop bar overlooks the Cerro Santa Lucia hilltop park and downtown. Rates from $220, including breakfast.


Atemporal is a reimagined 1940s luxury townhouse in the residential Miraflores District of Lima. Conceived as the home of a well-traveled freelance photographer, the hotel’s design aesthetic is a fusion of antique and contemporary furnishings, Peruvian artifacts and classic and modern art. Nine individually designed rooms are spread across two floors, and guests have access to round-the-clock butler-style service, a chauffeured house car, 24-hour room service and a concierge. The hotel’s private salon, veranda, garden and reading room offer a quiet space to enjoy a book from the library or a cocktail from the honor bar. Scheduled to open this month; rates from $200, including breakfast.

Atix Hotel

Atix Hotel is giving Bolivia a dose of high style. Designed by architect Stuart Narofsky, the eight-story parallelogram-shaped structure fashioned from glass, timber and native Comanche stone is in Calacoto, an upscale neighborhood in La Paz. The property’s 53 guest rooms, seventh-floor spa and rooftop infinity pool and cocktail bar all overlook a cityscape bound by mountains. Atix features local artwork, artisan-made alpaca textiles and handmade furniture. The restaurant, Ona, celebrates Bolivian gastronomy using ingredients like llama, native potatoes and pejerrey (a freshwater fish from Lake Titicaca), and its in-house market sells produce from nearby farms. To open Sept. 15; rates from $167.

Emiliano Rio

Designed by architects Arthur de Mattos Casas and Chad Oppenheim, Emiliano Rio’s 12-story oceanfront facade and 90 guest rooms typify Brazilian modernism, with guest-room furniture inspired by 1950s glamour. The owners commissioned a 5,500-square-foot Santapele spa on the 11th floor and offer spalike guest rooms featuring in-room whirlpools, saunas and treatment areas. The rooftop restaurant serves healthy fare alongside an infinity pool overlooking

Copacabana Beach, while a sun deck, wet deck and water bench are attended by poolside butlers. Opens in September; rates from $820.

Tcherassi Hotel & Spa

Colombian fashion designer Silvia Tcherassi is opening her second hotel within the historic walled district of Cartagena. Her existing seven-room retreat will become the Tcherassi Mansion, and a nearby 42-room property will take on the Tcherassi Hotel & Spa name. Collaborating with the designer Richard Mishaan, Tcherassi will convert a 16th-century structure into a colonial-contemporary resort fitted with a rooftop pool, two restaurants, a bar, cafe and a clothing boutique. Original stone walls, blue hand-stained frescoes and carved-wood ceilings combine with hanging gardens, courtyard fountains and modern furniture to reflect Tcherassi’s signature “Caribbean-chic” style. Opens in October; rates from $275.

Alvear Hotels & Residences

The historic Alvear Palace Hotel in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is transforming its upper floors and rooftop ballroom space into 15 classic-contemporary suites, a solarium swimming pool and two bars with outdoor terraces overlooking the city. Across town in Puerto Madero, the modern Alvear Icon Hotel & Residences is under construction. The property will feature 159 rooms and suites and a variety of dining options from a rooftop restaurant and courtyard cafe to a trendy milk bar and an upscale glatt kosher restaurant. Alvear Palace Hotel renovation is to be completed in November, new suites from $750; Alvear Icon Hotel & Residences opens in July 2017, rates from $450.

Hotel del Parque

Originally a charitable nursing home with a chapel, Hotel del Parque is a carefully preserved architectural structure dating to 1891. Set on the grounds of Parque Histórico in Guayaquil, Ecuador, the hotel is surrounded by more than 7 acres of native gardens and several landmark buildings. The property features 44 guest rooms including two suites, a river-view restaurant and two courtyard patios. The church on the grounds continues to host Mass once a week, while its bell tower has been repurposed as a massage treatment room with sweeping views of the landscape. Opens in December; rates from $320.

Fasano Hotels

Hotel Fasano Punta del Este in La Barra, Uruguay, is adding 10 suites to its existing Isay Weinfeld-designed bungalows. Created by architect Carolina Proto, the new units are housed in a contemporary building that features an outdoor lounge with a fireplace. Angra dos Reis, Brazil’s coastal region, with 365 offshore islands and an affluent yachting community, will be home to Fasano Angra dos Reis. The 54-room hotel is in a new mixed-use development that has residences, restaurants, a spa, beach club, golf course and luxury boutiques. Hotel Fasano Punta del Este reopens in December, rates from $420; Fasano Angra dos Reis opens in March 2017; rates from $450.

Belmond Andean Explorer

South America is getting its first luxury sleeper train. The Belmond Andean Explorer traverses 15,000-foot heights on overnight journeys through the Peruvian Andes. Stopping at Cusco, Lake Titicaca and Arequipa, travelers can explore ancient Inca sites, villages on floating islands and canyons with soaring condors. Thirty-four cabins with private bathrooms are decorated with hand-woven Peruvian fabrics and alpaca wool bedding. The train features two dining cars, an observation car with an open-air deck and a lounge car with a cocktail bar. Service begins in May 2017; rates from $462 per person for one-night programs inclusive of all meals, open bar and scheduled excursions.