CHILE – Alto Atacama: A 5 star luxury resort tucked away in the Atacama desert

Hotel - Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa
Hotel - Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa

Alto Atacama Desert Lodge and Spa is a 5 star luxury resort in the middle of the Atacama desert. Early December 2014 I had the opportunity to stay a few nights at this exclusive hotel during my visit to the Atacama desert. The concept of Alto Atacama is an all-inclusive service. Included are transfers from/to airport, full board (breakfast, lunch and dinner), all drinks including local alcohol, access to all facilities. This is not all! The service really gets complete with all the excursions included.

In short: all the luxury you could wish in the remote Atacama desert area is what Alto Atacama offers.

 

Hotel & Rooms

The rooms are very spacious and have a lot of earth-tone colors. The beds are very comfortable. The bathroom has everything you need including a rainforest shower which is really great. Amenities are more than enough and if something is missing the hotel staff will supply. The only thing which some people might miss is an air conditioning. Myself I normally sleep in cold rooms but did not miss it. The rooms are kept cold due to the special roofs and in the night it cools down a lot. From the room you walk into your own terrace where you can relax with a drink overlooking the garden.

The hotel has only one floor where all the rooms are located. They are all around the gardens giving them all a perfect view. At the entrance lobby you will find a big lounge area with bar where you can have drinks and small snacks all prepared fresh for you. A big outside sitting area to relax with a nice cold cocktail in the shade not to be missed. On the other side of the lobby is the restaurant where you will enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner. With a huge selection of wines there is something for all the courses you will enjoy.

All the elements are in balance giving the guests a comfortable stay.

 
Hotel - Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa
Hotel – Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa

SPA & Pool

The hotel has a SPA where you can enjoy a large range of treatments. Treat yourself with a relaxing day at the SPA! Next to the SPA are the swimming pools. These pools are all a kind of private pools each with a few seats for the people you are with. The pool bar serves all kinds of beverages in case you get thirsty. Just be carefully with the sun: its strong!

Hotel - Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa
Hotel – Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa

Food & Beverage

The hotel offers full board meaning you will have breakfast, lunch and dinner at the hotel. Breakfast is a buffet plus that dishes are made on request. A great fried egg in the morning with some bread and fruit after together with a nice coffee make my breakfast prefect. At lunch and dinner there is a three course menu where you can choose each course from three different dishes. The quality of the food is tasty, great presentation and the portions are perfect. It is high-end dining at Alto Atacama. During excursions also breakfast and/or lunch is provided and evening snacks during evening excursions. More about this below.

The hotel has a large range of wines of which the local wines are included in the full board. Wine lovers have a great choice here! During the day a fresh juice is always ready for you. A large variety of cocktails is made until midnight. All regular brands are available including various local beers. You won’t get thirsty here!

Hotel - Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa
Hotel – Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa

Excursions by Alto Atacama

The way the excursions are included and handled is maybe the best thing about Alto Atacama. The excursions are put into three groups: food, car and bicycle. Each excursion is rated easy, medium or difficult relating to both altitude and how much they are physically demanding. Keep in mind that due to the altitude some excursions can only be done after two days of acclimatization. A few dozen of excursions can be chosen from. For the excursions early morning and full day excursions a breakfast or lunch is provided with the best ingredients possible (see photo of a lunch at 4350 meters altitude at Tara salt flat). Myself I have chosen mainly excursions for sights and photography. Other excursions are trekking/hiking and bicycle tours which are also a great option depending on your preference.

 

Each day the excursions for the next day or two are set and talked through with you by the excursion manager. Excursions are done in groups of 1 up to about 8 persons; if there is more it will be split into multiple groups. Transport is in small vans and the guide and driver are very professional. The guides know a lot about the history, culture and nature and can answer all your questions. Because of the small groups you have a lot of time to explore, make photo’s and everything runs smoothly.

Hotel - Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa
Hotel – Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa

Conclusion

If you are visiting the Atacama desert and you look for a luxury hotel I recommend you to stay at Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa. It offers everything as full board, drinks all day, swimming pool and SPA. Excursions (read about all those I did in my northern Chile itinerary) are also included and are done in small groups. Simply everything one would expect from a luxury hotel is offered. Simply recommended!

Stay tuned for more stories and subscribe to the newsletter or follow CTB on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram including Instagram stories; on all social media you can find CTB @christravelblog) to get updated information.

 
**All opinions are based on a genuine stay. I’m not affiliated with the hotel but a stay might be (partially) sponsored - or paid. **