David Nicolas

13 of 31

Tierra Atacama Hotel & Spa
San Pedro, Chile

Rustic Hotel. This 32-room adventure hotel in the Atacama Desert is one of the most ambitious new design statements in South America. The owners, along with a team of architects, photographers, and a landscape painter, were inspired by the surrounding landscape. But rather than building in the traditional manner, they used unorthodox materials (plates of oxidized iron, sandblasted glass) alongside adobe, rammed earth, and shale for a fresh take on desert style. In some cases, important details seem to have been afterthoughts. While architecturally stunning, the pool lacks shade—it’s too hot to swim during the height of day. These foibles are forgiven when you consider the inspired interiors: Midcentury-style furniture covered in raw linen, cowhide throws, curtains made from desert seeds. In fact, it’s all so spectacular that you could almost overlook the main attraction: the Atacama Desert. The hotel employs a staff of expert guides to take you biking in the salt flats, climbing on volcanoes and hiking high in the Andes.

It List 2008

It List 2008

Tierra Atacama Hotel & Spa
San Pedro, Chile

Rustic Hotel. This 32-room adventure hotel in the Atacama Desert is one of the most ambitious new design statements in South America. The owners, along with a team of architects, photographers, and a landscape painter, were inspired by the surrounding landscape. But rather than building in the traditional manner, they used unorthodox materials (plates of oxidized iron, sandblasted glass) alongside adobe, rammed earth, and shale for a fresh take on desert style. In some cases, important details seem to have been afterthoughts. While architecturally stunning, the pool lacks shade—it’s too hot to swim during the height of day. These foibles are forgiven when you consider the inspired interiors: Midcentury-style furniture covered in raw linen, cowhide throws, curtains made from desert seeds. In fact, it’s all so spectacular that you could almost overlook the main attraction: the Atacama Desert. The hotel employs a staff of expert guides to take you biking in the salt flats, climbing on volcanoes and hiking high in the Andes.

It List 2008

David Nicolas

It List 2008

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