Odile works with some of the top hotels in Chile. Here she shares her thoughts on one of her favourite cities in Chile and the new Palacio Astoreca Hotel there.
How do you know Valparaiso?
I am half Chilean & lived in Chile for many years, Valparaiso is the first place I would take any of my friends visiting from abroad!
Is it easy to get there from Santiago airport?
It’s only an hour away from Santiago airport and 1,5 hours away from the city. You can easily find a private transfer that will take you to Valparaíso from the airport.
How would you spend your perfect 24 hours there?
As the historical quarters of Valparaíso and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cerro Alegre is the place to be. It is the perfect place to go for a wander, there are little maps on every street corner showing the most scenic routes where you can discover the street art Valparaíso is so famous for.
Walk through the famous Yugoslavo pedestrian walk, stopping at the Fine Arts Museum at Barburizza Palace en route, as well as at any café that is bound to have a very Bohemian and quirky vibe as most of the city does. Take the funiculars to move around the hills as the locals do and definitely visit the famous house/museum of the chilean poet Pablo Neruda.
Remember to take LOTS of pictures, Valparaíso is an open invitation for snap happy people!
You’ll probably need a good massage after a day out and about on the colourful hillsides!! I would find a place to enjoy the view of the sun setting on the pacific ocean with a glass of pisco sour (the national drink) on a terrace and head out for dinner with lots of fresh sea food (there is a wide, very good, gastronomic offer) and finish at a live music bar!
Tell us about the Astoreca. What makes it special?
Palacio Astoreca is a Victorian mansion built in 1923 and restored into a boutique hotel which opened in Sept 2013. It is located in the prime location of Cerro Alegre just on top of the funicular El Peral. It has just become a member of Relais & Châteaux so it’s safe to say it’s the best option in town!
It has a very eclectic bohemian chic style mixing old and new, full of colours and art, with a wonderful spa and the best possible view from the terrace. Plus it has an amazing restaurant called Alegre, led by Spanish chef Sergio Barroso who worked at El Bulli amongst others, the 11 course tasting menu is absolutely a must.
What are the top 3 things you think a first time visitor shouldn’t miss?
- Walking around Valparaíso Cerro Alegre Hill & taking lots of pictures of the street art
- I’m the biggest fan of the house of Pable Neruda, it’s my personal favourite of the 3
- The sunset with a glass of wine or Pisco Sour