“Family guesthouse in the beautiful grounds of a fruit farm, with the stunning Andes as a perfect backdrop”
A footbridge over the stream links the hotel to a 2-storey, fairly new (2008) building housing 8 country-rustic rooms. This extension to Casa de Campo was solidly built, with wood ceiling beams and thick walls separating the patios and rooms - it was unscathed in the 2010 earthquake, unlike many older houses in the region, which suffered major damage.
The rooms are spacious with marble-and-stone flooring and sepia photos on white stucco walls. Our room on the first floor was a Triple with a wooden staircase leading up to a small loft with a single bed; our own bed was a super-kingsize with oak posts, white cotton sheets, stacks of pillows and olive-green cushions and throw. French doors opened onto a black-and-white tiled terrace with cushioned wicker chairs, a glass-topped table, potted plants and, of course, the film-set panorama of the Andes.
There are 3 rooms in the original 1867 casa de campo, leading off a hallway lined with antique furniture and watercolour paintings - these slightly smaller rooms have double beds and ensuite bathrooms but lack a terrace.
Bathrooms have rain showers and terraSpirit toiletries; wardrobes and shelves are built-in. All rooms have well-stocked minibars, satellite TV and WiFi. Air con is not needed; the rooms stay cool all day and central heating is provided by solar panels.
Breakfast is served in the pretty dining room of white tables and blue-wash walls hung with colourful weavings. Creamy yoghurt and blueberries fresh from the family farm are laid out on a buffet table, along with pastries and orange juice. Homemade bread and jams and a plate of ham and cheese are at your table; tea or coffee is brought to you. There are also outside tables under a canopied terrace facing a water fountain.
Staff can make up sandwiches if you want to stay at the hotel and have lunch by the pool or on one of the terraced sitting areas. Alternatively, there is a list of suggested restaurants by the front desk - we went into Santa Cruz and had some typical Chilian chipperones and paella marina at Alma Campasina.
For dinner, Armando personally recommended Club Social, the town’s working men’s club, which has a restaurant open to the public. Waiters were friendly and there was a good selection of seafood, with many wines by the half-bottle. Out of town, Panpan Vinovino is set in an atmospheric old bakery with a huge brick oven and offers variations on local cuisine such as curried lamb stew and eggplant casserole with polenta. Its sister restaurant Mistela has an outdoor terrace and more traditional dishes.
Most of the young front-desk staff speak a little English and can suggest outings. The following are recommended:
Children will enjoy the pool, extensive grounds, and wandering through pathways to the willow trees by the river at the edge of the fields, or watching the blueberry pickers and sorters. All of the rooms in the extension can fit an extra bed or a baby cot and some are triples with a single bed in a small loft.
Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)
Triple Rooms have a single bed in a small loft area, and all rooms in the newer extension building can fit a rollaway bed, where a child can stay free of charge