“Sparkling clean colonial-style hotel with pool, set in its own vineyard and surrounded by green Andes foothills”
New in 2010, the hotel still has a scrubbed Scandinavian freshness with white walls, rauli wood beams, wicker furniture and terracotta roof tiling. All 19 rooms have a patio overlooking the vineyard and share a long shaded veranda facing the pool and mountains. The hotel vineyard grows Merlot grapes for the nearby Laura Hartwig winery and there is a private pathway through them to the aforementioned excellent Italian restaurant, Vino Bello. Fine wine, great food and clean, comfortable rooms - it’s a perfect 3-point holiday plan for relaxation.
- A lovely base for touring local wineries and hiking, biking and horse riding in the picturesque Colchagua Valley
- Friendly English-speaking owners Anne and Eduardo who know Colchagua well and are happy to recommend and book local activities
- Spectacular Andes and vineyard views from your room
- Tasty buffet breakfasts and great cheese platters with wine on request
- Lazing by the pool, which gets the sun all day, then moving to the patio for sundowner drinks
- It’s a 10-minute walk into Santa Cruz, along a fairly busy road, although taxis are very cheap
- Santa Cruz itself doesn’t have a lot of attractions, although its museum houses the biggest private collection in Chile
- No lunch or dinner available at the hotel itself
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- Breakfast only
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Outdoor Pool
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Bicycles Available
The colonial-style bedrooms are more or less identical: spacious, with oak flooring, pine wardrobes and French doors leading to small tiled patios where white wicker chairs overlook the vineyards. All the wicker is made in the nearby town of Chimbarongo, which is well-known for its solid woven furniture.
Our kingsize bed was plumped high with comfy Danish cotton bedding; some rooms are set up as twins, others triples. Argentine bed throws, original folk art and a wicker sitting chair make things lovely and homey inside. Bathrooms have showers (no bathtubs), toiletries and piles of fresh towels changed daily (though you can request towels are kept to save water costs). And all rooms have free WiFi, cable TV and a safe.
For small families, or couples who want a bit more space, there is a Master Suite on the ground level, which has a separate living room with a terrace, plus a large ensuite bathroom.
We were on the top floor of the hotel, which we slightly preferred to the ground-floor rooms, although the patios feel less private when the neighbouring one is occupied. Creamy linen curtains block out the morning sun through the French doors, though there’s nothing to block the noise, because there isn’t any! That’s what happens when you fall asleep in the middle of a vineyard…
- Central heating
- Cots Available
- Extra beds
- Safe box
- Satellite tv
A buffet breakfast is available until 10.30am (11am on weekends) in the dining room off the main lobby. Fresh juices, fruit, yoghurt, muesli, bread, cheeses and meats are laid out on the wooden buffet table - you can sit at the pine tables or take your coffee/tea out to the patio. Anne is usually in the breakfast area, and will often stop by your table to chat or check if you want a plate of scrambled eggs as well.
For lunches, TerraVina has a helpful list of local restaurants in and around Santa Cruz. We walked to La Casita de Barreales, a Peruvian restaurant just 3 minutes away, for a quick ceviche fix on their front patio (and returned later for a Pisco Sour under the trees at the back). In Santa Cruz, Alma Campesina has Chilean cuisine and is a popular lunch spot with locals. We tried a traditional caldillo (soup of congrio, lemon, cilantro and garlic) in the rather formal Santa Cruz Hotel. Many restaurants are closed in the evenings and on Mondays.
For dinner, we loved walking from our room through the vineyard to Vino Bello, the family-owned Italian-Chilean restaurant with a large terrace for dining alfresco. Their pasta looked most promising and we went for two tasty tortellinis, one stuffed with crab, the other with morcilla sausage.
We borrowed a torch from the hotel for the walk back, although plans are to light the way with solar lamps. And we couldn't resist a post-prandial in our room - a generous plate of cheese, smoked ham and olives, with, at Anne’s suggestion, a glass of her favourite of the Laura Hartwig wines, the Cabernet Sauvignon.
- Restaurants nearby
TerraVina has a good selection of maps and brochures of sights in the Colchagua Valley and there is a list in the rooms of suggested activities. These include:
- A Tour of the Laura Hartwig Winery
Book the horse-drawn carriage to take you there, or walk through the vineyards for a tour of this well-respected boutique winery, which has 85 hectares of vineyards, 5 of them surrounding TerraVina. The winery produces Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc
- Tours of Colchagua Wineries
Other wineries nearby that are open for visitors are Las Ninas, Casa Lapostolle and Montes, which has a botanical hiking tour. Further along the Carretera del Vino is the largest producer in the valley, Casa Silva, and Viu Manent, both with their own restaurants
- Hiking, Horse and Bike Riding
Horses were once an integral form of transportation in the valley so relive the past with a guided horseback tour arranged by the hotel; it also has bikes to rent on a daily basis, or staff can point you towards hiking trails
- Colchagua Museum
This small museum in Santa Cruz punches above its weight with a notable collection of pre-Columbian ceramics and textiles and Conquistador-era Mapuche silver jewelry, along with fossils, vintage cars and an exhibit celebrating the life of the huaso (Chilean cowboy)
- Village Rodeos
Speaking of cowboys, most villages still host a rodeo on Sundays with displays of horse-riding skills and folk dancing open to all; the village of Lolol has the most authentic of indigenous huaso culture
Dangle a rod in the sea at Pichelemu or in Lago Rapel
- Cookery Lessons
Learn how to whip up modern Chilean dishes with an English-speaking chef; you accompany her to the market to shop for ingredients first
- Train Tour
The Tren del Vino is a 1913 steam engine that wends through the Colchagua Valley, stopping at various wineries and offering wine tasting on board - unfortunately temporarily suspended because of the February 2010 earthquake, check the website for updates
- Pool Time
Back at the hotel, TerraVina’s curvy pool gets the sun all day (it’s not heated) and you won’t tire of the mountain view from the loungers
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Cooking classes
- Mountain biking
- Museums / galleries
- Private guided tours
- Shopping / markets
- Traditional cultures
- Wine tasting
Children are welcome and will enjoy the pool, wandering through the vineyards or riding bikes around the grounds. Extra beds/cots can be fitted in the rooms for a small supplement.
Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)
Family friendly accommodation:
Cots Available, Extra Beds Available
Babysitting by arrangement.
Kids Activities on site:
- Bike riding