“Sparkling clean colonial-style hotel with pool, set in its own vineyard and surrounded by green Andes foothills”
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…
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.
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:
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)
Cots Available, Extra Beds Available
Babysitting by arrangement.