The Luxury of the Essential
When you travel, do you pick the destination first, or the hotel? Can a hotel be a destination in itself? What if you can have both – a hotel and a destination which are equally appealing, that complement each other perfectly? Try this one out for size: Explora’s Hotel de Larache in Atacama, Chile.
Parent company Explora describes its philosophy as the ‘luxury of the essential’, offering travelers what they need to be comfortable in their surroundings, but never so much as to destroy them. ‘Our lodges are welcoming and invite you to be in touch with your surroundings rather than isolating you from them.’ Perfect.
If you’ve seen Explora’s other hotels, you won’t be surprised to see how drop-dead gorgeous the Hotel de Larache is. Built in 1998 but recently renovated, the hotel is located near San Pedro de Atacama on the Ayllu de Larache plain, once inhabited by the ancient Atacameño community.
Three long buildings house 50 rooms, around a central square. The hotel’s public spaces are set against the backdrop of the region’s volcanic mountains.
Founder of Explora, Pedro Ibáñez, explains a little more about his company’s philosophy: ‘I believe that the more remote and mythical a place is, the more impact it has on you. When we were starting up Explora, we talked a lot about that nostalgia, that longing to arrive at places which are more difficult to get to.’
The hotel adds to the miraculous landscape of Atacama’s salt flats, adding a little luxury without taking away any of the beauty. Seems like a perfect combination to me. RM