This striking stone-and-glass hotel, which sits in a quiet spot on Lake Llanquihue, is one of the most stylish luxury properties in the region.
Location 9/ 10
If you like a hubbub and need your walks around town, forget Awa and stay in Puerto Varas, 30 minutes’ drive away. But if you are on a driving holiday and/or like to escape from it all for a few days, this lakeside spot was made for you. The airport at Puerto Montt is an hour away; Petrohue Waterfalls (a popular local attraction) and the road up to Osorno Volcano are half an hour away.
Style & character 9/ 10
The owner of the hotel, Mauricio Fuentes, is an architect and designer – his private house is right next door – and it shows. From the outside, five-storey Awa looks like a modernist bunker, all reinforced concrete, urban-style water features, shimmering windows and there’s a daring asymmetry in the whole concept.
Inside, things are still stridently arty and architecturally ambitious, but calmed somewhat by native Mapuche fabrics and crafts, volcanic rock walls, fur throws, wooden floors and lots of natural light.
Service & facilities 9/ 10
The bilingual staff are bend-over-backwards helpful and can advise on local excursions and help arrange fly fishing, kayaking, treks and birdwatching, and hikes up to Osorno
Volcano. There are lots of places to lounge around and enjoy the views/open fires and a huge selection of books. The spa has a double massage cabin, long two-lane, heated pool, sauna, hammam and whirlpool. There’s also a smallish gym; pilates sessions can be arranged on request.
All 16 rooms are spacious, stylish, and with one wall given over to floor-to-ceiling windows affording to-die-for views of the lake and snow-capped volcano. Super-king or twin beds are standard, as are fireplaces, minibars and safes. All have a roomy power- shower and large two-berth whirlpool bath. The four suites are larger than the 12 superiors, and have living rooms with a small bar and sofa-bed. Three rooms have balconies.
Food & drink 8/ 10
Breakfast is an excellent buffet of homemade pastries and bread, quality cereals, fruit, juice, eggs to order, and strong coffee. In the evening a fire blazes in the restaurant. Tapping the local seafood, two great chefs head up a kitchen that serves sublime scallops and fish dishes. Chilean lamb pies and empanadas are also superb. The wine list is as extensive as any in Santiago and a few wines are available by the glass.