Our first Chile accommodations set the bar really high, so I was very pleased to see another stunning boutique hotel come into view as we crested over one of the steep city hills. The historic palace built in 1923 was originally a private home built as a gift between a Croatian mining and shipping millionaire to his English wife in grand Victorian style. I like to imagine the vibrant red exterior was a visual ode to love, a giant heart sitting on the edge of the sea. Over time the building fell into disrepair, but through an extensive renovation project by the properties new owners and Chilean architect Mathias Klotz, Hotel Palacio Astoreca is a destination for the city of Valparaiso. They brought back to life the original outdoor paint which is such a beautiful contrast to the abundant white terrace that overlooks the busy bay and setting sun. Inside the architect left the original bones and woodwork while updating the space to modern day design sensibility and comfort.
We sat outside and had cocktails on the terrace after our city walk and enjoyed nightcaps in what I called the “explorer’s library” where books of travel and colors of the world inspire your mind for everything else to see #onlyinsouthamerica!
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Our second day of a journey to be found #onlyinsouthamerica…
We arrived at the colorful shipping port town of Valparaiso. My first impression – it looks like San Francisco!… and my second impression – it feels like San Francisco! (up. down. up. down.) The colors I had fallen in love with from my first Chile experience in the city of Santiago really came to life in Valparaiso…gardens bursting with flowers, painted stucco walls, colorful stairs up the steep city climbs, bright and detailed murals and historic, vibrant buildings. It was here in Valparaiso I had my first Pisco Sour. I had received email warnings about how their tasty appeal can get you in trouble…but it was just the kind of trouble I was looking for in Chile. After cocktails on the terrace of our hotel, we ended our one night in Valparaiso at the #1 voted restaurant outside of Santiago – Restaurant Alegre. This was Kevin’s favorite meal of the trip. I can’t even begin to describe the modern and surprising flavors this 29 year old wünder-chef created for us. It’s one of those things you just have to taste to understand… and then melt into a puddle on the floor. Oh, and he ended the meal with a dessert tree. I mean… bravo Valparaiso.
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