The First Boutique Hotel in Santiago

At the Aubrey Hotel, Modern Design Meets Santiago’s Historic Past

December 14, 2015 Reviews By Photo by James Florio

The Aubrey is a boutique hotel with old bones. First built in 1927, the mansion was originally the family home of Domingo Durán Morales, a prominent Chilean politician of the time. After decades of ownership by the Morales family, the historic building went vacant in 2001. Businessmen Mark Cigana and Will Martin, an Aussie and a Brit, bought the place in 2006. $3 million, several years and a near-total renovation later, The Aubrey opened in 2010 as, according to Cigana and Martin, “Santiago’s first true boutique hotel.”

Today the building’s historic facade, although refurbished, remains true to its past; the original structure, terra cotta roofs, parquet floors and striking Spanish stone archways remain. Inside is a different story. The design-focused hotel incorporates contemporary furnishings alongside Art Deco wood panelling and oil paintings from the 1600s. Outside there’s a beautifully illuminated (at night) patio that boasts palm trees, man-made waterfalls and a heated outdoor pool with hydro-massage beds.

All the guest rooms are minimalistic, elegantly decorated and, because they’re cut from a converted home, they’re each unique. Of the 15 rooms, there are several loft rooms and doubles with terraces, four Pavilion rooms with outdoor seating areas, and two spacious suites: the San Cristobal Suite, with its romantically open design, and the Art Deco Suite, which has its own private entrance. Each room has all the convenience you’d expect, such as feather beds, free wi-fi and Hansgrohe showers.

Downstairs is the hotel’s indoor-outdoor Piano Lounge Bar. There, guests can eat tapas dishes and drink fine Chilean wines or authentic cocktails like pisco sours. It’s also a great place for a book and some afternoon tea. However, the most historic, desirable and difficult place to grab a reservation is The Aubrey’s Dining Room. It’s here where guests can have a gourmet breakfast in the same room where Durán hosted numerous prominent figures, including President Alessandri.

As beautiful as The Aubrey is, its final (and real) bit of magic is its location. Situated in the vibrant Bellavista neighborhood at the base of Cerro San Cristóbal, the city’s second-highest peak, the hotel allows guests to easily explore Santiago. It’s right near the city’s Metropolitan Park and Zoo, Pablo Neruda’s La Chascona Museum and Patio Bellavista, a complex known for its restaurants and shops. So not only is The Aubrey a place to crash before heading to south to Patagonia, or north to Atacama — it’s also a perfect for getting to know Chile’s capital city.

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