Hotel transformation for explora Atacama


SANTIAGO, Chile (August 5, 2008) – Even the driest desert on earth is fertile ground for a transformation. That’s what guests can look forward to at Hotel de Larache, the base of operations and accommodation for explora Atacama. Set in the moon-scaped Atacama Desert of northern Chile, the comfortable hotel is currently in the midst of an extensive interior and exterior renovation that will include the addition of four new suites and a new glass-walled kitchen.

The property-wide renovation will take in all interior and exterior spaces at Hotel De Larache, from the entrance way, lobby, living room and the new cozy library, to the dining room, cocktail lounge and open-style kitchen. Even the hotel’s pool area is being reworked, with the addition of two sizable outdoor Jacuzzis with space for 10 guests. Renovation work launched in May 2008 and is set to wrap up on schedule in September – just in time for the arrival of spring in the Atacama Desert.

New and Renewed Accommodations

Bright, airy and puristic, the new interior design of Hotel De Larache plays off the surrounding desert, with inviting spaces dressed up in light woods and slate flooring. The highlight is the addition of four new suites, which will bring the hotel’s room count to an even 50. Each new suite will measure 535 square-feet, with living room, comfortably-sized balcony for soaking up striking desert views, and fully-equipped bathroom with two sinks, whirlpool, separate shower, WC, bidet and automatic lighting. The hotel’s remaining 46 guest rooms are in for remodeling as well, with contemporary furnishings from Switzerland and Spain complementing pieces of explora’s own design.

A Welcoming Atmosphere

New furnishings and fabrics will further enhance the welcoming atmosphere of Hotel de Larache, with furniture from Vitra, In The Casa and explora in the hotel’s lobby, living room and library. A new fireplace and private dining areas will be added to the restaurant, assuring a warm and intimate ambiance during cool desert evenings. A new open kitchen will offer guests captivating views of food preparation and cooking, with the kitchen staff in action under direction of Executive Chef Laurant Pascualetto.

Meanwhile, outdoors, the hotel’s pool area will be the perfect spot for guests to melt after a long day of adventure in the desert. While four existing swimming pools will be maintained, including one heated with solar energy, two of the hotel’s four saunas will be transformed into “Turkish Baths,” with room for warm, hot and cooling water therapies.

explora Celebrates its 15th Anniversary

The transformation of Hotel de Larache is the first of many steps that will take explora in new directions in architecture, aesthetics, design and enhanced service. Pedro Ibañez, founder and chairman of explora, will introduce the new Hotel de Larache to a select and intimate group including travel journalists from around the globe on October 7, 2008.

A New Way to Explore

As of this year, explora Atacama adventurers can also witness the heavens in glorious refinement at the new observatory. Set amid the driest desert in the world, explora’s remote outpost is exceptionally situated for the finest stargazing on the South American continent with the recent installation of a Meade 16” f/10 LX200R Advanced RC Telescope offering guests yet another tool for explorations.