Valparaíso may be the cultural capital of Chile—and a gateway to the Chilean wine country—but until the Palacio Astoreca Hotel opened its Victorian doors this past October, the lodging options for travelers to the bohemian enclave were lacking. The new hotel offers a stylish spot from which to explore the city’s woolens shops, retro restaurants, and art galleries, and take in views of the rainbow-hued houses that spill down hillsides to the Pacific Ocean.
Palacio Astoreca’s Swiss-Chilean owners, Vincent Juillerat and Francisca Joannon, spent three years and $5 million restoring the former mansion, which was built in 1926 by a Croatian nitrate-mining baron. The result is a vibrant 23-room hotel that is modern yet faithful to its origins.
The owners wooed from Europe the Spanish chef Sergio Barroso, who trained under Ferran Adrià. Barroso’s Restaurant Alegre has become the hub of the Valparaíso culinary scene, thanks to dishes such as pickled salmon pisco and eggs poached with wagyu ham. Fittingly, the restaurant also offers its own gateway to wine country: A stone cellar downstairs is lined with choose-your-own South American vintages.
Palacio Astoreca Hotel, +56.32.327.7700, www.hotelpalacioastoreca.com