Weaving among sheep-strewn hills that roll into the Pacific, the 30-minute van ride from Chiloé Island’s airport to the Refugia resort makes for a captivating first impression. So much so, in fact, that visitors may not notice an unusual oblong lodge as they near the shore of this remote island (Chile’s second largest), which only became accessible via direct flights from Santiago in late November.
Refugia’s horizontal slab of second-story guest rooms balances on a shelf of glass and steel, all oriented for the benefit of the sweeping vistas. In September the first Refugia guests gazed out from the poured-concrete great room to the surrounding emerald-hued isles and the fisheries floating at sea. Upstairs, a dozen identical accommodations, with beds dressed in lamb’s-wool throws, offer picture windows as the spaces’ only entertainment.
Outdoor activities range from visits to the wooden Churches of Chiloé (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) to trips around the archipelago on traditional boats to horseback rides along deserted shores. Following meals of artfully prepared sea-to-table cuisine, guests can partake in the most popular activity at Refugia: sitting by the fire and watching the weather roll by.
Refugia, +56.65.772.080, www.refugia.cl