Slow is Fast
August 18, 2022

Hotels series: Palacio Astoreca

In Valparaiso, a rich 1920s mansion is turned into a modern day luxury hotel and pays tribute to the past.

At the same moment Robert Mallet-Stevens was designing private villas around Paris, the trade routes brought wealth to Valparaiso. On Chile’s pristine pacific coastline, rich merchants rivaled each other in building sumptuous palaces for their wives—like Palacio Astoreca, erected in 1923 by a Croatian-born mining and shipping tycoon for his elegant (and homesick) English wife Constance Wadworth.

Recently converted into a 23-room hotel, the sumptuous Victorian mansion looks out onto the bay again as if it had never stopped ruling! The grandeur of its red and white façade is now balanced by a minimalist indoor pool, moldings with art nouveau motifs and ceiling lamps by Tom Dixon. Overseen by Chilean architects Mathias Klotz, Renzo Alvano and Pablo Riquelme, the renovation introduces modern elements alongside historical artifacts: the original bones and ornate woodwork were all kept while the original tile floors were relocated into bathroom floors. Part of the building’s first roof was even used to shape the bar. Inside the rooms and across the main areas modern fabrics and artistic wallpaper create the perfect backdrop for antiques, and stellar views over Cerro Allegro, Valparaiso’s oldest neighborhood.

by Clara Le Fort