One of the best ways to ensure a fantastic trip is to do your homework before traveling especially when it comes to finding the perfect place to stay. Thanks to TripAdvisor (and my dad is does all the research on it), we found the intimate CasaSur Charming Hotel – a boutique hotel with only six rooms in the lovely tranquil Barrio Italia. It was truly a treasure of a find!
The CasaSur has only been open for a little over two years but in that short amount of time, it is already ranked #1 on TripAdvisor of all 200+ hotels in Santiago. An impressive feat for this tiny little hotel. As soon as we arrived and met our hosts, the owner Eduardo and his delightful, charming staff, we realized what a special place it was. Eduardo was awaiting and welcomed us by name. His charismatic personality made us instantly feel at home and that is how he intends his hotel to be: Something a little bit different and unique.
After traveling the globe as a Civil Engineer, Eduardo decided to change his career path and open up his own boutique hotel running it the way he thought travelers would like best. A place that surrounds and welcomes guests with harmony, serenity and peace. A home away from home with inspirational quotes written by hand on the chalkboard each day and where each guest is treated as a part of the family.
After a bit of searching, Eduardo found the perfect place for his hotel: The lovely, tree-lined neighborhood of Barrio Italia located only a short walk from the trendy, more rowdy Barrio Bellavista. In 2013, he purchased the old run-down house on Eduardo Hyatt street and put his skills as an engineer to use fixing it up. In 2015, the doors to CasaSur Charming Hotel opened for the first time and his gorgeously-appointed, intimate hotel has been open ever since.
Eduardo put his engineering skills to work to create a lovely hotel with beautifully -appointed rooms, a stunning open air terrace and a delightful reception area. A freshly-made breakfast is served every morning on the outdoor terrace or inside if it is cool out. There is even a self-serve bar where you can purchase a bottle of Chilean wine or a beer without having to leave the comforts of the hotel.
Every morning the quotes are changed on the chalkboard and the new guests are added to the list. It is a very welcoming place!
The location of CasaSur couldn’t be more perfect. Located in the Barrio Italia (formally known as the Barrio Santa Isabel), this historic neighborhood has been up and coming for the past decade with dozens of fabulous restaurants to choose from, gorgeous boutiques and lots of interesting shops such as antiques and even furniture restoration. What I loved best is that I didn’t feel at all like a tourist in Barrio Italia. We walked, talked and ate with the locals. It was the perfect way to experience local culture and practice sustainable travel. After staying at locally-owned and run boutique hotels, I’d have a very difficult time ever staying at a big American hotel chain again. You miss half the experience of truly traveling and engaging with the country you are visiting.
We had an endless amount of delicious restaurants to choose from for dinner. Every meal was fantastic and there is food from all around the world just within a few tiny blocks. Best of all, we ate dinner with all the locals and even at local time (normally 10 pm). It took some getting used to the late dining hour yet once we did, we loved it.
Towards the end of the stay Eduardo and his staff felt like family. My only regret is that I didn’t have more time at the CasaSur. I would have loved to have learned more about Eduardo’s fascinating family history. Both his grandparents had escaped WWII and the Nazis, fleeing Berlin and Hungary before the mass extermination of the Jewish population. They met in Chile and were so afraid of being persecuted that they baptized their children and raised them Christian. I had no idea until that moment that Chile even had a Jewish population. These are the tiny pieces of cultural knowledge that I’d never have learned without staying at a small, locally-run boutique hotel, and these are the stories I will always remember from my trip.
If you go:
CasaSur Charming Hotel is very small and fills up fast. Book well in advance! Eduardo and his staff can also provide you will tons of fantastic day-trips and excursions. You will love it there!