Nestled amongst the 1920s heritage mansion blocks of Santiago’s historic El Centro district, Hotel Magnolia was once the residence of an important political family and has been cleverly transformed into a sleek and contemporary design hotel by architect Cazú Zegers. Related to the building’s original architect, Zegers has seamlessly unified the elegant new extension with the original stone building. Discreetly blending neo-Gothic architecture with modern accents of glass, steel and concrete, the lobby is flooded with light from the traditional stained-glass windows, highlighting the restored floor tiles, marble staircase and original wooden doors.
Spread across the original townhouse wing of the building and the sleek, new extension, Hotel Magnolia houses 42 chic and stylish rooms and suites. Muted linen fabrics, Chilean art and high-end architectural style combine to create modern, airy spaces at the heart of this bustling city. Some rooms embrace the stained-glass windows and stone walls of the original building, whilst others are clad in pale eucalyptus for an almost Scandinavian feel. The larger suites on the upper floors of the hotel offer additional space to relax and super king-sized beds.
Under the steel and glass ceiling of the new wing of the hotel sits Restaurant Magnolia, awash with potted palm trees, quirky Tom Dixon light fittings and polished concrete walls. Serving an innovative and ever-changing menu of Chilean classics, locally sourced ingredients are transformed into dishes such as short ribs slowly cooked in Chilean Carménère and a traditional conger eel stew. The rooftop terrace offers views of Cerro Santa Lucía and the Santiago skyline, serving an impressive wine and cocktail menu and light bites and sharing plates, from pizza and sandwiches to cheeseboards and Chilean tapas.
A boutique hotel in the truest sense, there are no frills or extra facilities at Hotel Magnolia but the location at the heart of Santiago’s El Centro district more than compensates. Walk out the front door and discover the Chilean National Museum of Fine Arts, the fascinating Museum of Visual Arts or the Cultural Centre of Gabriela Mistral. Climb Cerro Santa Lucía for magnificent views of the city, or head further afield to explore the bohemian streets of Barrio Bellavista and La Chascona, the home of famous Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda.