Discover Gold…in Chile
Ansley, my great college friend, and I were looking for a little getaway, somewhere we could reconnect, drink some good wine, do some serious hiking. We wanted to go somewhere new and different. To say that we found such a place is an understatement.
Viña Vik, the recently opened 22-suite retreat and wine spa in Chile’s Millahue (“place of gold”) Valley is like no other. Our first glimpse of our destination was a mere glint on the horizon, a gold sparkle in a verdant valley of vineyards that stretched for miles. It soon became clear: The light that beckoned us turned out to be the titanium tiles of the building’s roof; below were the other such striking materials – glass, steel, concrete – that make up this architectural wonder.
The interior of Viña Vik is no less visually compelling, no less avant-garde. Each suite is different and designed around the original works of various local Chilean artists, which means you could find yourself sleeping under a headboard made of Lego-like tiles, bathing before a photographic collage of Hermes-clad women, or sitting in a chair that resembles the profile of a human head. Quirky but fun. Floor-to-ceiling windows in every room afford all guests the same spectacular views of the landscape and vineyards because, after all, the primary reason everyone comes to Viña Vik is the wine.
When wine connoisseurs speak of outstanding Chilean reds, the name Vik is always on their lips, and no visit to this property would be complete without a tour and tasting at the on-site winery. Rest assured, Ansley and I did our part to support the industry. For those wishing to partake in other activities, there are cooking classes, spa treatments, horseback riding, and hiking. But really, sitting by the infinity pool with a glass in hand and an eye on the valley view is just about as good as it gets – almost like striking gold.
Before returning to Richmond, we enjoyed a one-night stopover at the Singular Hotel, set in the center of Santiago’s most charming historic neighborhood, Lastarria. The hotel is an elegant combination of luxury, style, and service and a great place to explore the local culture of this bustling capital city. Both Viña Vik and the Singular would be great and easy respites before or after visiting other South American destinations.
*Viña Vik is part of the VIK Retreats, Alex and Carrie Vik’s remarkable portfolio of innovative properties known for incorporating art and architecture into the natural surroundings. Estancia Vik in Jose Ignacio, Uruguay, is the setting for my annual winter art trip, January 29 – February 5, 2015. Please contact me if you would like to consider joining us.