At the turn of the century, Santiago’s El Centro neighborhood was a breeding ground for Chilean artists, intellectuals, and political movers and shakers. Despite all that would come after—regular earthquakes, societal upheavals, the destructive instincts of midcentury architects—many of the literati’s former mansions still stand. In one Neo-Gothic residence, their creative spirit still persists.
The new Hotel Magnolia inhabits the former home of a prominent political family. Admittedly, the building now bears a decidedly contemporary aesthetic, marked by a three-floor, glass-paneled addition. Still, architect Cazú Zegers and designer Carolina Delpiano took care to celebrate the original edifice—in part, perhaps, because it was designed by Cazú’s grandfather, notable Chilean architect Eduardo Costabal Zegers. The pair enlisted local artists to replicate the harlequin tiled floors and marble staircases, reconstruct the stained-glass windows, and embellish headboards with motifs of Chilean wildlife for all 42 Scandi-style rooms.
Leveraging its proximity to culturally rich neighborhoods like Lastarria and Bellas Artes, as well as the Archeological Museum of Santiago and the National Museum of Bellas Artes, the property has also reclaimed its legacy as a social center. Travelers and locals alike can be found tucking into chef Claudio Zuñiga’s contemporary Latin dishes, such as conger chowder and Magellanic lamb with sweet potato and aged-wine sauce at the restaurant, and on the rooftop terrace, guests cavort with avocado-radish pisco sours in hand. This crowd may be less likely to start a revolution. After all, they do gather in a glass house. Rates start from $220; hotelmagnolia.cl