High end tourism is still in its infancy in Bolivia, with most of the industry catering to the backpacker crowd who seek out the cheapest accommodation possible. But things are slowly starting to change. As well-heeled tourists begin to discover this enchanting country, a number of uber-cool boutique hotels have been popping up to meet demand. Let’s take a look at the funkiest and quirkiest boutique digs from all corners of this wonderful nation.
After arriving in La Paz in 2016, this new comer to the city’s boutique hotel scene has earned a strong reputation for providing modern luxury and comfort while paying homage to Bolivia’s unique cultural heritage. Located in the upmarket Zona Sur (South Area), this sophisticated 53 room, five-star boutique is jam packed with works from Bolivian artists that proudly acknowledge the country’s national identity. As a member of Design Hotels TM, a handpicked group of exquisite international boutiques, Atix is a hit for its quirky architectural features, elegant indoor heated swimming pool, classy fine dining restaurant and funky cocktail bar with unbeatable city views.
Considered by many to be Sucre’s best boutique, Mi Pueblo Samary is a delightfully charming hotel built out of a former colonial mansion. The complex is designed to resemble a quaint Bolivian town from yesteryear, featuring a sunny central plaza, numerous rooms that represent houses and a cute town tavern that serves up first-rate food and drinks. The whole place is adorned with indigenous and colonial era artwork and is small enough to feel cozy and intimate, not least thanks to the excellent customer service from its attentive staff.
Known as ‘The Salt Palace’ in English, it really is just that – a grand 48,500 square foot (4,500 square meter) establishment that was constructed using over a million salt bricks extracted from the nearby Salar de Uyuni. Everything possible has been made entirely out of salt, including beds, tables and chairs. This delightfully quirky 30 room boutique is listed as one of the unusual hotels of the world, yet features all the required modern amenities for a comfortable stay such as a fully stocked bar, a spa and sauna and even a salty nine hole golf course. In recent years nearby copycat hotels have tried to replicate its success, though El Palacio de Sal remains the original and the best.
As with Mi Pueblo Samary, El Pueblito Resort Hotel is designed to replicate an 18th century Bolivian town complete with houses, a central plaza, a town hall, a bazaar and a chapel. Set in the tranquil countryside just outside the expat haven of Samaipata, this 11 room boutique eco-resort is spacious, relaxing and incredibly peaceful. The town-within-a-town also happens to feature one of Samaipata’s finest restaurants, enough reason to pay a visit in itself. An abundance of nearby natural attractions make staying at El Pueblito the perfect escape from hectic city living.
Widely regarded as Cochabamba’s finest boutique, Hotel Aranjuez has been converted from an old colonial hacienda (country house) into a luxurious four-star establishment with excellent modern amenities. Featuring 30 bright and airy rooms with balconies that overlook a central pool and garden, this delightful boutique consistently rates among the best hotels in the city. An elegant restaurant offers top quality cuisine that many guests prefer to enjoy in the tranquil garden.
Bohemian chic is not a phrase often heard in Bolivia, but this boutique apartment hotel in the country’s most modern city of Santa Cruz is certainly an exception. Renting fully contained apartments by the day, week, or month, this is an incredibly stylish option that feels more like New York or London than Bolivia. Each apartment has a unique decorative style and the common areas are jam packed with quirky though functional furniture and groovy art installations. Arguably the country’s funkiest accommodation, Inboccalupo is a must for those wishing to visit Santa Cruz in style.