Hotel Magnolia — Santiago, Chile

Hotel Magnolia — Santiago, Chile

The former palatial home of an old Chilean political family has just emerged from a two-year renovation as a 42-room hotel. Located in Santiago’s atmospheric El Centro neighbourhood, the original three-storey residence was built in 1929 by architect Eduardo Costabal Zegers. In one of those happy twists of fate, nearly 90 years later, it turns out that one of his relatives Cazú Zegers was commissioned for the renovation works.

Zegers has added three new floors, disguising the addition behind a glass façade printed with an image of the lower floors. An airy network of glass walkways and ceilings, and light wells brighten dark corners, whilst the building’s original floorboards now clad the walls of passageways.

The result is a light harmony between the original bones and modern insertions. Photographer turned designer Carolina Delpiano walks a similarly fine line as she and a corps of Chilean artists including Zegers herself, Macarena Illanes and Ivan Carrion recreated the original harlequin tiled floors with marble, hand-painted headboards festooned with Chilean flora and fauna, and reproductions based on the original stained glass windows, and clad the rooms with eucalyptus timber.

A 7th-floor rooftop bar offers views of Santa Lucia and greater Santiago, while executive chef Claudio Zuñiga dishes out seasonal Chilean specialties like conger eel soup and Patagonian lamb draped in a velvety Carménère wine jus.

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