The 15 Most Romantic Hotels in South America
Looking to kick back in South America post-wedding? Your search for the perfect honeymoon hotel is over. In partnership with Jetsetter, we asked our readers and followers to vote on the most romantic spots in seven regions across the globe—nearly 9,000 of you responded. In South America, Rio de Janeiro took first place, and for very good reason. The vibrant, seaside city is widely loved for its delicious dishes. But the beach-filled metropolis isn't the only winner. Buenos Aires, Lima, Cartagena, and Santiago made it into the top five, too. If you're set on vacationing to one of these places, we've made planning easy. Here are our favorite hotels in each destination—so now all you have to do is choose one, enjoy your big day, and take off for the trip of a lifetime.
Rio de Janeiro: Hotel Fasano
Designed by Philippe Starck, this mod, 1950s-inspired hotel has a prized spot on Avenida Vieria Souto, overlooking Ipanema Beach. Inside, you'll find lots of leather and wood, plus white marble and floor-to-ceiling windows. Chef Paolo Lavezzini runs the Italian restaurant, Fasano al Mare, and the rooftop infinity pool is the place to sip caipirinhas while gazing at the Tijuca Forest and Christ the Redeemer in the distance.
Rio de Janeiro: The Villa
Brazil's rolling green landscape takes center stage at this 11-room hotel, which has clear views of Guanabara Bay, Sugarloaf Mountain, and the country's famous Christ the Redeemer statue. There are three kinds of suites to choose from—standard suites with direct pool access, superior suites with a private terrace (some are only accessible by stairs), and deluxe suites with spacious rooms and Jacuzzi tubs. Start your day watching the sunrise, then relax poolside on blonde wood chaise loungers topped with beach-chic blue-striped cushions.
Rio de Janeiro: Grand Hyatt Rio de Janeiro
This oceanfront property in the chic Barra da Tijuca neighborhood opened just in time for the 2016 Olympics. It's almost entirely surrounded by water: each of its 436 rooms has a balcony overlooking the Atlantic or Marapendi Lagoon. Throughout the hotel, there are mosaics and vertical gardens inspired by Brazilian landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx. Yabu Pushelberg designed the interiors, which spotlight indigenous stones and fabrics. Our favorite part: rooms come with complimentary Havaianas flip-flops.
Buenos Aires: Four Seasons Hotel Buenos Aires
It's not every day you see a lobby with hand-blown glass chandeliers and a front desk covered in shining azure semiprecious stones. The rooms at this Recoleta hotel have local touches like leather headboards embossed with alpacas, Malbec-colored furnishings, and curtain draw rods made from riding crops, plus marble bathrooms with rain showers and free-standing tubs. Make sure to plan ahead for a dinner at the award-winning Elena restaurant; dishes like saffron rice with seafood and chorizo and 45-day dry-aged beef comes out of an open kitchen. (Save room for the housemade ice cream, which comes in creative flavors like gorgonzola-and-prune and lemon-and-candied ginger.)
Buenos Aires: Faena Hotel Buenos Aires
In the trendy waterfront barrio of Puerto Madero, this stately red brick hotel is walled in from its lively surroundings. The dramatic style of its public spaces begins in the lobby, with velvet curtains, dim lighting, and rich palette of red, black, and white. Rooms, however, are brighter, with sleek, glass-walled bathrooms, mirrored furniture, metallic accents, and large windows. There are plenty of places to see and be seen: the intimate pool, Library Lounge, and the cantina-style El Mercado restaurant. There's also an on-site cabaret that hosts tango shows.
Buenos Aires: Moreno Hotel
This boutique property is housed in a restored historical building, originally designed by architect Johannes Kronfuss in 1928. The ornate ceilings, cage elevator, vintage stained-glass windows, and tilework remain in the lobby and hallways, transporting you to a bygone, Art Deco–infused era. The 39 spacious guestrooms, meanwhile, are done up in black-and-white retro décor and hardwood flooring. (Top tip: Mention your bathroom preference at check-in, since some rooms just have a tub.) The highlight is the wooden rooftop terrace, which has panoramic views and outdoor sofas.
Lima: Hotel B
Consider this 17-suite spot in Lima's bohemian Barranco neighborhood an art gallery and hotel hybrid, thanks to its impressive collection of contemporary art. Designed by French architect Claude Sahut in 1914, the building underwent a total renovation, restoring much of the woodwork and layout, and adding a modern extension with a glass staircase and interior courtyard with a vertical garden. The high-ceilinged rooms are all different shapes and sizes—but they all have wood floors, tufted headboards, and original artwork. With a long bar and bistro tables, the street-side La Gloria restaurant serves mostly Peruvian-Mediterranean small plates like charcoal-grilled octopus and crostini with avocado and anchovies. Don't miss the lonche, or teatime, included in your stay.
Lima: Belmond Miraflores Park
The sweet scent of tropical flowers greets you in the marble lobby of this elegant 89-room hotel, known for its world-class service. Accommodations are spacious—the smallest is nearly 500 square feet—and arranged like suites, with sitting areas that have views of the Pacific Ocean or lush gardens. One of the best perks is the food: A lavish breakfast spread is served at the rooftop Observatory restaurant, and you can sip top-shelf pisco sours in the avant garde Belo Bar. The Zest Spa stays open until 10 p.m. most nights, and offers treatments featuring products from Peru and the Amazon.
In Spanish, "atemporal" means "unaffected by time," and this 1940s era townhouse in Miraflores is charmingly nostalgic, its nine light-filled rooms filled with vintage cameras, photographs from iconic Peruvian photographer Martín Chambi, and retro posters. Each suite also features high-ceilings, modern furnishings, and patterened frazada rugs hand-woven in a small Sacred Valley village. Bikes are available to borrow, and there's an honor bar to mix your own drink. Make time to visit the Museo de Sitio Huaca Pucllana (pre-Inca pyramid ruins), just one block away.
Cartagena: Sofitel Legend Santa Clara
This sprawling, colonial-style hotel is housed in a former convent from the 17th century—and we love it for its palm tree-dotted courtyard, gorgeous pool, and airy rooms decorated with works by Colombian artists like Ana Mercedes Hoyos. Take a break from exploring the city with a hot rock massage at the hotel spa.
Cartagena: Casa del Coliseo
This 12-room hotel is set inside a charming historic mansion with a show-stopping spiral staircase and exposed brick walls. When booking, ask for a guestroom with a street-facing balcony—the best for prime people-watching and views of the impressive colonial architecture. While there's no restaurant, a daily breakfast is served off the lobby (and is filling enough to get you through lunch).
Cartagena: Hotel Casa San Agustin
When this 30-room hotel opened a few years back, it was a game changer, upping the luxury ante in the city's hospitality scene. It's set inside three colonial homes, and you can still see original frescoes, wood-beamed ceilings, and an ancient aqueduct wall outside. Amenities include a new Aurum Spa, a quiet pool surrounded by trees, and top-notch Alma restaurant. Honeymooners will especially love Room 102, which has a private terrace and plunge pool.
Santiago: The Singular Santiago
This hip property combines the best of neoclassical French architecture and contemporary design. The 62 guestrooms are like mini-residences, and are done up in rich textures, warm tones, and retro-cool touches like brass lamps and chinoiserie-style lacquered desks. Set on the ninth floor, the rooftop bar and pool offers spectacular views of the adjacent Parque Forestal. Down below in the subterranean spa, you can book holistic and new age treatments, including chromotherapy.
Santiago: Hotel Boutique Castillo Rojo
This fanciful 1923 red castle in Bellavista has been many things: first a home for a well-heeled local family, then an artist commune. In 2013, the five-story building and grounds were restored to their original glory—and no two rooms are alike. A gothic stone staircase in reception leads to a moody lounge, outfitted in velvet chairs, original dark wood paneling, crystal chandeliers, and big windows. The top three floors have 19 boho-chic accommodations with all the modern trappings you could want. Want to splurge? The fifth-floor suite has a sun-drenched sitting room and a hidden terrace between the building's eaves. The formal restaurant, Cabildo, is perfect for a celebratory dinner, and focuses on traditional ingredients and techniques.
Santiago: Lastarria Boutique Hotel
Take a trip back in time with a stay at this 1927 mansion-turned-hotel in the historic Lastarria neighborhood. Although its original marble and oak floors remain, the 14 sunny, spacious rooms have been modernized with soundproofed walls and sleek black wooden tables and chairs. Take to the covered outdoor terrace, swimming pool, and garden for some tranquility, or spend the day exploring the artsy area. Wine and dine at the hotel's Deli Lounge with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc and camarones al pil pil—shrimp sautéed with garlic, white wine, and red chili, and coriander.
Additional reporting by Amanda Reed.