Elqui Domos is a very unique lodging offer, it is one of the 7 astronomic hotels worldwide, and the only one in the South Hemisphere. Come enjoy the magic skies of Elqui Valley.
We noticed that shapes and philosophy of geodesic buildings, domes, were just perfect for our objective, and that is how we defined the basic elements for the final design: the bed should be as high as possible and over it the chance of a detachable roof, for a dream of stargazing from your bed; and all the comfort you would need inside the room for not getting disturbed on the feelings of such experience.
Our rooms are 7 geodesic domes that on the inside are furnished in a two storey plan: on the first floor a living room and the bathroom, and in the second storey the main bed and a detachable roof over it.
Each dome has an ample terrace. Other services, such as fridge bar, free tea & coffee and specialized astronomic literature, are also part of what we offer.
Services are focused on sky wealth, so they are composed of: specialized astronomic tours, nighttime horse rides. Bike rental, daytime horse rides, car rental are available among other services. Please, let us know what you need, so we can set it up.
Astronomic tour: lasts 1 hour, includes full guide of skies and use of telescope. Cost $ 18.000 / USD 36 per room (spanish); or $ 30.000 / USD 60 per room (bilingual, tour is made by one guide)
- Nighttime Horse Ride: lasts 2 and a half hours, includes a basic guide of skies. Cost $ 18.000 / USD 36 per person
First and foremost, transportation is the biggest thing. Pisco Elqui is a small town with no taxi service (or bus station for that matter). We did know this going in from another guest's review, but honestly thought we could figure something out. If you go here, you should really rent a car because there is no good way to get around. We couldn't find the bus that was recommended to us by the host before leaving La Serena, so we just took a bus from La Serena to Pisco Elqui and figured we could figure out the rest once we arrived. Once we arrived we saw nothing to help us get to our destination. As we stood around looking dazed and confused a local man tried to help us and ended up giving us a ride (for $6000 Chilean pesos, about $12 USD) for the 4 km ride. Once we were there we spent the night and didn't go anywhere, but the next day we decided to walk to town as he said it was 3.5 km away. It took about 50 minutes (as there are hills and whatnot, and we are pretty sure it must be more than 3.5 km per the street signs noting distance). Either way it wasn't a bad walk but wouldn't recommend doing more than once. The hotel has a listing of activities you can do, but you need a car to get to one of the surrounding towns where the activities take place (there is no hotel pickup). The hotel itself does offer an astromony tour (we had done one the night before from La Serena so we didn't do this, but seems like it would be nice since it is on the property), as well as massage and meditation. I tried to book both the massage and meditation but neither were available for the next day. In town the only thing is the Pisco Mistral distillery tour (which is only in Spanish) for about $6000. Otherwise, without a car there is not much more to do.
In regards to the hotel itself. The staff were all very nice and accomadating even with the language barrier. The lobby area is the only place the wifi works, but is a nice area to sit in. There is a pool and lounge chairs (it was too cold when we were there). The breakfast is by far the best breakfast ever!! They give you lots of choices, even including eggs (which you don't see too often for breakfast down here)! As for the other meals, we did not eat lunch or dinner there, I'm sure it is good, but keep in mind it is about $20 USD per person per meal. We stayed one night each in both units. The dome is cool for sleeping under the stars (which we still did and it was winter, not cold really at all with the right blankets), but the interesting shaped building is probably the best! It's really cool and you can still sleep under the stars, but at a slightly different angle and with glass between. Overall it was a cool experience, but really, really recommend renting a car to stay here.
Amazing place, domes are super cool/comfortable/its brilliant sleeping with the lid open under the stars - food in the restaurant is v good and reasonably priced, pool area grt to chill all in all v well done - but, you need a car as bus stops in Pisco Elqui (village before) where there are lots of good places to eat and nice place to visit - unless you use the neighbours 'taxi' service which is a bit of a rip off price wise...