If you live in Chile, then I´m sure you´ve heard the buzz surrounding the arrival of WineBox Valparaiso. The colossal aparthotel is situated on Cerro Mariposas, on the site of a former neighborhood dumping ground, and is the first touristic undertaking on the hill.
With Winebox, architect Camila Ulloa has created something memorable but also comfortable, an amazing feat of engineering that is constructed of 25 recycled shipping containers. The containers were inspired by owner Grant Phelps´ hometown of Christchurch, a city which began rebuilding (after the 2011 earthquake) with containers.
The containers are insulated with newspapers and the rooms are furnished with furniture made of some 3000 wooden pallets. There are nineteen rooms with a private terrace, and two suites.
Phelps has an extensive background in Chile, brought here as a winemaker some sixteen years ago. He has worked for Casas del Bosque, among others, began the Beso Negro project and has been published all around the world as a sommelier, including in Lonely Planet. It is only fitting then, that his hotel has an emphasis on wine. There is a wine cellar, dedicated to highlighting small-scale producers, and a store selling over 300 varietals.
On the agenda is a restaurant and bar due to open in 2018, though currently Grant is offering wine pairing dinners and events, as well as tours of the project with barrel tastings of the WineBox wine – first wine ever to be produced in the city of Valparaiso.
I find this project incredibly fun and a hugely positive venture for the city of Valparaiso. Visually, it is a stunner and never quite the same anywhere you look. Grant is also a confident and warm personality, a wonderful host and a man who believes wholeheartedly in giving back to Chile, supporting small providers and wine. The next time you plan a weekend away, book a room at WineBox – you won´t be disappointed.
The Nitty Gritty
Address: 763 Avenida Baquedano, Valparaíso
Phone: 09 9424 5331
Tours: Standard tour runs Sunday 12-5pm (English/Spanish) and includes a tasting of 3 WineBox wines for $5000 (duration 1 hour). Private group tours cost $20,000 per person and include a tasting of 7 wines – all personally overseen by Grant – and run for about 2.5 hours.
Lunch: available on the rooftop terrace for groups.
*All images by WineBox Valparaiso*
This post has not been sponsored – I just think its very innovative and fun!