B&B and Beyond: Casa de Todos, Santiago de Chile

A creative, globe-trotting couple have put their stamp on a pair of 1920s buildings in Barrio Italia. By Sorrel Moseley-Williams

Close to the River Mapocho and shadowed by nearby Mount San Cristóbal, a polite reminder of the Andes, the neighbourhood of Providencia looks rather staid at first glance. Medium-rise office blocks and two-storey homes make up the bulk of the urban landscape, but further inspection reveals a thriving cultural scene. Providencia laces together Bohemia with the modern world and brims with cafés and bars.

It is also home to Barrio Italia, a former industrial sub-district that had its heyday between 1910 and 1940. Its regeneration is more beatnik, successfully integrating venerable butchers and mechanics with organic cafés, boutiques and art galleries that have breathed new life into warehouses and workshops.

Casa de Todos is one of a growing number of B&Bs in the capital. Owned by a married couple who love to travel and sensed an opportunity, the 11-room lodging embellishes original 1920s fittings with fresh furnishings.

The bed

Before taking up its current role, Casa de Todos was a pair of offices – the current owners spent a year joining the two buildings together. Given that the 1920s French-style construction falls under a cultural heritage protection order, great care was taken to maintain original features.

That said, contemporary details have been thrown into the mix, such as a vast map of the city sketched on to a blackboard in reception and a colour-coded key system.

There are 11 rooms, including two that can open out to create a single apartment, and each one is individual thanks to the different flourishes. En-suite bathrooms are compact but include toiletries and a bathtub with rain shower.

Guests can take advantage of two shared areas: the black-and-white living-dining room sports a large sofa and LCD television, while the bamboo-lined back patio is an ideal spot for cooling off under an umbrella.

The breakfast

If Spanish isn't your strong point, consult the dining room's vast blackboard for a visual guide – then point. Eggs are made to order any style, as is the coffee. The rest of the meal is self-service and includes a selection of cheese and ham, fruit salad, fresh raspberry juice, cereal, breads including the local flat hallulla and, for the homesick, a variety of Twinings tea.

The hosts

Husband-and-wife team Kanky Schmidt and Rodrigo Arcos combined their respective professions of graphic design and engineering to undertake this project. After a laborious 12-month remodelling, Casa de Todos opened three years ago.

This is their first time running a small hotel, and after checking in guests each morning, Kanky heads down to the basement to attend to her graphic design company.

The weekend

Wander aimlessly around Providencia and stumble on gems in Barrio Italia (barrioitalia.cl), with more than 120 cafés and cute boutiques lining the main drag, Avenida Italia.

Cat lovers should also make a beeline for kitsch kitty emporium Carita de Gato (00 56 2 723 1158; caritadegato.cl) at No 1216, while home improvers will enjoy Areas Design (00 56 2 341 7313) at No 1354 or Jojo Bazar (00 56 2 2936 9885) at No 1295.

For men's and women's staples, head to the inappropriately named Snog (00 56 2 225 2391) at Tegualda 1517, while a percentage of the profits from the handknits and ecological wares at Hilos de Salvia (00 56 2 269 0810) further along at No 1832, goes to charity.

Hungry after shopping? Café de la Candelaria (Avenida Italia 1449; 00 56 2880 4137; cafedelacandelaria.cl) whips up tasty crepes, while hearty pasta dishes form the core of Da Noi's menu (Avenida Italia 1791; 00 56 2 274 2001; danoi.cl). There are Peruvian and Mexican restaurants nearby too.

Once you've finished splurging, aim for Parque de las Esculturas (Avenida Santa Maria 2201), a permanent, public collection of works by renowned Chilean artists that includes Marta Colvin's award-winning Pachamama, a tribute to Earth Mother. And, on the cusp of Providencia you'll find the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (00 56 2 499 1600; mnba.cl), a grand Neoclassical edifice topped with an atrium that houses pieces from Chile, Europe and Africa.

The pitstop

There are three branches of the revered Liguria, but the original restaurant (Avenida Providencia 1373; 00 56 2 235 7914; liguria.cl), is a stone's throw from Casa de Todos. Team up a Chilean dish such as razor-clam gratin and conger-eel stew with a wine from the substantial list and settle in for an evening. A kitsch space adorned with maps, road signs and photos of pin-ups gone by, Liguria is friendly and buzzing; local bands play live.

The essentials

Casa de Todos, General Flores 120, Providencia, Santiago, Chile (00 56 2 2946 5806; casadetodos.com). Doubles start at US$125 (£83), including breakfast.

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Frost will star in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special
tvNick Frost, Natalie Gumede and Michael Troughton step up
Arts and Entertainment
Matthew Beard, Ben Schnetzer, Douglas Booth and Jack Farthing in ‘The Riot Club’
filmReview: Sheer nastiness of Riot Club takes you aback
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    USA/Florida Travel Consultants £30-50k OTE Essex

    Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Sales Account Manager

    £15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...

    Day In a Page

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week