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
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Sport
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
sport
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
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
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

    C++ Software Engineer - Hounslow, West London - C++ - to £60K +

    £40000 - £60000 per annum + Pension, Healthcare : Deerfoot IT Resources Limite...

    VB.NET and C# developer (VB.NET,C#,ASP.NET)

    £30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...

    Visitor Experience volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary role: Old Royal Naval College: To assist the Visitor Experien...

    Telesales Manager. Paddington, London

    £45-£55k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...

    Day In a Page

    Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

    The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

    What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
    Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

    Finding the names for America’s shame

    The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
    Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

    Inside a church for Born Again Christians

    As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
    Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

    Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

    Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
    Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

    Incredible survival story of David Tovey

    Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
    Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

    Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

    The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

    Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

    Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
    German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

    Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

    Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
    BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

    BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

    The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
    Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

    Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

    Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
    How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

    Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

    Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
    Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

    Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

    Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
    10 best reed diffusers

    Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

    Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

    Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

    There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
    Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

    Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

    It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little