Audiences around the world were glued to their television screens this week as the 33 miners trapped underground in Chile were winched to safety.
The story of the miners has put Chile on the map once and for all, if slightly overshadowing the grand spectacle that took place September 18 to mark the country's 200th anniversary.
The pace of tourism development in Chile has been rapid - new hotels seem to pop up in the country every day, boosted by the country's strong marketing activities in its target markets of the US, Spain, Germany, Brazil and Argentina.
The promotional activity seems to be working - tourism income has risen steadily over recent years despite the recession, gaining from $1.2 billion (€858.8 million) to over $2 billion (€1.4 billion) between 2006 and 2010 according to Euromonitor (http://www.euromonitor.com).
Chilean capital Santiago boasts a world-class selection of hotels, ranging from budget to luxury. Boutique hotels dominated the top five, with the Meridiano Sur Petit Hotel praised as "a very good place to stay in Santiago on a budget."
1 Meridiano Sur Petit Hotel
2 The Aubrey
3 Hotel Orly
4 San Cristobal Tower
5 Hotel Boutique Le Reve
Average price of top five $216 - $273 / €155 - €195
Despite being the second largest city in Chile, Concepcion is home to surprisingly few hotels. Alborada managed top spot, with Hotel El Dorado in second place.
1 Alborada Hotel
2 Hotel El Dorado
3 Apart Hotel Clb Presidente Concepcion
4 Holiday Inn Express Concepcion
5 Hotel Diego de Almagro Concepcion
Average price of top five $123 / €88
Valparaiso is Chile's main seaport and has undergone something of a renaissance in recent years. Guests praised the boutique Hotel Acontraluz as "spacious, spotless and very comfortable."
1 Hotel Acontraluz
2 Hotel Da Vinci Valparaiso
4 Hotel Manoir Atkinson
5 Hotel Cirilo Armstrong
Average price of top five $136 - $186 / €97 - €133
La Serena's beaches make it a popular tourist destination for both Chileans and visitors. The low-priced Hotel del Cid was travelers' favorite - perhaps because its average rate was only $20 (€14) per night.
1 Hotel del Cid
2 Refugio Misterios de Elqui
3 Costa Real
4 Canto Del Mar Hotel
5 Apart Hotel La Goleta
Average rate $79 / €57
Temuco is another tourist hub and guests raved about the modern and "spectacular" "muy bueno" Dreams Hotel.
1 Dreams Hotel Temuco
2 Hotel Dreams Araucania
3 La Frontera Hotel
4 Malalcahuello Thermal Resort
5 Holiday Inn Express Temuco
Average price unavailable
Data is taken from millions of independent reviews and rankings surveyed at TripAdvisor taken on October 13, 2010.
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