Viña del Mar, Chile
Found in Chile’s Valparaíso Region and set on one of the most beautiful Pacific ocean shorelines in the world, Viña del Mar, or “Vineyard of the Sea,” in English, is an excellent choice for the Royal Holiday member looking to enjoy Chile’s hottest vacation spot. The fourth largest city in the country, Viña del Mar may be one of the most affordable beach resorts in South America even as it remains ever-popular with the upper crust of Chilean, Argentinian, and Brazilian society. Only a short drive from Santiago, Viña del Mar’s scintillating beaches, easy access to the numerous other wonderful towns and villages strung along the coast, and numerous activities make it ideal for the Royal Holiday member looking to enjoy the best of Chile.
Royal Holiday members will stay at the Hotel Gala. The luxurious hotel, which offers handsome studio-style rooms, is a quick walk to the beach. With two restaurants and 24-hour room service, as well as access to the 14th-floor bar with panoramic views of the ocean and city, Hotel Gala makes for a truly comfortable and classy hotel experience. The hotel’s location in the heart of downtown makes it easy to explore everything the town has to offer, while the on-site spa and sauna allow Royal Holiday members to relax after a long day exploring, surfing, and having fun.
Known as “the Garden City,” Viña del Mar first rose to prominence as the home of a military installation and sugar refinery. By the 1920s, tourism rose to become its main industry. Today, it’s a city of well-kept green spaces and a sparkling expanse of ocean, with numerous points of interest in between that will keep Royal Holiday members busy for a vacation of any length. The city’s main attraction, its beautiful beaches, will be impossible to ignore, and many visitors will simply want to set up a beach chair and soak up the sun. Others will want to participate in water sports, such as surfing, skimboarding, and other wave-focused activities that are hugely popular among Viña del Mar enthusiasts.
While the beach may be a focal point, the city has much to interest the Royal Holiday member looking to explore its fascinating culture. Its landmarks, such as the infamous flower clock at the Caleta Abarca or the imposing mass of the Castillo Wulff, are well worth a visit, while those looking to indulge their inner historian will want to check out the exhibits at the Museo de Arqueología e Historia Francisco Fonck. The Garden City includes some gorgeous parks, with the Jardin Botánico Nacional at the top of the list. With its 3,000 plant species and pastoral charms, it’s well worth the short drive from the city center. Adults looking for extra excitement would do well to visit the local casino, though it behooves visitors to check the dress code before entering. The city’s nightlife can be extremely rewarding, although the best parties can be found during February’s Viña Festival. Royal Holiday members still hungry for more to explore will find nearby Valparaíso well worth visiting, with its funicular elevators, historic neighborhoods, and the former home of Pablo Neruda.