We stayed here for 1 night (& 1 very long day, as we just didn't want to leave...) in December. This place is not for everyone - there are no poolside loungers, the rooms are dark & a bit rustic, there is nothing to do in the one-horse former ghost town. But we loved the laid-back atmosphere, the interesting architecture & design, the warm service, the excellent food & wine, & the overall vibe & ethos of the place. We definitely want to go back one day & would recommend it to anyone looking for a place to just read, walk, think & be fed really good food every few hours - especially if the owner, chef Francis Mallmann, is there (which he told us he normally is, during the season).
The hotel itself is a very interesting piece of period architecture located on the main square of a tiny, dusty town, with a couple of cafes & gentrified homes renovated by seasonal visitors. The dining & lounge area are cozy; a table is stacked deep & high with back & current issues of the New Yorker, while another has some terrific food reading - a great way to while away the hours. Another way is to horseback ride into the country behind the town, which we were too lazy (full) to do, but looked great.
Our room was dark but had high ceilings & was furnished with a very comfortable bed covered with a massive, deep down duvet, lovely dark wood period antiques & a beautiful blown-glass chandelier. The bathroom was a bit rustic, but fairly clean. The rooms surround a courtyard with a charming outdoor bar, small pool & a few rather uncomfortable chairs. It's a nice place to relax, but would be better with some cushioned chairs.... The staff start a fire at night. It's all very relaxed.
The food & wine were excellent. Mr. Mallmann was an absolutely gracious host, inviting us to dine with him & a few friends the night we arrived & feeding us food he cooked himself (something he doesn't do much of anymore! since he is so busy with TV shows, book tours, etc.). I can't think of many better ways to pass a day or two on holiday than hanging around reading Elizabeth David & being fed by a world-class chef who himself is on holiday, cooking up snacks & surfing the web from the sofa. It's a relaxed, homey atmosphere; perfect for a break from the beachfront madness, a 45-minute drive into the hills from Jose Ignacio. Go for lunch at the very least (during the day so you can check out the town).
I wasn't sure it would be worth the steep price, but it was - 3 great meals with all wines, cocktails, beverages etc included, in a unique place. Really lovely staff & ambiance.