Top of the Class: Hotels in South America with the Highest Grades

- Joy Pecknold, Passport blog editor

Schools dole out final grades and, like the Harvard of hotels, so do we. We continue calling out Kiwi Collection’s top properties by region. Next up, the five hotels and resorts in South America with the highest HQ (hospitality quotient).

Ponta Dos Ganchos Exclusive Resort
Set down on Brazil’s Emerald Coast overlooking cerulean waters, this resort is in a class of its own. Room and board is one cost, so guests don’t have to do any math once they get there. And everyone gets to study that latest Grisham novel in peace because there are no kids allowed.
Percentage grade: 88
Best subjects: Perfect 10 in Fit to Promise
Aptitudes: All-inclusive, adults-only, lengthy list of water sports, 200-label wine cellar, fresh catch seafood, infinity pools and unbelievable views.

Lapostolle Residence
Oenology is Lapostolle’s specialty. Its four villas hug the wooded hillside beside one of Chile’s most highly-regarded wineries. Those staying here revel in bottles of their best Clos Apalta and Borobo, and the cool pool with its vineyard views—just a few reasons why it’s Kiwi Expert Brian Mumby’s number one.
Percentage grade: 88
Best subjects: Perfect 10s in Rooms, Food & Beverage, Attention to Detail, Generosity & Value, Wow/Hip Factor, Architecture & Design and Fit to Promise
Aptitudes: Private dining room, family-owned, proximity to 12 other wineries and modern architecture.

Sofitel Cartagena Santa Clara
As a former 17th-century monastery, religious studies was once this hotel’s forte, now it’s luxury hospitality. In Cartagena, Coloumbia overlooking the Caribbean Ocean, it boasts beautiful flora and fauna (a toucan named Matthieu) in its courtyard garden. Book worms might like to know this is where most of the authors attending Hays Literary Festival hunker down.
Percentage grade: 88
Best subjects: Perfect 10s in Architecture & Design and Location
Aptitudes: Modern French fine dining (at El Refectorio), LeSpa with hammam and cultural hot spot.

Palacio Duhau Park Hyatt Buenos Aires
With its neoclassical good looks, this palace once private is now public. It knows how to strike that balance between staying current without forgetting history, as seen in they’re blending of old world and new world decor. As for geography, it’s well placed in the stylish Avenida Alvear district.
Percentage grade: 87
Best subjects: Perfect 10s in Architecture & Design and Location
Aptitudes: Great Buenos Aires base for shopaholics, underground gallery of local and Latin American art, spa, on-site bicycles and pet-friendly.

Hotel das Cataratas
This one’s Kiwi Expert and mega-traveler Mary Gostelow’s very favorite. The location, at the base of 275 interconnected waterfalls in Brazil’s Iguassu National Park of protected rainforest, is the biggest reason it’s beloved. Guests would be remiss to not to spend most of their time outside in the natural splendor, but the indoor perks aren’t to be missed either.
Percentage grade: 87
Best subjects: Perfect 10s in Service, Wow/Hip Factor and Location
Aptitudes: In-house biologist, heli-tours, separate kids pool and Amazon-inspired spa treatments.

Honorable Mentions:
Hotel Monasterio
Percentage grade: 85
Best subjects: Perfect 10s in Wow/Hip Factor and Location
Aptitudes: 16th-century monastic design, oxygen-enriched rooms (it’s located high in the Andes) and proximity to Incan ruins.

Explora en Rapa Nui
Percentage grade: 85
Best subjects: Perfect 10 in Architecture & Design and Location
Aptitudes: Remote location, UNESCO World Heritage Site, LEED-certified building, all-inclusive, guided adventures.

Fasano Punta del Este
Percentage grade: 85
Best subjects: An even split of 8s and 9s across all areas.
Aptitudes: Complimentary flip-flops, bungalow-style, swimming pool sculpted out of rock and impending 9-hole Arnold Palmer-designed golf course.

Sofitel Buenos Aires
Percentage grade: 84
Best subjects: Perfect 10 in Location
Aptitudes: Art Deco architecture, Pierre-Yves Rochon interiors and French-meets-Argentinian cuisine.

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