One of the best things about being in the travel copywriting business is that our lucky team here at ItinerWord get to create stories, describe emotions and walk our readers through the most incredible travel experiences. Don’t get us wrong though, as it’s not all about five-star Caribbean getaways or boutique design lodges in the Amazon; far from it, as we pay just as much attention to even the most modest airport hotel with our creative content marketing as we do the most exclusive of resorts! That said, if there’s one type of property that just makes you just want to go there immediately and experience it for yourself, it’s surely the salt hotels of Bolivia?
Unique accommodation in Uyuni
Ok, we hold our hands up, it’s not all about finding the best salt hotels in Bolivia, as actually, you can’t talk about salt hotels without mentioning the Uyuni Salt Flats themselves, but then you also have those fantastic airstream campers to think about too! And that’s just the point, because as unique and memorable as experiencing Uyuni first-hand is, thankfully many of the most popular accommodation options here are just as special and distinct, which only adds to the story. So what is it that makes them such an irresistible part of any Uyuni adventure?
To look at, some are nowhere near as spectacular as the famous ice hotels of Finland or Sweden, for example, since even the most luxurious Uyuni salt resort and spa is still a relatively humble abode in comparison. But there lies the second point: an Uyuni salt hotel provides each lucky guest with a unique South American travel experience yes, but even more so a real sense of place, simultaneously connecting the visitor with the land, quite literally, and Bolivian culture more widely. From the handwoven throw on your (salt) bed to simply chatting with staff and learning just a little bit more of what this precious natural resource has meant to local communities, for so many centuries. Or, an altogether more remote, slightly less sociable – though equally spectacular – experience comes by booking your very own luxury airstream camper in the middle of the desert, with nothing but an ethereal night sky and absolute isolation in every direction for company!
The best Salt hotels in Bolivia
So then, just how many salt hotels in Bolivia are there, and which do we think are the best of them all? In truth, they number far fewer than you might suspect, so as with much of what we do in our day-to-day travel copywriting work, it’s not so much a case of picking a favourite, more looking at the plus points of a few popular choices – given that they all offer something different.
Hotel de Sal Luna Salada
Hotel de Sal Luna Salada is one of the closest properties to the Uyuni Salt Flats, though has far more up its saline sleeve than just an enviable location, as this boutique Bolivian salt hotel boasts a spa, Jacuzzi and in-house massage suites as well as a fine restaurant and healthy list of available excursions. The guestrooms and suites are then each a cosy little hideaway of salt-brick beds, fun regional artworks and typically Bolivian colours throughout. And, for anyone worried about losing their connection with the modern, non-salt world, fear not, as you’ll also find Wi-Fi, iPod docks, central heating, electric blankets and air-conditioning here too.
Hotel de Sal Casa Andina
It may not look like the most glamorous resort in Bolivia from the outside, but Hotel de Sal Casa Andina, in the heart of Uyuni town, is a wonderfully atmospheric little salt lodge within. Made entirely of salt bricks and even featuring furniture, ‘sofas’ and armchairs fashioned using everyone’s favourite mineral, you certainly get the full salt experience here as well as easy access to town, and the desert plains beyond.
Hotel Palacio de Sal
Adopting almost iconic status amongst the best luxury salt hotels in Bolivia, Palacio de Sal is as much a boutique design lodge as it is an architectural wonder and all-round fantastic place to stay, when visiting the nearby Uyuni flats. Take the spa: a haven of massage treatments, sunbeds lining a luxe indoor swimming pool, Jacuzzi, steam rooms and more, you won’t find this level of luxury elsewhere. There’s then a fantastic restaurant boasting a signature salt-themed menu and stunning guestrooms that, while modern, evoke all the typically Bolivian stylings you would hope for. In summary, booking a stay at hotel Palacio de Sal is nothing short of remarkable, one of the best ways to experience Uyuni.
Hotel Tayka de Sal
A rustic salt hotel located within touching distance of the Uyuni Salt Flats, Tayka de Sal feels fully authentic and a great choice if looking to uncover this rejoiced region of Bolivia without the fanfare. Apart from anything else, the remote setting of Hotel Tayka de Sal is worth the visit alone, though once within this ranch-style property you are greeted with a beautiful central fireplace and large chimney dominating the communal dining room, itself dotted with chairs carved from huge blocks of salt, handmade cushions, and a refreshing lack of refinement to it all.
Cristal Samana Salt Hotel, Uyuni
Arguably the best-looking salt hotel in Uyuni, Cristal Samana is quite fantastic to witness from just about every angle! Approach, and you may feel like you are visiting some kind of thatched French chateau with its circular central atrium and turrets; while within, something out of this world awaits! Staircases and bannisters, mantle pieces, shelves and armchairs, even the lobby check-in desk is masterfully carved entirely from salt here! You’ll find museum-worthy pieces of traditional Bolivian clothing and jewellery in glass cabinets, art engraved directly into the walls, a clutch of exclusive guestrooms and a fantastic restaurant that services the hotel’s lucky guests only. Then, simply strap on your walking boots or jump in the car – you’ll be at the Uyuni flats within minutes!
For us at ItinerWord, our sense of adventure stretches far beyond simply creating the best content marketing in the travel industry; we like to experience what we write about too! And, given that the company evolved through a love of all-things South America, several of our team have been fortunate enough to visit Bolivia, tour Uyuni, and stay in the unique comforts of an airstream camper. Not only do they look great, but the beauty of booking one of these unique Uyuni accommodations is that, when the sun goes down and lights go out, you’ll be left in blissful isolation, total darkness, and alone with the once-in-a-lifetime experience of being somewhere that feels as if from another planet. And speaking of which, stargazing from the pitch black of Uyuni, with no light pollution in any direction, is some of the best in the world at the right time of year.
Reasons to visit the Uyuni Salt Flats
Of course, the enchanting salt hotels of Uyuni are not the only reason to venture out into this remote region of Bolivia, as you are here for the natural wonder itself! In fact, you will find salt flats all over the world, in Utah, Botswana, nearby Atacama in Chile or the slightly further afield Lake Eyre, Australia, but none of them are as spectacular as here in Uyuni. Bolivia is a country full of contrasting though equally wonderous landscapes, and in a wider world of increasing urbanisation, pollution, highways and skyscrapers, car parks and shipping lanes, deforestation and melting ice-caps, just taking a moment out to absorb one of Mother Nature’s greatest artworks can only be a good thing. For the travel writers at ItinerWord, that alone is surely reason enough.