Of the 5 hotels I stayed in during my January 2015 trip to Talca, Hotel Stella was my favorite. A small boutique hotel shoehorned into a narrow deep lot in a residential neighborhood, Hotel Stella was new, clean, modern, simple and efficient. It was a several blocks walk to the park on Avenido Bernardo Higgins but for someone like me, an architectural and real estate voyeur, it allowed many blocks of exercise and viewing the diverse living accommodations in Talca. Parking was free and I was always able to get a space right out front though they do have a separate lot down the block as well.
The room was decorated in bright orange which lent a cheery air to the otherwise spare utilitarian design of the room. The wall mounted flat screen TV and bed were the only elements in the room. A small desk was tucked away in the closet along with some small cubbies for guest storage. My first floor window looked out upon a gravel area that ended a mere 6 feet away at a huge concrete wall. Not visually appealing but it did let in quite a bit of natural light and fresh air. The bathroom and shower where quite adequate with a window high in the wall as the public corridor was just outside. Again I experienced difficulty with hot water even though the place was quite modern. In a bid for an eco friendly place, water was heated by solar so it seems hot water was much more plentiful in the daytime and less so in the night and in the morning. Management says they were still struggling with the solar contractor to iron things out. At that time they had a “steaming waterfall” of sorts where overflow hot water streamed down into the garden area from and overflow pipe of some kind.
No wasted space or fussiness in this urban oasis. Only two stories high in a narrow lot they packed a lot of living into the space. The walkway to the rooms was flanked by rooms on one side and a narrow landscaped greenspace ending at another wall presumably the building next door.
The narrow front desk/lobby was attractive and functional and a bit retro with a midcentury wooden console stereo…that worked! They were also featuring an art exhibit on the narrow ledges of the space. The breakfast area was attractive and the food offered was more diverse and satisfying then that of other places I stayed. Front desk personnel spoke excellent English, for which I was grateful and Owner/manager Christian was as lovely as he was helpful and efficient. Altogether a delightful stay at the Stella Hotel. At $42 per night, the lowest I paid, what’s not to love! My only caveat to future guests is that the locale was surprising noisy for a residential neighborhood. Perhaps closed windows would have spared me the seemingly constant sound of police vehicles and ambulances, something I did not expect.
Hotel Stella, Talca, Chile
Visited: January 30, 2015 – February 1, 2015