Our Director General, Matias de Cristobal, was one of the first guests to be featured on the ‘Luxury Travel Insider’ podcast by Bell & Bly Travel.

Matias de Cristobal

“Today we’re discussing the icons of South America – Patagonia, The Atacama, and Iguazu – with one of the region’s most visionary leaders – Matias de Cristobal” writes podcast host Sarah Groen. “I lead here by telling you about the places and the people before mentioning the hotel, because paraphrasing, Matias, the focus should be on the experience that is brought to life by the surroundings and nurtured with the love of the people.”

The Atacama Desert, Chile, where the first Awasi lodge was opened back in 2007

“Awasi is a collection of three small lodges,” explains Groen “meant to blend into nature and invoke something inside you. Regardless of whether you’re set in the mountains, the desert, or the rainforest you’ll be treated to a private local guide, storytelling through local cuisine, and a handcrafted experience that only these destinations can provide.”

Awasi Patagonia, a 14 villa Relais & Chateaux lodge that blends into its surroundings

The podcast spans from how Matias found himself in the travel industry to what he believes are the important pillars of hospitality – three secrets that are implemented in our three Relais & Chateaux lodges, Awasi Atacama, Awasi Patagonia and Awasi Iguazu.

Chef Juan Pablo of Awasi Atacama loves using local, seasonal produce in the Relais & Chateaux kitchen

“Matias shares a lot of wisdom in this episode,” says Groen “from his own journey to some lessons to live by. We also discuss the importance of “all local” – from handicrafts and design, to guiding, and food. And what the true definition of luxury is. Whether you’re envisioning yourself trekking Torres del Paine, seeing the salt flats in the Atacama, or wondering at the largest waterfalls in the world – I hope you enjoy this special episode with Matias de Cristobal.”

Matias de Cristobal Awasi

Matias de Cristobal hiking near Awasi Patagonia

Wondering what Matias’ theory is about the four things we humans are searching for in life? Click below to listen to the podcast:


Luxury Travel Insider is hosted by Sarah Groen, an expert in luxury travel. Sarah has travelled to 100 countries and all 7 continents, is a contributing travel columnist for CEO World Magazine, and is the owner of Bell & Bly Travel, a top travel advising firm working with executives and entrepreneurs.