Luxury experiential travel company &Beyond has expanded into South America for the first time, building on to a portfolio of award-winning properties in Africa.
The company has acquired the Hacienda Hotel Vira Vira, located in Chile’s Lake District, which will be renamed as &Beyond Vira Vira.
“We started the process of exporting our high impact model into South America three years ago, when we first set up touring capabilities in Chile and Argentina,” says &Beyond CEO Joss Kent. “We are delighted to announce an important new milestone on this journey – the arrival of our first lodge on the South American continent”.
&Beyond intends to use the exclusive property as the cornerstone for a series of lodge circuits in South America.
“This is an important step forward in achieving our goal of replicating our African integrated lodge model on another continent,” explains Kent.
“It took us 27 years to get to the point where we felt we had really started to deliver consistently on our ethos of Care of the Land, Care of the People, Care of the Wildlife in Africa. We believe that the expertise and knowledge we have gained during this process will enable us to also have a meaningful impact in South America.”
&Beyond CEO Joss Kent
&Beyond began to create their South American footprint by establishing a solid tour operating platform first in Chile and Argentina, followed by Peru and Ecuador. In parallel, they continued to search for properties, as well as other conservation and community development-led opportunities that fit the &Beyond model.
Kent explains that they found the ideal match at &Beyond Vira Vira, an elegant property set on a flourishing working farm, where owners Michael and Claudia Paravicini have created a strong foundation that combines a world-class guest experience with a breath-taking setting and a sustainable ethos.
“Over the past few months we have come to know the &Beyond philosophy first hand and we are delighted to see the close alignment and joint focus on providing unique experiences to every single one of our guests,” agrees Michael Paravicini.
The new addition to their portfolio fits &Beyond’s long-term vision for South America for a number of reasons. The pristine beauty of the natural setting plays into their ethos of Care of the Land. The sustainability ethics and operating standards already in place throughout the lodge operation, including a “farm to table” concept of producing all the ingredients required for the award-winning restaurant, ideally fit with the sustainability measures in place at all &Beyond lodges.
With a plethora of adventure activities available from the lodge, &Beyond plans to bring its trademark interpretive guiding experience to bear to enhance and develop on these experiences. &Beyond Vira Vira guests can look forward to activities such as horse riding, hiking, fly fishing, white water rafting, kayaking, skiing, scenic helicopter flights and many more.
Just as &Beyond does in Africa, the property also works with the local Mapuche people, incorporating their ancient wisdom, respect for the natural world and way of life in the guest experience and allowing travellers the opportunity to experience their traditions.
“In line with the ethos developed at our African lodges, &Beyond Vira Vira goes beyond luxury, offering an experience that delves deep into the heart of the destination and touches travellers, changing their perspective on life,” concludes Kent.
“In time, it will form the cornerstone of a larger portfolio of lodges and conservation and community projects that we are pursuing across the South American continent.”
&Beyond Vira Vira will open on 1 September 2018.