Matias de Cristobal is the Director General of Awasi.  He’s also a member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of Relais & Chateaux, and a Board Member of the W Hotel in Santiago, Chile.

In a relatively short time, Awasi has developed a reputation for operating some of the finest lodges in South America.

  • Awasi Atacama — a boutique hotel in the heart of San Pedro de Atacama. Private vehicles and one guide per guest room. Canyons, volcanoes, salt flats, lagoons, hot springs, and pre-Columbian sites. This is one of our favorite destinations for multi-generational families.
  • Awasi Patagonia — set on a private reserve looking out on the Torres del Paine. After a full-day of privately guided hiking, riding, biking, or puma tracking, it’s hard to beat a soak in your private wood-fired hot tub overlooking the Paine Massif.
  • Awasi Iguazu — located on the Argentine side of the falls, this lodge has changed the way visitors experience Iguazu. It’s no longer just a day trip or an overnight stay; now guests have a rationale for 3 and 4-night stays, visiting private reserves, hidden waterfalls, and Guarani villages.

Much of  Awasi’s success—the brand’s vision, personality, and strategy—can be credited to Matias. He’s a keen student of design, customer service, and philosophy.

He’s helped broaden the vision of what travel can mean—how the people we encounter, and the experiences we share, can shape our lives.

In this episode we discuss:

  • How he developed his outlook on meaningful life experiences;
  • His definition of what a true luxury is; and
  • Define what he calls “the Awasi spirit”.

Matias is a true friend, a mentor, and an innovator. Most of our conversations take place in noisy restaurants in Buenos Aires, so we recorded this interview by Skype.  One day soon I hope we’ll be recording a follow up from the Grand Canyon.

Show Notes

Matias is a logophile, and in well read on philosophy, history, business strategy, and religion. He’s always ready to recommend a book.  One of the classics he’s recommended to me is The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell. One I’ve shared with him is The Power of Moments by Chip and Dan Heath.