The Cliffs Preserve: Spectacular View at a Price

I’m digesting a fancy dinner at a fantastic place. It’s called The Cliffs Preserve, and it’s on Chile’s Pacific coast, an 8000-acre property that caters to the ultra rich. The rate for the villas here is $1200 per person per night, with a three-night minimum. The jaded travel trade writers who I am here with sighed, saying that they have never heard of a place with rates this high.

Jimmy Anderson is the American born manager here. He’s confident and convinced that there’s a market for this type of luxury, and says they’ve got this high end here all to themselves. With rates like this you got that right. He told us that they grow much of their own food, and that nearly everything on tonight’s elegant menu was sourced from within 100 kilometers of our table.

They offer boating, and horsebackriding, and kayaking, and a chance to see sea lions and penguins, and promise an experience that builds relationships. A slick slideshow we watched provided glimpses of the life their guests can experience. It was a lot like what we saw these past few days, nature, fauna, and the gorgeous ocean views you can get if you stay somewhere with a private beach. Who knows if this is a bad bet or a homerun for the South Carolina tycoon who bankrolled this impressive project for $30 million or so.

Maybe the ultra rich are craving experiences like this, where they can build relationships with local Chileans, and build up their own family’s closeness by communing with nature. Jimmy said they want to be a destination that changes the way people look at life. That’s a tall order, but a worthy objective, and if their target of ‘aging baby boomers’ who work too much do indeed come here, they will have this market all to themselves.