Chile’s capital Santiago is a fantastic starting point for a trip to South America, and a haven for art enthusiasts. Brimming with trendy bars and restaurants plus fantastic museums, the city is widely known for being rich in culture. Visitors to the capital won’t be short of things to do; stroll around the fish market for a taste of the local seafood, enjoy the view from San Cristobal hill, be amazed by the stories and legends behind the street art on a graffiti tour or simply relax with a glass of Chile’s finest red wine in a nearby vineyard. Santiago’s excellent flight connections, including the new direct flight to London which begins in January, make it a perfect place to spend two or three nights at the beginning or end of a trip, but where to stay?
Our colleague Kim took a trip to the capital last month to find out which luxury Santiago hotels fit the bill…
1) Le Reve Boutique Hotel
Le Reve oozes sophistication and earns it’s title of being ‘the most charming hotel in Santiago’. The hotel is located in the historic Providencia district, along a leafy suburban street where a selection of fabulous bars and restaurants are within walking distance. The french architecture of the building combined with the peaceful atmosphere and exceptional staff allow guests to completely relax. a feeling which starts the moment you step onto the luxuriously thick carpets! Le Reve has a strong foundation of tradition, and yet there are quirky features which will appeal to guests who enjoy an extra something special. For example, between 10pm and 1am, guests can enter a vintage kitchen and help themselves to a midnight snack – handmade cakes and biscuits, a variety of fruit and a selection of teas are just a few of the treats on offer. The hotel also boasts it’s own in house seamstress, who will attended to any wardrobe malfunctions that may happen during your stay. A full bar is available in the lounge area – but don’t expect to find a barman. The honesty bars relies on it’s guests to help themselves and pay accordingly! In addition, guests are able to choose from a fascinating selection of antique plates, bowls and cutlery at breakfast time before enjoying a delicious spread of fruit, eggs, cured meats, cakes, pastries, cereals and more. All these features are wonderfully endearing, but what of the rooms and sleep quality? Simply furnished and spacious, guests can enjoy a minibar, a generous choice of complimentary toiletries and air conditioning before slipping between the sheets of the huge beds and getting a silents nights sleep. If you are looking for elegant luxury, with a home away from home feel, this is the place for you.
What Kim thought – “Perfect for older guests or couples – really liked it and food was delicious. Lots of restaurants just across the road including a fancy burger joint, sushi, Italian etc. Breakfast was awesome. Only negative point was that I found it cold in the rooms!”
2) The Aubrey
A eclectic mix of contemporary art and historical features make this hotel one of the most in vogue boutiques in Santiago, a reputation which is enhanced by it’s location in the heart of the exceptionally trendy Bellavista district. The building is almost 90 years old, and has been subject to a tasteful restoration which has kept all of it’s unique features. The 15 rooms are decorated individually and pack a punch of colour, warmth and splendour, whilst the outdoor areas have a fashionably cool feel to them. Waterfalls and living walls are stunning features in the courtyard, and the terrace pool provides a refreshing escape from the heat of the capital city. In the evening, guests are invited to sample local cocktails in the piano lounge before exploring the tiny streets and exotic restaurants nearby.
What Kim thought – “Really, really cool. Perfect for young couples or groups. Good location and food looked great. Nice pool area. Only downside that I could see is that there’s no restaurants directly nearby”
3) Grand Hyatt Santiago
Grand is certainly a good word to describe this impressive hotel. Situated in the exclusive Las Condes district, all of Santiago is easily accessible and guests will enjoy it’s excellent location. Walking into the Grand Hyatt is an experience in itself – the huge circular tower extends high above the skyline and the view from inside is dazzling. A calm and quite circular area featuring a grand piano, bonsai trees and golden statues creates an ambiance of luxury from the start, and just a few more steps will take guests to the impressive outdoor area. Beautifully tended gardens, filled with colourful flora, surround the magnificent lagoon style pool (complete with waterfall and mountain views). Nearby, a gym with full spa is on offer and al fresco dining can be enjoyed from the on site Thai, Mediterranean and Japanese restaurants. Of all the hotels visited, the Grand Hyatt wins in the wow-factor when it comes to gastronomy. Stunning displays of colourful foods which look too good to eat are created lovingly by the in-house chefs, and meals can be tailor made to guests requirements. As for the rooms themselves, large art pieces dominate the walls of the wide hallways leading to the guest rooms, which are traditionally decorated with a touch of contemporary elegance.
What Kim thought – “Excellent hotel with tonnes of facilities. Food knocked the socks off all the others. Staff felt a little bit abrupt”.
4) The Singular Santiago
Upon arrival, guests are greeted by a smiling member of staff carrying a carved wooden box, which is opened to reveal a selection of handmade chocolates, and then offered freely. Exquisite, decadent and unique are words that could be used to describe the chocolates, but also the hotel itself. Deep, rich colours, exotic wallpapers and sumptuous textiles adorn the interior, alongside antique furniture and impressive pieces of art. Guests cannot fail to notice the attention to detail and gentle nods to the history and culture of Chile. Views from the rooftop pool are astounding, and the piano bar is a haven for anyone who enjoys cocktails. For guests wishing to relax, the impressive spa offers a wide range of treatments. Situated in the cosmopolitan Lastarria district – the hotel is less than 5 minutes from excellent bars and restaurants, including the popular (and some would say unmissable) Bocanariz. After a night of sampling wine and local seafood dishes, guests can rest assured that they are returning for a good nights sleep. The rooms are spacious, quiet and have every convenience available including bathrobe and slippers, minibar, walk in shower, specially designed beds and twice daily maid service. For sheer luxury and glamour, this hotel will not disappoint.
What Kim thought – “Absolutely spot on! Super friendly staff, gorgeous design, great facilities, nice looking food and great location. Can’t fault it”
5) Ritz Carlton
Tradition and modern influence combine in the Ritz Carlton to create a perfect escape for couples and families alike. Upon entering, the first thing that that struck us was the sheer volume of beautiful and colourful fresh flowers that decorate every space. These impressive displays continue throughout the hotel, and guest rooms also feature fresh flower arrangements. As part of it’s commitment to recognising the history and culture of Chile, the hotel has undergone an impressive transformation and now it’s restaurants and common areas are rich with traditional art. Even the cutlery is based on a historic design! Guests won’t be short of things to do; the hotel boasts a sensational rooftop pool, gym and spa area – with a wide domed glass ceiling and views over the whole city, the in house restaurant Estro supports local people with it’s farm-to-table policies and different sized conference and events rooms can cater for that important meeting or a grand wedding.
What Kim thought – “More suited for families – there were lots of children about. Very traditional and perhaps a little tired in places but they are refurbishing. Spa was absolutely brilliant!”
6) Luciano K
This quirky little boutique hotel is a great place from which to explore Santiago. Located in the centre of the city, all of the main attractions including shopping centres, museums and parks are less than 10 minutes walking distance. The art deco interior and vibrantly tiled hallways are a feast for the eyes, and the rooftop pool and adjacent bar is the perfect place to enjoy an early evening drink. With just 38 bedrooms, guests will be made to feel welcome and rest assured that every little detail has been though of. Guest rooms are beautifully furnished, with luxuriously soft linens and plenty of complimentary toiletries to choose from, and during the evening turndown service a small plate of handcrafted chocolates is left on the pillow. If you are on a business trip, Luciano K provides super fast wifi and a spacious desk in each room making it a great environment to work from. If you aren’t a breakfast person, you will be when you see the speed that is available here. A full menu of eggs cooked to order, seafood and cured meats are presented next to homemade yogurt, fresh fruits and a huge range of pastries and cakes. Served by the exceptionally friendly staff, it makes for a perfect start to the day!
What Kim thought – “Nice rooftop bar with great food and cocktails. Rooms really comfortable but a bit noisy. Good breakfast. Well suited for a business trip. Although it’s in the centre it doesn’t have any restaurants or bars next to it, have to walk a little way”
7) The W
Uber cool and lavishly bold, the W is not for the feint hearted! The brightly coloured features and eccentric furnishings are completely unique and make this hotel one you won’t forget. An in house nightclub, spa, gym, sushi restaurant and rooftop infinity pool are just a few of the spectacular features of this hotel. Guest rooms are just as show stopping and have names such as ‘fantastic suite’ and ‘wow suite’ – titles they live up to due to the sheer amount of amenities inside. If you are looking for a spot to take the perfect selfie, look no further then the W, which has stunning 360 views of the whole city.
What Kim thought – “It was cool but not for everyone. Rooftop pool and bar the best out of all the hotels by far”
8) Casa Bueras Boutique Hotel (formerly known as Lastarria)
My final stay was at a small boutique hotel named ‘Lastarria’. Guests can be sure of an extremely friendly welcome to the hotel, before being shown to their rooms, all of which house a simply gigantic bed. The accommodation here is modern, airy and stocked with everything that a traveller could need – a minibar brimming with goodies, plenty of toiletries, a notepad and pen, cable TV, super soft towels and chocolates on the pillows (not just any chocolates, ferrero rocher!). Built in 1927, Lastarria still has a vintage charm despite its contemporary styling, which is apparent in the beautiful architecture. The outdoor area, complete with swimming pool, gives guests space to breathe and relax before exploring the exciting city of Santiago. Nearby, there are museums, art galleries, boutique shops and theatres waiting to be discovered, plus plenty of restaurants to suit all tastes. Be it a business trip, or leisure stay, Lastarria will provide a laid back and luxurious place to stay in the heart of the city.
What Kim thought – “Loved the Lastarria. It’s small, friendly, charming and perfectly located! “
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