A regal hotel in Santiago's financial district
The Ritz-Carlton, Santiago’s brick and green-glass exterior is subdued and understated next to the gleaming glass and steel buildings that surround it. With 205 rooms and suites set squarely in Santiago’s trendy financial district, the hotel offers luxury and tranquility in a harried city of 10 million people.
As you enter the half-moon two-story lobby, the concierge exhibits discreet and capable service. The feel and vibe is formal but understated, comfortable yet professional. A formal lounge to the right fronts an old-school bar in the back where live music can be heard on weekends, and both have couches and chairs making for nice spots to hold an informal business meeting.
And this is the duality of The Ritz-Carlton, Santiago — it is at once a business-oriented and vacation-casual space. The luxury hotel is a two-hour drive to the ocean, and a one-and-a-half-hour drive to the Andes mountains and all they have to offer (skiing, anyone?).
Across the street is Los Comdes, the cultural center where you can find live theater and art exhibitions, plus there are plenty of restaurants within walking distance.
Standard rooms are about 430 square feet, whereas suites, with separate living areas, range from 539 to 646 square feet. (The palatial Presidential Suite boast 1,938 square feet.) The décor and feel of the rooms are on the formal side and use soft tones of muted tan, beige and crimson to appeal to the eye.
Asprey bath products are available in each room, and Italian marble covers bathrooms, which have ample-sized tubs and showers.
The bedding is a surefire comfort: 400-thread-count Egyptian cotton linens and, like the Ritz beds throughout the luxury hotel chain, pillow-top mattresses (you can remove the top upon request).
East-facing rooms have views of the snow-capped Andes, while west-facing rooms look toward the city.
At 7,440 square feet, the fitness center and spa on the fifth floor, a structure walled in by curved glassed, includes an outdoor terrace with terrific views of the city. The indoor pool is heated to 84 degrees, a welcome feature during cold Santiago winters.
There are free weights, an assortment of workout machines and a wet sauna. The spa provides an array of indulgent services, including body treatments with local wine and chocolate.
The Lounge, where a fantastic afternoon tea is served, uses local woods in the décor and copper accents from the local mines.
The in-house restaurant, Estró, with its private terrace, offers a unique wine-tasting experience at Wines 365, where each day, a different by-the-glass option is provided (usually something from the Chilean region). Try Estró’s specialty, Patagonia lamb, which is slow-cooked for 14 hours for ultimate tenderness.
The Ritz-Carlton Bar is a clubby, wood-paneled affair that just might be the most ideal place in the city for nightcap.
The Santiago hotel’s branded coffee shop on the street level, Café Ritual, is a nice spot for guests of the hotel as well as locals. A small gift shop on the first floor features a variety of locally made gifts made of lapis lazuli, alpaca scarves and copper sculptures.