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The rooftop indoor pool

So let me start by saying, I had really high expectations for this one.  I had just come in from the Four Seasons in Buenos Aires which was a newly renovated hotel with great rooms and service, and was expecting the Santiago Ritz to be on the same level. Unfortunately, it left me wanting for a few reasons.

At first glance and walk-in the hotel has a grand appearance and the feel of a cultured residence.  Aged dark wood paneling and marble floors give the hotel a stately appearance and the travelers were mostly of the business variety.

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The impressive lobby

Upon closer glance, however, you find that the hotel needs some updating.  The carpets are well worn, and the rooms themselves left quite a bit to be desired.  The room that I was given had mold in certain areas of the bathroom, and there was an effervescent musk in the room as if it had been around for too long without a renewal or upgrades.

The colors were also drab and didn’t match the initial look of the lobby.  The decor was aged and the beds were highly uncomfortable.

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The stock room photo looks enticing, but don’t be fooled.  Lots of contrast image processing here
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Mold in the bathroom – Needed a repainting

What the rooms lacked, however, the hotel made up for in service.  I happened to be at this hotel during my birthday and they were kind enough to send me a bottle of champagne and even a birthday cake.  The overall experience was great even though the rooms just needed a little more updating than what I was used to seeing at a Ritz-Carlton.

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The Ritz Carlton Service – Birthday cake and champagne for my birthday and a nice handwritten note

PROS:

  • The service was impeccable, white glove treatment everywhere
  • The concierge was highly knowledgable and even arranged a city tour through a local contact of his
  • The lobby is warm and inviting and a great place to hang out and have meetings or just a drink

CONS:

  • The rooms need updating, the bathrooms were particularly old, and the furniture and bed were old  – cushions needed changing and mattresses needed to be changed
  • The food in the main lobby bar left quite a bit to be desired.  In a city with many food choices it was disappointing that the Ritz didn’t have a particularly great menu

SECRET(S):

  • Walk just outside the hotel to the local restaurants on Isidora Goyenechea

 

OTHER STUFF IN SANTIAGO:

  • Go and visit San Cristobal hill.  The view from the top is stunning.  It’s totally worth the climb.  Check locally, but on most weekends they even close off the road so it’s a great hike
  • Want to see something unique and different?  The locals (especially in government) have coffee about 10 times a day, but at coffee shops resembling bikini parlors.  Read about it here: Coffee with legs
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