El Elcade 15, Las Condes, Santiago, Chile
Perfectly nestled between serious Andean skiing and the warm beaches of the Pacific Ocean, this is the only Ritz-Carlton in all of South America. Arrive expecting to be pampered with an extremely high level of personalized service and an opulent yet inviting atmosphere, trademarks of any Ritz hotel.
Although it opened relatively recently in 2003, when you enter the Ritz-Carlton Santiago you will feel like you have been swept into the class of a different era. It is easy to picture Audrey Hepburn breezing through the dark mahogany and marble lobby, or Frank Sinatra drinking a dry Manhattan in the grand hotel lounge, the Ritz Bar.
Located in the exclusive financial district of El Golf with amazing views of the Andes for a backdrop, the hotel lies at the center of the bustling Santiago business and financial world. Just a few steps out the front door will bring you to the El Golf Metro station, making transportation throughout the city quick and convenient. Of course, if you prefer, the reception desk would be more than happy to arrange a private car for you, as they keep a fleet of Mercedes right out the front door. El Golf hosts numerous restaurants and shopping, and the nearby Los Leones Golf Club is not to be missed for any golf fan.
Incredibly personalized service is what makes the Ritz stand out. The preferences of each guest are meticulously noted. If the maid sees that you sleep on the left side of the bed, you better believe that at the turn down service, the left side of the bed will be open to welcome you. If the concierge gave you directions to a local chocolate shop, your next stay will be sure to have a minibar prepared and stocked with your favorite chocolates to choose from.
A great feature of the Ritz Santiago that makes for a hassle-free stay is the option of reserving a room on the exclusive 9th, 10th, or 11th floor, which give access to the Executive Club lounge. An Executive stay offers private check-in and check-out through a separate entrance, and every meal including afternoon tea is included in the room price. Additional guests may pay $25US per meal presentation to join you if you would like to invite friends or associates. The Executive Club option gives anonymity and offers an ultra quiet haven from rest of the hotel.
© The Ritz Carlton Santiago
Speaking of havens, the rooftop conservatory is where you will find the pool, Jacuzzi, outdoor patio with panoramic views of the city, and spa. Encased in natural light during the day and lit by vanilla-scented candles at night, the conservatory is filled with ambient music, massive pillow-filled lounge chairs, and even has a natural juices bar.
In 2010 SpaFinder awarded the Ritz Carlton Santiago the “Best Spa in Chile” award. The spa offers a list of treatments so long that you could stay at the hotel for a couple of weeks and experience a different treatment every day, which is not a bad idea because you will want to try them all! Noteworthy is the Tauromi massage, a traditional massage that the indigenous elder women of the Easter Islands give their athletes after the yearly grueling sporting festivities. It is a deep massage that can relax even the tightest muscles and is said to increase range of motion. For something a little more gentle, try the Deluxe Chocolate body treatment, which begins with a full body exfoliation from cacao beans, followed by a mask of a rich mousse of antioxidant cacao powder, finished by an indulgent cream massage.
At night, make sure to dine in at Le Bistro for gourmet cuisine based around traditional Chilean ingredients. Under construction and to open in October of 2011 is a less formal and more hip restaurant that will feature fresh, seasonal, and local cuisine. For a nightcap, try one of the 100 (yes, 100) different Martini options at the Ritz Bar before you return back to your room for a great night’s sleep.
© The Ritz Carlton Santiago
The rooms are drenched in natural light, and are decorated in soothing soft golds and greens. The beds are plump as a marshmallow, piled high with the finest linens and a soft and airy down comforter, with a large selection of pillows to choose from to create the perfect sleeping situation for you. Relax before bed in the large bathtub, read in the comfortable arm chair, or take a long shower under the rain shower head. The only detail that was a little distracting was the bright LED face of the alarm clock radio, which seemed to emit a lot of light into the otherwise darkened room at night.
A stay at the Ritz Carlton Santiago is perfect for the discerning traveler who wants to arrive assured of the standard of quality and service that has given the Ritz its great reputation across the globe. It is a place that invites you in with Latin warmth and hospitality, while understanding and catering to the diverse cultures and standards of people from all corners of the globe.
Web Address: Ritzcarlton.com for Santiago/
Total Number of Rooms and Suites: 205
Published Rates: $449 to $2399 BB (Executive Club rooms include more meals). No tax for visitors if paid in US dollars
Review by Cathy Brown, photos by author except where indicated.