Josefina Edwards de Ferari 0100, Santiago, Chile
At Santiago's elegant San Cristobal Tower, you can choose your views. Tucked at the base of San Cristobal Hill, its front rooms overlook the city and—on a clear day—the towering Andes. Its back rooms look out on the gardens, swimming pool and lush vegetation of the rocky and romantic Parque Metropolitano.
Part of Starwood Hotels and Resorts' Luxury Collection, the San Cristobal Tower offers the finest in accommodation and amenities and, in so doing, holds itself apart from the central core of Santiago.
Hotel staff pride themselves on attentive service that meets the most exacting standards. In a unique move, butlers, both male and female, are trained by Lady Iris Spencer to assist with guests' every need. Lady Iris is famed for training butlers in the service of Britain's Royal Family.
"We never say no," comments Camila Lochsinger Heitmann, guest relations manager. "Although we might have to say maybe once in a while," she adds with a grin, having been a butler herself. There are three butlers at beck and call for each of two shifts. Services may include complimentary arrival drink, unpacking and packing luggage and garment pressing.
Guests are encouraged to make their preferences known when they book so the butlers can ensure each room is personalized for arrival. Fruit, flowers, wine—you name it and it will no doubt be waiting. Those who return will find their wishes meticulously filled once again.
The tower is eight years old and parts of it are starting to look like they'll benefit from upcoming renovations that will, as well as replace worn carpeting, provide more specially–outfitted rooms for guests who are disabled. A welcome feature will be one room for those with allergies. It will have hardwood floors, furnishings which are hypo–allergenic, special bathroom amenities and meticulous cleaning standards.
All rooms and suites are lushly appointed, in some cases with valuable antiques or fine furniture, gold–rimmed mirrors and opulent drapes. The Presidential Suite on the top floor is fabulous, reminding us of a French chateau.
Guests enjoy a panoramic view of Santiago and the Andes along with a traditional American breakfast or English tea in the charming l'Etoile Restaurant on the 21st floor.
San Cristobal Tower and the Sheraton Hotel and Convention Centre are joined at the hip, although the Tower outshines its older sister. They share a wide range of business facilities as well as the spacious garden, pool, tennis courts and children's playground outdoors and the Neptune pool, fitness and spa center indoors.
A range of food services is available to guests. Award–winning chef Josef Gander presides over the elegant and spacious main–floor El Cid restaurant, while other choices are the casual El Jardin coffee shop and a seasonal outdoor grill beside the pool, El Bohio. The lobby bar is a comfortable spot for a chat and catering facilities can accommodate banquets for 700 in style.
With its exquisite surroundings, many services and facilities, the San Cristobal easily makes Condé Nast Traveler's "Top 10" list for South America year after year.
As the doorman carefully helps us into a hotel car to visit the popular Central Market, he warns, "Be careful with your belongings there." His is another caring touch that helps this hotel stand out from Santiago's other luxury properties and encourages guests to return.
Web Address: www.luxurycollection.com/sancristobaltower
Total Number of Rooms and Suites: 138
Published Rates (including breakfast): $175 to $1,245
Presidential Suite $3,000
No tax for visitors in Chile if paying in US dollars
Review by Lorie and Paul Bennett, photos courtesy of San Cristobal Tower.