Avenida Ricardo Lyon 207, Providencia, Santiago, Chile
The Santiago Park Plaza Hotel sits serenely on a quiet, tree–lined residential street in the upscale Providencia neighbourhood, presenting itself as both a sanctuary for relaxation and a center for access to the city's bustling business and shopping districts.
Recent guests who have placed comments on the website www.tripadvisor.com give it a four to five star rating, but we feel it only deserves a four due to tight spaces and a certain look of "dowdy elegance." It's not part of the well–known Park Plaza chain that has hotels in Europe and North America. Entering the lobby a few steps below street level, we find the wood panelling is dark although plush carpeting and comfortable furnishings brighten first impressions and create a welcoming atmosphere. It's a national holiday weekend so the place is quiet and the duty manager explains they are short–staffed.
© Santiago Park Plaza
There are nice personal touches. For instance, guests checking in are seated across from the clerk at a broad wooden desk that stylishly hides the necessary computers beneath its glass top. A notice beside an antique phone invites guests to call the manager on this direct line should they have a problem.
The cosy (read smallish) rooms are fully appointed with warm colors, paintings and comfortable beds and seating. Windows open to let breezes in and marble bathrooms boast a range of toiletries. Several rooms have facilities to make things easier for those with disabilities. Every room has the features one would expect of a finer hotel––minibar, safety deposit box, wireless internet connection, premium bathroom amenities. At the Park Club level, guests are treated to tea and coffee, a basket of fruit, national newspaper, a bottle of red wine and a liqueur to end the day. Add flowers, private airport transfer and daily washing of one change of clothes for those in the Park Club and Master Park Club Suites.
A small but bright and airy solarium pool and fitness centre await on the 15th floor where guests can enjoy spectacular city views with glimpses of the towering Andes.
Guests are mostly business people from all parts of the globe, usually in the 30 to 60 age range. The hotel offers meeting and banquet facilities for groups of six to 100. Because of its friendly and sheltering atmosphere, this would be a good hotel for a woman travelling alone. Families with children are welcome in a sister property, the Park Suite Apartments, just a block away. The 80–seat Park Lane dining room is hushed, the service good, the menu varied and the wine list extensive. The adjoining bar offers a range of cocktails and aperitifs and there is a small wine boutique shop in the lobby.
Overall, the Park Plaza is a pleasant place to spend a few days on business or pleasure and, since the staff's command of English seems limited, guests have an ideal opportunity to practice their Spanish!
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 by authors except where indicated.