FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Ritz-Carlton Santiago

Feb 1, 2008
2008 / February 2008

Arrival/Check-in: I arrived at the Ritz-Carlton under a hail of “Welcome Mr. Pettersens” fired off by a half-dozen people between the car and the front desk. It seems they were expecting me. I was exhausted, having just disembarked from a weeklong, physically demanding adventure cruise in Patagonia; and I was dazzled by the lavish lobby holiday decorations (always discombobulating for a Minnesota native when it’s 85 degrees outside). Formalities were brief, beverages were served and soon I was being introduced to the various amenities in my room. (30/30)

Guest Quarters: Sadly, I didn’t score a coveted room on the hotel’s north or west sides, so instead of views of the Andes, I had views of a construction site, which spewed incessant noise beginning at 8 a.m. Monday. My 430-square-foot deluxe room, despite a decidedly this-could-be-anywhere décor, was nevertheless tastefully equipped. The triple-sheeted bed — complete with seven pillows — worked like high-grade catnip on me, though firmness fans might have been distressed. The large marble bathroom, with separate shower and bath, had a healthy stockpile of toiletries that I endeavored to enjoy. Construction noise aside, a few genuine interior sound-proofing failings could be detected, such as ringing phones in neighboring rooms and conversation in the hallway. (27/30)

Services/Amenities: The top floor spa, fitness center, pool and whirlpool reside under a lovely glass cupola, revealing peeks of the surrounding mountains and cityscape between the palm trees and pillars. Space on the north side was left for an uncovered sun deck. The spa offers six different massages, while the in-room Bath Butler Service does a superb wine bath, including a coveted glass of Chile’s Carménère. Two exceptional on-site restaurants, Adrá and Wine 365, celebrate Chile’s copious wine offerings and specialize in local seafood. The classy lounge/bar features free WiFi and a menu with surprises such as an enormous tuna steak sandwich. Live jazz music kicks off Monday through Saturday at 8 p.m. The lower level holds 17,500 square feet of meeting rooms and conference space. (39/40)

The Experience: Opened in July 2003, the Ritz-Carlton is far and away Santiago’s leading hotel. I was impressed that much of the staff addressed me by name for the entirety of my stay. The service was excellent, bordering on overzealous — while I was dozing on a sun bed, my robe was “tidied” (a.k.a. removed), taking my room key with it. Precious few gripes aside, the Ritz-Carlton is a pleasure, with award-winning service at one of the least expensive 5-star properties in the world.

Total Score: (96/100)

Ritz-Carlton Santiago

Calle El Alcalde No. 15
Las Condes, Santiago, Chile
tel 56 2 470 8500
http://www.ritzcarlton.com

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