Published on April 22nd, 2010 | by Mark Chesnut
HOTEL REVIEW: W Santiago
It’s late night at the rooftop bar at the W Santiago, and a woman who claims to be a baroness is tugging on my hair, telling me that it was destiny that she would meet my colleagues and me tonight.
“No really,” she says when I laugh. “It was destiny, and I am so happy to meet you all.”
Such is the type of enthusiastic socializing that might take place at the W Santiago, one of the hippest (according to some travelers, the hippest) hotels in Chile’s capital. It is telling that Starwood Hotels & Resorts chose Santiago as the first and only South American city to host its chic W brand. And this property certainly lives up to the chain’s standards of style and excitement.
Located in the upscale neighborhood called El Golf, the W Santiago is within walking distance of an array of dining options and pricey shopping possibilities. Like the nearby InterContinental and Holiday Inn Express, this property is also well situated for business travelers.
Public areas include a chic lounge with modern fireplaces, plus a rooftop pool deck and bar that offers excellent views of the city. Guest rooms have high ceilings and large windows for excellent views, plus typically quirky-cool W-style features like dramatic mood lighting, offbeat artwork (a giant black-and-white photo of what I believe is the ocean dominates one wall in my room, and what I believe is a close-up of a microbe hangs in my water closet), and an uncommon layout — there’s no chance of anyone sneaking into my room, Psycho-style, while I’m showering, thanks to the narrow floor-to-ceiling window that allows me to view the guestroom entrance from the shower (and anyone who enters would get the treat of seeing me as well). Rounding out the features of my room are plenty of throw pillows, a chaise lounge, a large work desk, a giant flatscreen TV, and a bathroom that includes shower and separate tub, plus amenities by Bliss.
There is a charge of $16 for wireless Internet access in the guest rooms, but it’s free in the lobby.
Best For: Style-conscious business travelers and anyone looking for stylish luxury in a safe, walkable neighborhood — and perhaps a bit of nightlife onsite in the hotel. And if you believe in destiny, so much the better. About $259 and up.