Purpose-built as the first Ritz-Carlton in the Southern Cone, this Santiago hotel opened its doors in July 2003. When guests enter the impressive red-brick building, they are enveloped in a sense of occasion—paneled woodwork, ornately framed paintings, and staff dressed in tuxes. All the trimmings delivered so well by the Ritz brand.
Tradition is the name of the game, both in service and style. The rooms are classic, with touches of Latin America in the artwork. The bathrooms are a high point—large, decked out in marble, and stocked with indulgent Asprey amenities. One of the most striking design features is the domed glass roof that tops the hotel. The view of the Andes is fantastic from the rooftop, and the best part is a swimming pool, so you can swim surrounded by snow-capped mountains. Service is a strong point (not always a given in Chile). You know you’re in good hands at the Ritz-Carlton.
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El Golf is a safe area. During the week, the streets are lined with suited office workers and young families headed to Plaza Peru to push their toddlers on the swings. The numerous restaurants include the ever-popular Pizzeria Tiramisu; Miguel Torres for red wine and steak; and Café Melba for brunch. For art galleries, historic buildings, and culture, hop on the metro (at El Golf station) or take a taxi to downtown, Lastarria, Bellavista, or Barrio Italia.
Need to Know
Rooms: 205 rooms, including 15 Executive Suites and one Presidential Suite. Floors 9, 10, and 11 are all Ritz-Carlton Club levels, which means food and drink is available throughout the day, and a concierge is on hand for any questions. Rates from $309. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: There are two hotel restaurants: Arola, which serves Catalan-style tapas and is named in honor of Spanish chef Sergi Arola; and Estró, which is more traditional and has an extensive menu featuring local Chilean products where possible. Arola has an outdoor patio and guest DJ on summer evenings. There are also two bars—the Lobby Lounge bar where afternoon tea (scones, pastries, and sandwiches) is served between 5 and 8 p.m., and the Ritz Bar where guests can sip cocktails and nibble on tapas. Spa and gym details: The spa and gym are found on the top floor, along with a palm tree–fringed swimming pool that stretches out under the domed glass roof. There’s also a Jacuzzi, steam room, sauna, and a gym and spa on the second floor.
Who's it for: Luxury travelers with classic tastes. The hotel courts business and leisure travelers, conference-goers, families, and couples. Our favorite rooms: The two options are city or mountain view. Most charming of all are the Junior Suites, with views of the Andes. Indulge yourself: The spa does a wonderful two-hand massage, a real treat after a long-haul flight.