W Santiago - review

Discussion in 'Starwood | Preferred Guest' started by philatravelgirl, Apr 27, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. philatravelgirl

    philatravelgirl Silver Member

    Messages:
    315
    Likes Received:
    496
    Status Points:
    545
    This is my first hotel review for MP (i think this is the right place as it is hotel specific) and I'm learning its hard to get photos without people in them plus Richard Branson and his entourage were staying at the hotel so it was tough to take photos (heck i used the business center and overheard the management team talking about strategy in the common area and kept looking at me as if I were harmless - it was fascinating to hear about Virgin Atlantic expansion, etc. little did they know that i was sooo interested).

    Using my BA points my trip to Easter Island included a few days in Santiago and then Lima (separate posting). I used SPG points for 10k per night as C&P not available when I booked in Nov 2011.

    Prior to Arrival:
    I contacted the concierge for tour & transit info. by email and looked at the SPG app. Both recommended the official taxi at the airport to get to the hotel (est. $40)- this was very easy after the customs scanning of bags, the blue desk is there to reserve the taxi and then you go through doors for arrivals and a man in blue is there for you - super easy. The drive from airport to hotel is about 1/2 hour.

    Arrival:
    I arrived on Easter Sunday and was already aware that most of the city was closed. The hotel is in the business district (El Golf metro stop) and the lobby is on the 4th floor. Bell staff friendly to escort me to the reception area. I arrived about 1pm and my room was not ready so I went to the outdoor terrace restaurant for food (the only place open). After lunch, my room was ready. As Gold, i was offered choice of three and picked the internet. My room was not upgraded. I do not speak Spanish but it was not much of an issue as most of the staff understood or had someone else wait on me.

    The Room:
    002 - Copy.JPG
    The room was quite big and more on par with other new build W's or 3xs the size of W NYC. The decor and lighting reminded me of my recent W Istanbul stay. The room had a hallway with landing shelf with the bathroom on the left and then the bed, desk, couch w/adjustable table.

    The bathroom was a good size with a walk in shower (similiar to Le Meridian NYC) but with a clear window into the bedroom. The lighting in the bathroom is dark for women wanting to apply makeup (use the mirror by the bedroom window) and the decorative?/functional? cork/wood stool annoyed me as it made the towel smell weird. Toiletries are standard W - Bliss products. Great water pressure. I was staying alone so the clear glass into the shower/bedroom was not an issue, however, it might be if you are not so cozy with your traveling companion (or it might make you closer)
    004 - Copy.JPG 007 - Copy.JPG 005 - Copy.JPG 003 - Copy.JPG 006 - Copy.JPG

    The bedroom was decorated nicely and functional with three separate spaces. The minibar wooden door did not fully close which just annoyed me -others probably wouldn't care but it threw off the lines (i'm a bit OCD sometimes)

    Food:
    I ate at the outdoor terrace (great space) upon arrival -the sandwich i ordered (standard ham/cheese) was awful so avoid that. The service was ok, given that it was Easter and only 3 tables, i expected a bit more attention and quicker delivery but such was not the case (i was a former server so i have some expectations)

    The breakfast buffet was wonderful - nicely arranged, easy to navigate, not too crowded. The hot food was made in small skillets/cast iron pots so that it wasn't sitting long and could be replaced fresh as needed. Easy to order omelets, poached, etc. from the chef. Great bread table. Richard Branson was at breakfast one day. Now if you don't want to do breakfast in the hotel, go outside and make two lefts for the coffee shop (street level) or restaurant/food shop (lower level). I ate at the restaurant one day and got less food (full english minus croissants) for the same price as the hotel so for me the hotel was the better option but you do have options.

    Room service

    (on Easter it was either this or back to the terrace menu) - quick, hot and reasonably priced although presentation was interesting. The first night i ordered the children's menu (smaller portions) chicken with a glass of wine - the table was wheeled in and I signed for it but the food was not put out or opened - I had to open the hot box under the table to fetch my plate of food (this was a first!). The table had no flowers, no bread basket or anything else - just my glass of wine, condiments and then my plate.

    The next room service order did not get wheeled in, it was brought on a tray and placed on the desk area - the white tray was a bit beaten up (something i might have in my own house but not used with guests). Again the food was quickly delivered, hot and delicious (think the kids menu is often a great deal)

    Restaurant
    I had the best dinner - the braised pork dish over mashed sweet potatoes with surprisingly a side of regular potatoes and bok choy? Anyway, the service was very attentive and started with a complimentary beet dish from the chef. The pork portion size was huge and i couldn't stop eating it but i had dessert on the brain so eventually stopped. The chocolate dessert sampler was outstanding - about six mini chocolate desserts (mousse, cakes, macaroons) with various fruits including the local chilean fruits. With the red wine, this was one of my more memorable meals (i did not log in my food journal - calories be damned!)

    Common areas:
    I enjoyed that they changed the rugs in elevators (good morning, afternoon, evening) that was fun. The 4th floor lobby/reception/bar/restaurants was in my opinion one of the best common spaces in a hotel that I've been to - the flow worked, the decor was super comfortable and very stylish. I also took the elevator to the outdoor (rooftop) bar area - it was crowded on a Tuesday night and I couldn't get a table/seat but did walk around for the views of Santiago. There is a separate elevator that is manned to take you up. I wished i was meeting people and not traveling solo as the common areas were meant to linger. I did use the lounge computer (two) to print boarding passes. I did not use the fitness center in the building.

    Housekeeping:
    Was not consistent - for example, no washcloth, washcloth, no washcloth so i wasn't sure what was correct - should I have one or not? Toiletries were not replaced each day and the caps not closed on the ones in use in the shower (i had forgotten). I did not utilize turndown service but did enjoy the chocolates they gave me.

    Concierge:
    A bit torn on this one - prior to arrival, quite easy to get restaurant and tour info via email. For specific query they dropped the ball - i asked about a wine tour and she told me the company they use, when i inquired further as to what was available on my days and pricing, i was sent the website info (which i already had looked at) but not specific pricing for 1 person or if i could join a group. I did my tour bookings on my own.

    On site, the one concierge was not that friendly or helpful - when i asked about a restaurant, she said x which is on her recommended sheet in the area but then said she prefers another one which required a cab -confused why list one on your recommended sheet but in person another? I then tried to get a car to the airport and she only gave me the $70 car option (too expensive for me) so i said I would come back once i know flight details. I asked front desk, they said they can order a cab for about $40 so i went back downstairs (concierge at front door welcome area) and a different concierge was there and I asked about airport transit options and she gave me taxi or car - I picked taxi and she said she would order it for me for the next day.

    Miscellaneous:
    Across the street (or around the corner from the entrance depends on how you look at it) is an Italian pizza restaurant Tiramisu which was fantastic! I had the best panna cotta ever - i went at lunch toward the end of service (its busy with businessmen at lunch) - you need a reservation at dinner as tons of people were waiting outside - i tried to go back for the panna cotta and couldn't get in. There are also other restaurants in the area to walk to or you can get the metro (super easy) across from Tiramisu. Starbucks was down the street if you need a fix

    Checkout:
    I reviewed my bill the night before (when i ordered the taxi) and they had charged for internet (gold perk), easily removed. Checkout was quick and they bill in US (he said to avoid some tax?) so I was able to use my SPG Amex card.

    Overall: A fantastic W property that I would recommend and go back to in a heartbeat (i might bring my own washcloth :). Well worth full points redemption (which i rarely do)
     
    iolaire, chanp, uggboy and 3 others like this.
  2. Bay Pisco Shark
    Original Member

    Bay Pisco Shark Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,557
    Likes Received:
    2,072
    Status Points:
    1,270
    Nice review. I've been tempted to stay there, but I'm such a longtime guest of the San Cristobal Tower and almost always have a great stay there that I would feel like I'm cheating on a longtime friend. Even when I stayed at the Four Points, it just didn't feel right.
     
    uggboy and Toula like this.
  3. philatravelgirl

    philatravelgirl Silver Member

    Messages:
    315
    Likes Received:
    496
    Status Points:
    545
    Totally understand, I feel that way in London with The Soho hotel
     
    uggboy likes this.
  4. chanp
    Original Member

    chanp Silver Member

    Messages:
    395
    Likes Received:
    281
    Status Points:
    545
    Great report. How much was the breakfast buffet?
     
  5. philatravelgirl

    philatravelgirl Silver Member

    Messages:
    315
    Likes Received:
    496
    Status Points:
    545
    Sorry forgot that, before tip about $24. Many were surprised that Santiago prices are similar to US cities so my reasonable test is against my limit of the $30 hotel breakfast which I just surrender to now as I'm usually on a tight schedule and this is the quick option. You could do cheaper w/various room service and/or to go package options that they offered
     

Share This Page