Travel Weekly senior editor Mark Chesnut recently visited the
Inter-Continental Santiago and stayed at the Crowne Plaza Santiago
in Chile. His report follows:
his fall, the Inter-Continental
Santiago debuted a wine cellar, Cava Vergara -- a fitting addition
for an upscale property in Chile, a nation known for its fine
This is the latest example of a sweeping round of upgrades at
Six Continents properties in this South American metropolis.
The Inter-Continental added a wing with 200 guest rooms in 2000,
bringing its total room count to 300. The new section, like the
rest of the hotel, is decorated with furniture and fittings made
from Chilean wood.
Located in a neighborhood known as El Bosque Norte, near
corporate offices and embassies, the hotel relies on business
travel for most of its clientele, according to hotel
Closer to the city center is the Crowne Plaza Santiago, which is in
the midst of a multimillion-dollar refurbishment.
Within the past two years, $10 million has been spent to upgrade
public areas, guest rooms and amenities. Another $2 million will be
spent during the next two years to upgrade the back of the house.
Renovations also include a new facade and an enhanced reception
Each of the 300 guest rooms have been upgraded with amenities
that include a dataport; two telephone lines connected to two
independent telephones; a coffee bar; a television with a 29-inch
screen; a safe; an ironing board and iron; and magnetic door
For additional amenities, clients can opt for the Crowne Plaza
Club, which is located on the 20th, 21st and 22nd floors.
Guests staying in this category of rooms enjoy the use of a
private entrance and reception area as well as secretarial
services, a sitting room with an open bar, a pool table, a library
with foreign and domestic newspapers and magazines, a terrace and
breakfast lounge and a small meetings room.
Truly upscale clients may be interested in the hotel's private
heliport, perfect for a quick hop to the international airport or
The hotel, which is owned and operated by Crowne Plaza, has a
number of other on-site services and features.
Fine dining is an option at Enrico Caruso restaurant, which
serves an array of traditional Italian cuisine and international
dishes, including a sampling of typical Chilean food (we spent a
good amount of time hovering over the dessert area at the lunch
buffet, sampling tres leches and other delicacies).
On the lobby level, the Trafalgar Bar offers cocktails and live
music during happy hour.
The Crowne Plaza Santiago's Splash Fitness Center includes a
workout room; tennis courts; an outdoor, rooftop pool; a hot tub;
and a sauna as well as massage and reflexology services.
There is no additional charge for guests who wish to use the spa
and a small charge for other services.
Business travelers, who constitute the bulk of the visitors to
the property, can make use of the hotel's convention center.
The center has 13 rooms for groups holding meetings that need to
accommodate up to 1,700 people.
The business center is equipped with computers with
round-the-clock Internet service, a copy machine, a fax machine,
secretarial services and a meetings room.
Andes resort high on skiing
SANTIAGO, Chile -- Clients in the mood for snow during Chile's
summer months might consider a visit to Valle Nevado, a resort
complex perched in the Andes 35 miles from Santiago's airport.
Here, visitors can ski and snowboard from June through October
(winter in that region of the world) along more than 23,000 acres
of terrain. Bilingual instructors offer lessons to those in need.
Visitors get a chance to ride the new Andes Express Chairlift,
billed as Chile's first high-speed quad chairlift, which began
operation in Valle Nevado this year.
The complex has three hotels and two condominium apartment
buildings, including the family-oriented Hotel Puerto del Sol, the
more youth-oriented Hotel Tres Puntas and the flagship Hotel Valle
Valle Nevado added a fitness center with weightlifting
equipment, an aerobics room, yoga and dancing classes, a sauna and
four massage rooms.
Double rooms start at about $100 per person, per night,
including lift tickets, two meals daily and the use of heated,
outdoor swimming pools and the fitness center. Also included is
nursery service for children ages 3 to 7 (meals not included).
For information, call (011) 56-2 698-0103; e-mail [email protected]; or visit the Web at www.vallenevado.com. -- M.C.
Room key: The Crowne Plaza Santiago
Address: Av. Libertador Bdo. O'higgins 136,
Phone: (011) 56-2 638-1042
>Fax: (011) 56-2 633-6015
General manager: Eduardo Fahrenkrug
Rates: Start at $239, double, for a standard
Built/renovated: Built 1981; operated as a Holiday
Inn until 1997; $10 million was spent within the past two years to
upgrade public areas, guest rooms and amenities; $2 million more
will be spent during the next two years to upgrade the back of the
Location: City center, within walking distance of
many businesses and tourist attractions.
Facilities: Restaurant, bar, business center,
meetings rooms, spa/gym, swimming pool, heliport.
Noteworthy: Attractively maintained, upscale
property; handy in-room amenities include an ironing board, an iron
and multiple phones. The hotel's central location is a big
Not worthy: Corporate travelers who need to be
near the World Trade Center or other businesses located in the more
far-flung parts of the city may prefer a hotel farther out (such as