On February 20, 2021, we were still smack in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, but I had received my second Pfizer vaccine exactly two weeks earlier, and I was beginning to see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. So, when American Airlines had a special fare of $428 round trip from New York to Santiago, Chile in premium economy class for Thanksgiving, I jumped on it. The same day, I made a reservation at the Hyatt Centric Las Condes Santiago for five nights beginning Friday, November 26th. Flights in both directions are redeyes – we would be arriving early Friday morning and leaving late on Wednesday, so it all seemed like a win-win, especially as a World of Hyatt Globalist, when I’m (almost) guaranteed a late (4 pm) checkout. To say I was excited at the prospect of traveling again was putting it mild.
Soon after that, I asked my Hyatt Concierge (as a World of Hyatt Globalist member, I have a personal representative I can reach out to) if I could apply one of my allotted Suite Upgrades to this upcoming stay. Time went by and I noticed that my reservation did not reflect the upgrade, so I again contacted my concierge. She told me that the hotel had informed her that they were proactively upgrading my stay to a junior suite without using a suite upgrade. Okay, wow! I already had a good feeling about the hotel.
The next few months was tumultuous, to say the least, and I was never sure if this trip would actually get off the ground. My flights changed countless times, and now, instead of being slated to arrive in Chile at 9 am, I was scheduled to arrive at 5 am. I informed the hotel of this, but had no idea how this would be handled.
We landed at 5 am, got a PCR test, and went through customs and immigration fairly quickly (see, Chile’s Confusing Covid-19 Requirements for Fully Vaccinated Foreign Visitors, Including the Elusive Mobility Pass). We got a little lost trying to find the airport Uber meeting spot (that is another story – but I’ll tell you anyway – about the generosity of human beings – we were aimlessly wandering around the airport parking garage looking for what was supposed to be the Uber meeting spot, and met some women who graciously offered to drive us to Santiago – I knew then, and my experience confirmed, that Chileans are a special breed!)
We arrived at the hotel at a little after 7 am. I certainly did not expect a room this early.
We were greeted warmly, and told to go enjoy breakfast in the hotel restaurant, and that they would try to prepare a room for us in the interim. That was super nice.
The first floor of the hotel has so many beautiful lobby sitting areas and workstations as well as a lovely restaurant and bar area.
At the restaurant, our waiter, Edouardo, greeted us with open arms.
We had what would be our favorite breakfast – which we enjoyed at least twice more during our stay: Cafe con leche, eggs benedict and fruit salad.
Sometime before 9 am, we were informed that our room was ready! We were given the keys and went upstairs to our room on the 16th floor. Our room is described as a Junior Suite, but since it is only one room, I would prefer to describe it as a Deluxe King Room with a phenomenal balcony.
The room is nicely decorated. It is fairly large and the work area is against the wall.
There is a nice chair, but it lacks a real sofa.
The bathroom is new and modern with plenty of counter space. The shower was nice, but it ran hot and cold. The toiletries were by Bee Kind (by Gilchrist & Soames).
This is the closet. Next to it, is an Nespresso machine and a small refrigerator. Two bottles of water were refreshed daily. There is also a safe.
I forgot to take a photo of the robes! They were grey and plush and had hoods.
The pièce de résistance is the balcony! We really enjoyed the balcony. The weather was perfect to enjoy our coffee there each morning, and wine there each afternoon.
We bought some local food items at the nearby Jumbo supermarket and had a fun happy hours!
The pool and the fitness center was on the 17th floor. I had hoped to spend time at the pool, but the weather wasn’t quite warm enough to swim. The fitness center was on the small side, with only a few Life Fitness machines.
On our first day, after resting in our room for a little while, we went to the center of the city for a 2 pm free walking tour of the historical sights of Santiago. Afterwards, we stopped at the Central Market (Mercado Central) for some seafood.
We arrived back at the hotel, and were happily surprised to receive a complimentary bottle of Pinot Noir from the hotel.
Later that evening, we stopped downstairs at the bar to share a club sandwich and a few caipirinhas. The bar is fabulous!
Each morning, we had breakfast. On the weekend, it was served until 11 am, and was a buffet rather than a la carte.
We got to see a lot of Santiago during our stay and really enjoyed what we saw. We love to explore areas on foot, and enjoyed the walks to nearby parks and malls. I really liked this sculpture of cyclists at Bicentenario Park (Parque Bicentenario).
We felt very at home in the Las Condes area of Santiago, where the hotel is located. It reminded me of the area in Barcelona where the Sofia Hotel is located. Las Condes is one of the more affluent areas of Santiago – we felt safe there. There are many nice restaurants and stores within walking distance. We had dinners at two local restaurants – Tiramisu (an Italian restaurant) and La Cabrera (an Argentinian restaurant). I recommend both.
Also, we have a friend, Lorenzo, who was thrilled to show us his city and country. He took us to his favorite restaurants, such as Donde Gilberto – where we had fresh seafood and pisco sours.
He also took us to see local music at his favorite rock n’ roll joints. One day we went to a winery in the Casablanca region (Casas del Bosque)
followed by a ride through Valparaiso and Vina del Mar
and a drink on the beach at Reñaca. I fell in love with Reñaca Beach!
Overall, our stay at the Hyatt Centric was terrific. Our room was clean and serviced daily. Everyone at the hotel – and throughout Chile – complied with mask and distancing requirements.
The team of staff at the hotel was phenomenal and everyone was always there to help. (special high five to Karina at the Front Desk for her consistent smiles and assistance!). I would love to return to Santiago, and would certainly stay at the hotel again.