Returning back to Santiago was a huge mess due to traffic jams as I entered the city from Valparaiso. This time around, I chose to stay at the Sheraton Santiago since Sheraton was having a Free Weekends night promotion. The Sheraton in Santiago is located between Bellavista and Las Condes neighbourhood. The hotel is comprised of 2 buildings with the taller one housing another SPG property, which is the San Cristobal Towers branded as a Luxury Collection accommodation. I stayed at the property on my last night after returning from Patagonia as well, and would review both stays concurrently in this post.
The Sixt car rental agent was waiting by the lobby for me as I arrived at the porch and I proceeded to check-in after returning the rental car. A vast lobby and reception area made it comfortable even if there are a lot of guests checking in though in the afternoon there was not much people in the lobby.
During my check-in, I was told that I had been given an upgrade based on my Gold status, but it just seemed to be the same room with a better view. In addition, I was informed that there will be no power at all during the night until 6 am in the morning. Since I would be asleep and it was a cool spring day, I did not think it will cause much inconvenience. The only minor detail was that I was supposed to be out by about 6:45 am since I was scheduled to be picked up for my day trip to Portillo.
I had reserved a ‘Local Flair Package’ which includes buffet breakfast served at the lobby restaurant. The package also includes a bottle of wine, which is meant to represent the ‘local flair’ here. For the first stay, I paid $180 per night while the rate was lower at $170 per night. There were no upgrades here as I am no longer an SPG Platinum member, though I am still a SPG Gold member.
The complex where the Sheraton was located at has a vast lobby with an internet workstation located across from the reception desk. Guests of the San Cristobal Hotel which is part of the SPG Luxury Collection should also note the hotel lobby is actually within this same complex. There is also several car rental counters in the lobby though Sixt isn’t one of them.
Room No: 604 Category: Classic Room, Queen Bed
For my first stay, I was appointed with a room on the 6th floor facing the city. Upon entering the room, I had the impression the room was quite small, and with a narrow walkway flanked by a wardrobe and a minibar, this is a standard hotel room at best.
The bathroom was also below my expectations with a smaller footprint and the brown tiles does make the bathroom even smaller. What was even more irritating was the huge support bar by the bathtub that one knocks into frequently while showering.
Amenities inside the bathroom was the usual ‘Mandarin and Mint’ scent by Sheraton. While they were quite generous with the provision of amenities, the size of the bathroom was somewhat lacking in providing a satisfactory shower.
The small stature of the room continued with the bed which was queen sized at best, so there does not seem to be any upgrade of any sort here. Basically I got the room I booked for, which was a bit disappointing after all the nice hotel rooms I got thus far!
There was a triangular sort of nook which allowed for more work space while the length of the wall was occupied by a TV console and a luggage bench.
Since I was a Gold member, there was a fruit plate waiting for me with a welcome note on the desk. However, the bottle of wine that was supposed to come with the room was nowhere to be found. A phone call to the guest services did eventually rectify the issue.
While I was provided a fruit plate on my first stay, I received none on the second stay. And I still had to make a call to request for another bottle of wine since I booked the same package again. What was interesting was that I received a ramekin of nuts and crackers when they sent the wine up during my 2nd stay, while I received none during the first stay. So much for consistency!
As I mentioned earlier in the post, there was a hotel-wide power outage and that meant everything was down including the phone lines and the elevator. Initially I was told the power would be back up by 5am. However I was actually already awake by then due to the warm room as it lacked any air conditioning. It might be winter but Santiago was quite warm since it has a somewhat temperate climate.
As I waited for the power to come back up since I need to prepare for my snowboarding trip, I was to be disappointed. Eventually I had to walk all the way down to the lobby to speak to the manager in charge that day. This was really disappointing as my stance was that if the hotel was conducting a maintenance to the scale that power would not return, they should have closed the property and move guests to another property of a similar level of comfort. While I did get a complimentary night, the experience left me a bad impression of this particular Sheraton.
I did get prepared in time and was even able to get some breakfast from the buffet at the restaurant even after I requested for a packed breakfast to go. The review for the breakfast will thus be from my experiences dining from the second day and from my return visit.
Breakfast was served in the El Cid restaurant in the lobby of the hotel daily while I noticed the El Jardin coffee shop is converted for airline crew members’ breakfast area during my second stay in the property. There is a section of the restaurant with a huge variety of breakfast spread and there is sure something to satisfy guests.
While the variety of the breakfast items was good, the quality was lacking. The coffee or cappuccino I requested was terrible and the pastries was only borderline in terms of taste. It felt like they kept the pastry overnight or something. Though I appreciated the variety, I would rather they cut some items and improve the essentials like get better coffee beans or hire a better pastry chef to make fresh pastries every morning.
During my second stay, I had more time to explore the rest of the property and for a large hotel, there was a lot of facilities. There is a large business centre one floor down from the lobby where guests could print documents and use the internet. To keep in shape, there is an outdoor pool with a patio that is beautifully lit up at night. I was actually assigned a room facing this pool on my second stay.
Then there is also an indoor swimming pool located within the spa complex. I believe the indoor swimming pool is the only one open during the winter season.
The spa complex also houses a comprehensive fitness centre. During both stays, the hotel was relatively quiet, but it should be noted the facilities in the complex seems to be shared between the Sheraton and the San Cristobal so it could get crowded during peak occupancy.
Unsurprisingly, I would rate this Sheraton as one of the weaker international properties. Thus far, and once again goes to show that the Sheraton brand has some of the lower rung properties in the SPG family of hotel chains. To highlight how bad this property is, on one of the night around 9pm or so, the reception desk and concierge had no one in it, as shown in both of the photos above. I really wondered what would happen if someone were to arrive at that time. On check-out during my first stay, one of the nights was also not deducted from my bill as promised by the manager in charge during the day of the power outage and I had one of the worst front desk agents during check-out who had a certain attitude which should exclude him from the service industry. While the hotel is undergoing some renovation that should modernize the rooms, I would not be in a hurry to return unless the rooms are larger and the staff has some improvement in service attitudes.