Way Down South: Four Points by Sheraton Santiago

Delta Business Elite ECP-ATL-SCL
Four Points by Sheraton Santiago
W Santiago
Exploring Santiago
KLM World Business Class SCL-EZE
Hilton Buenos Aires
Exploring Buenos Aires
Aerolíneas Argentinas Club Economy AEP-USH
Alto Andino Hotel Ushuaia
Exploring Ushuaia
Aerolíneas Argentinas Economy USH-AEP
Sheraton Libertador Hotel Buenos Aires
Aerolíneas Argentinas Club Economy AEP-GRU + Delta Business Elite GRU-ATL-ECP

As I have mentioned in the previous two posts, Delta managed to throw the start of my trip into complete disarray with a 24 hour misconnect thanks to a mechanical delay. That meant instead of my planned night in Valdivia (I did have a reservation at the Hostel Bosque Nativo, if anyone is interested), I had to on the fly look for other options, including adding a night to my stay in Santiago at the last minute.

My first instinct was to try to just add on a night at the W Santiago, but upon plugging in the date, I got a rate that I really did not want to pay. So off I was looking for my options. Hilton apparently only had a hotel out by the airport (terrible idea), but Starwood had at least some other options. Not looking to spend a fortune after being out of an airline ticket, hotel reservation, and a hotel the night before in Atlanta, I found my best option: The Four Points by Sheraton Santiago. At only $134 for the night, it wouldn’t make too much of a dent in my wallet and put me in an accessible and decent area of Santiago (although not upscale like the area around the W).

I had the car service that I hired from the airport bring me directly into the city to the hotel. The time was early, probably about 8AM and on a weekend, so there was very little traffic on the highway. If I had to guess, it took no more than 30 minutes to make the drive. I can only assume that during rush hour this would become bumper to bumper take much longer (gee…you think?!)

On The Way To The Hotel

Pulling up to the hotel, it definitely wasn’t busy. There was another car that was unloading passengers who had also been in Business Class on my flight, so I figured that meant I had picked the “right” hotel. Once inside I approached the front desk and started running through the formalities with the agent on duty.

Now, I was checking in pretty early with it being probably about 9AM at this point, and that means that sometimes you cannot check in. Usually the case of someone already occupying the room and/or still needs to be clean, but often when a room is available even being that early I have found hotels more than willing to let me check in at a much earlier time than usual. This hotel however took a different approach. They had a room ready for me and I could check in early…if I paid an $80 fee to do so.

Normally in this case I think I would have opted to stow my bag for free and come back later in the day. However, after having worn the same clothes for now going on the third day, I just couldn’t. Perhaps they saw that (or smelled…ha!) and knew that I would be willing to pay to be able to take a shower and finally get a clean set of clothes on. I authorized the additional $80 charge to my credit card and received my key to my room.

I had booked the cheapest room available online, which was a standard “Deluxe” room; by virtue of paying the early check in fee, the agent informed me that I had been upgraded to a Corner Suite. Now I wasn’t expecting anything fancy, but I always like hearing the word “suite” when checking into a hotel…

The Room
Let me start out by saying that a Corner Suite is hardly what I would call a suite. Hotels like to play games with room names and this was a great example of that. This ‘suite’ was nothing more than a large corner room without separate sleeping and living areas. Fine as an upgrade (or being upcharged to check in early), but if I had booked this particular room online and was expecting a suite, I would have been unhappy. Heck it didn’t even have a couch.

In the room I did find a large King Bed, ample closet space, a couple of chairs and a desk along with a decent sized TV in front of one of the windows. All pretty standard stuff. Being a corner room, it did have windows next to the bed which looked out to the adjacent buildings. However, out the window behind the TV (and what you look out when lying in bed), gives you a view looking across the river to the hills of the Santiago Metropolitan Park. It was actually a pretty decent view; certainly much nicer compared to my view from the W Santiago.

View From The Room

Corner Suite – King Bed

Corner Suite – King Bed

Corner Suite – TV

As for the bathroom, it was a little outdated and cramped. I could see some people having issues with the tub/shower, but otherwise it had nice hot water with decent water pressure. After my flight that was something that I appreciated very much. There was also a window that you could crack open a bit as well, which I admittedly did do a couple of times while showering just to let the fresh cool air in. Unfortunately it is also a frosted glass window so you can’t get a great view of the hills across the river as you stand there and ponder as the hot water hits you.

Corner Suite – Bathroom

Corner Suite – Shower

Hotel Features/Services
Admittedly, I did not use many of the hotel’s features. There is a rooftop pool (which looks nice enough from the pictures online) as well as a restaurant and bar located in the lobby. As for the bar, I did enjoy one beverage there, as I was given a voucher for a free beer. Apparently on most nights that translated into whatever local cheap beer, but since they were out they did offer me free reign of the beer selection. I went with a selection from Cerveza Kunstmann, which is where I had planned to be that day in Valdivia had Delta not caused me a delay. The bar staff (there was two of them) seemed decent enough and friendly so there’s that. I didn’t see anyone eating though in the restaurant portion.

When I came down from shower and changing clothes, I figured I would get a map from the front desk. The front desk agent who checked me in handed me a map and started to mark out several of the points of interest, but she seemed more apt to point out things like shopping malls. Not exactly why I came to Santiago and once it was clear there was a bit of a language barrier when I started asking about other places, I excused myself and went about on my way. Really that was my only issue with the staff at this hotel (and yes, I realize I was in a Spanish-speaking country, but she did have a UK flag on her name tag), so I can’t complain there.

Area Near The Hotel

By the time I completed my one night stay here at the hotel, I can’t say that I walked away feeling wowed. The upcharge to check in early was a bit of a surprise which didn’t put the stay off on the right foot. It’s not like they are going to sell that room since I’m checking in one way or the other, so I felt that was in poor taste for an elite guest. However, I do recognize that early check in is never guaranteed and that the hotel is free to do this as they see fit…I just wish it had not been the case given my circumstance. While the hotel’s décor was dated and in a definite need of a refresh, but at the same time it wasn’t a dirty hotel by any means. Is it a decent place to use as a base camp to explore a city? Yes. It serves as a great “base camp” if your goal is to spend as little time in the hotel as possible; is very accessible to the city’s subway system (just a few blocks away) and adjacent to many different bars and restaurants. Sometimes that can make up for other shortcomings of a property and that was how I felt about this property.

The Four Points by Sheraton Santiago isn’t a luxury hotel, but it would be more than sufficient to use a base of operations in exploring the city at a reasonable price. Really the big selling point of this hotel is an accessible location.

Let’s face it, you don’t need a fancy hotel when all you are doing is sleeping there.

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