Wednesday, March 27, 2013

W Santiago

Hotel Stay Details 
Hotel: W Santiago
Dates: March 24-29, 2013 
Rate Paid: 4,800 SPG Points + $90 /night 
Regular Rate: $429 / night (incl. taxes) 
Total $ Savings: $1,695 
Point Redemption Value: 7.1 cents/pt

After trying out a budget boutique version of a W Hotel in Buenos Aires, we went back to our beloved Starwoods for the real thing during our 5 night stay in Santiago. I love W Hotels, but the W Santiago elevator set up was frustrating.

The W Santiago was a very expensive property, going for about $429 / night if we paid in cash or 16,000 SPG points if we paid in points. That would have been a redemption value of 2.7 cents/pt. But since we'd be staying 5 nights, the 5th night would be free, bringing down the per night point requirement to 12,800 per night (3.4 cents/pt), or 64,000 SPG points total.

However, if we used SPG Cash & Points, we'd be paying $90 cash per night but only using 4,800 points per night. That meant the 4,800 points would save us $339 USD a night - an amazing redemption value of 7.1 cents/pt. That way, my father could also save his SPG points for future hotel stays instead of blowing his load using them all up at once.

Unfortunately, the Cash & Points (as well as the Free Night Award) doesn't get you breakfast included in your rate, but we didn't need the 1,000+ calorie morning meals anyway, especially since we woke up around 11:30AM each morning.

We took the pre-paid taxi (20,000 CLP or $42 USD) from Santiago International Airport (SLC) and arrived quickly to the Las Condes area (high end Santiago neighborhood where the banks and embassies are located). The W staff helped us unload the car as soon as we pulled up and escorted us up to the Lobby on the 4th Floor.

The hotel shared space within a larger commercial building that included corporate offices, retail stores and restaurants, so the elevator set up was quite complicated.
  • There was the first set of elevators to take you from the ground floor entrance to the 4th floor lobby. 
  • Another set of elevators on the 4th floor to take you to floors 3 (gym) through 11.
  • And still another set of elevators to take you from the 4th floor to floors 12-21 (rooftop pool).
I suppose there was a reason for the elevator insanity (like forcing people to take the stairs in an emergency) but I didn't mind, because it forced us to walk through the stylish lobby area on the 4th floor.

The 4th floor also had the hotel restaurants including the Tea Library, Wine Tasting Room, Noso, Whiskey Blue, Osaka. Since I've been throwing a fit whenever I'm at a nice restaurant, my parents didn't take me to eat in any of these places, opting for the Room Service option instead. But they all looked very posh and tasty.

Our Room
After checking in and confirming our dates, we eventually found the right bank of elevators to get to our room on the 10th floor and, to my delight, the room was very close to the elevators (Room 1019) just like we requested. But I was in for a real treat, because upon entering, I was amazed at how high the ceilings were. And I'm not just saying that because I'm 2 feet tall.

Unlike most of the hotel rooms I've been frequenting, this room had almost 20 foot ceilings. The height of the room really made you feel like you had a massive room, even it it was just a regular studio.That being said, the square footage of the room was also pretty large for W hotel standards.

But the main eyecatcher was the pop art along the wall behind the bed of the famous Andes Mountains. I immediately ran to the phone to call Reception to thank them.

In typical W Hotel style, they also had the open bathroom with an exceptionally large opening to the bedroom area. The large foot print of our room gave us plenty of space both in the sink area as well as in the walk in rain-shower. And of course, they had my mother's favorite lemon-sage scented hotel amenity set - Bliss.

The rest of the room was pretty standard but much cleaner/simpler than other W hotels, which I preferred. Many other W hotels go over the top with tchotchkes that clutter up the room instead of add to the ambiance like they think.  We asked for the 10th floor (could have taken a 5th floor room) because we wanted the better view. I wasn't sure which side we were facing (I think North) but you could see some mountains in the distance and that was enough to appease me.

Rooftop Pool
Since it was mid/high 80s during our week here in Santiago, we spent yesterday lounging at WET (the W Rooftop Pool) on the 21st floor. As I mentioned though, getting from our 10th floor room to the 21st floor meant we had to stop by the 4th floor and walk through the Tea Library/Lounge in our swimsuits to get to the other elevator bank that would take us up to the rooftop. Aside from my brief embarrassment flashing my  chubby baby legs to the traveling businessmen and their model-esque girlfriends, I was happy when we finally got upstairs to the pool.

As you might imagine, it was quite a scene with more high end Santiago socialite-types than adorable babies like me, but my father and I stuck to the empty end of the pool with the covered cabanas while the "see & be seen" crowd got their suntans on the uncovered far end where they practiced flexing their bodies while trying to appear as if they weren't. Ah, the W Hotel crowd...

But despite all the scenesters, not too shabby for only $90 USD a night.

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