“Splendidly refurbished French provincial mansion with Victorian-style conservatory and adjoining café-restaurant, close to fashionable Providencia Avenue”
The hotel's 28 rooms are spread over 3 floors in this former mansion. Rich cherry wood headboards, writing desks and pastel floral-print bedspreads with matching swag curtains give rooms an authentically elegant style. The saving grace: rooms tucked into the nooks and crannies of the original mansion have unique layouts and original details such as French doors, bay windows and vaulted ceilings.
Just as important for jet-lagged travellers, both rooms and suites are blessedly quiet, cosy and comfortable. You'll also be grateful for modern conveniences such as air con, underfloor heating, dual-paned glass (in street-facing rooms) and cable TV. Complimentary bottled water is replaced each day and most rooms have discreetly hidden minibars. (If you happen to book one of the 6 rooms without a minibar, just ask to have one delivered.)
Some rooms look onto the hotel's conservatory. The view from our Queen Room at the back was less than inspiring. But it was plenty spacious for the 2 of us, with a queensize bed and space for our hefty inter-continental luggage. If you absolutely must have a kingsize bed, book one of the hotel's King Rooms. The 5 Twin Rooms are a bit more snug, while the Junior Suites, each featuring a sitting area with a sofabed (one has 2 bathrooms), are ideal for families.
Although the hotel has a tiny lift, if you're game for a few more stairs after sightseeing, book one of the 4 lovely and very private rooms (numbers 15-18) at the top of the mansion's original sweeping staircase.
Ensuite bathrooms are small, but serviceable. Ours had a (short) tub and a shower with a detachable shower wand. Along with a hairdryer, we found baskets of Hotel Orly-labelled bath amenities.
New in 2009 were 20 self-catering apartments in a separate building in the same block. We have yet to see them, but they promise the same comfy sleeps (in a kingsize bed plus an extra bed if needed), with the addition of a living room and a well-equipped kitchen (with a stove, an oven, a microwave and a toaster). You don't need to worry about breakfast though: the hotel's buffet is included in your room price, as is housekeeping.
A buffet breakfast is set out in the room behind reception each morning. Choose from typical Chilean fare: freshly-squeezed orange juice; sliced breads and rolls with butter and marmalade; yoghurts; cereals; fresh fruits; scrambled eggs and thin slices of ham. Take your plate out to a bistro table in the Victorian-style conservatory, where you can linger over coffee or tea conversing with fellow travellers (or, if you read Spanish, catch up on local news in El Mercurio). Coffee, tea, fresh fruits and cookies are available throughout the day.
Cafetto, the bistro-bar adjoining the hotel, serves meals and snacks from 8am to 1am (Happy Hour is from 7-9pm). We were impressed by the variety and quality of food and drink, including snacks, soups, pasta, pizzas, grilled meat and fish, salads and desserts, fresh juices, espresso drinks, and cocktails - including the quintessential Pisco sour. You can also dive right into tasting wines from several of Chile’s surrounding valleys, and local draught (schop) beer. Or order room service Monday to Saturday until 1am (Sunday until 9pm) from the Cafetto menu in your room.
When you're ready to venture farther afield, some of Santiago's best restaurants are within walking distance, ranging from the 4-star Astrid y Gaston to the popular bohemian enclave Liguria. We were directed to Azul Profundo in up-and-coming Barrio Bellavista a short metro ride away, where the décor is quirky-nautical and the machas (razor clams) served on a sizzling cast-iron skillet are divine.
The Junior Suites with their sofabeds are a great option for families with children; cots and babysitting are available for infants. However, the stairs aren't suited to toddlers or active children. The newer apartments are ideal for families as they can easily accommodate an extra bed.
Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
Babysitting available by arrangement