Lastarria Hotel

Santiago & Central Valley, Chile Book from

Reviewed by Sarah Gilbert
A 1920s mansion turned stunning boutique hotel in Santiago’s most boho-chic barrio
The city’s artiest enclave could only offer visitors ageing hotels and hostels - until now. Behind the elegant Art Deco façade, Lastarria’s first upscale boutique hotel is an artful combination of traditional and contemporary. The sensitive restoration has preserved the building’s original features - lofty ceilings, ornate mouldings, parquet flooring, a sweeping marble staircase - and added just the right amount of modernity.

The 14 spacious rooms are spread over 4 floors and there’s plenty of chill-out space in the lounge bar. But we spent most of our time on the terrace, which overlooks an unexpected and delightful extra - a luxuriant garden complete with an ingenious living wall and a shimmering pool.

Cosmopolitan Lastarria, tucked between the riverside promenade of the Parque Forestal and the Cerro Santa Lucía (a former Spanish stronghold turned public park), brims with history and you’ll find a bevy of museums, cutting-edge galleries, trendy shops, hip cafés and bars on your doorstep. Plus you’re only a 10-minute stroll from Santiago’s historic centre and a bit further from buzzy Bellavista.

Highs

  • Rooms are a stylish combination of traditional architecture, modern design and hi-tech extras such as iPod docks
  • Friendly staff go out of their way to help you plan your time in the city, so it's good for first-time visitors
  • The shady garden is perfect for post-sightseeing relaxation and the pool is an added bonus
  • You’re minutes from one of Santiago's best ice-cream parlours and one of its most popular green spaces, Parque Forestal
  • A decent breakfast plus complimentary afternoon tea

Lows

  • There is no restaurant; just salads and light bites on offer plus 24-hour room service. There are plenty of eateries nearby
  • The parquet floors are beautiful but rather squeaky
  • The Superior A and Standard Single rooms aren't up to the same standard as the other rooms, but are priced accordingly

Best time to go

Santiago is a year-round destination but the best months to visit are October, March and April. Temperatures can soar during the summer (November to May) but there’s lots going on. December and January are peak season for visitors, with cultural events and outdoor festivals galore. You can ski nearby from June to August, but the weather in the city can be cold and rainy.

Our top tips

Santiago has moved on from its stopover status and become a hot destination in its own right, so devote a few days to it. It’s a dynamic, modern city where Latin America meets Europe and colonial mansions sit next to skyscrapers. It’s been reinventing itself of late and its art, design, culinary and nightlife scenes have never been better.

Great for...

City Style
Family
Spa
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 14
  • Breakfast (+ light meals on request)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
Room:

Rooms

Originally built as a family mansion, the rooms still have the feeling of being part of a grand, if divided up, home. No two are the same, but all feature warm-hued parquet floors and wonderfully thick wooden doors made from local rauli wood, along with the contemporary comforts of iPod docks, large flat-screen TVs and minibars.

Like all rooms, our street-facing first-floor Suite was thoughtfully soundproofed to ensure peace and quiet. Coupled with the blackout curtains and the extraordinarily comfortable kingsize bed clad in high-thread count linens, we had to book a daily wake-up call! The bathroom (with a tub and overhead shower) featured the mansion’s original blue and white tiles; really wonderful.

In all rooms, cream walls are offset with thick, colourful rugs and cosy embroidered bed throws (sadly not for sale - I checked). There are also antique armoires and delicate desks plus modern paintings: in our room we had close-ups of Valparaíso doorways. Granite-tiled bathrooms have powerful glass-walled rain showers (or baths), white fluffy towels, soft robes and lots of space for your toiletries.

The 2 Junior Suites on the top floor sacrifice room space for balconies with fabulous views over the neighbourhood; perfect for the summer months and well worth the upgrade. Deluxe Rooms face the garden. We loved the one with a private terrace and jacuzzi tub in the bathroom (#9), and another one has direct access to the pool, which kids will appreciate (#3). Cheapest are the Superior Rooms. Superior Bs are actually the same size as a Deluxe, just with less-inspiring views; The Superior A is a disabled-adapted room, and the Standard Single is as you'd think!

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Ipod dock
  • Iron (on request)
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

A buffet breakfast - from 7-10am during the week and until 10.30am at weekends - is served in the dining area and on the terrace overlooking the garden. Load up on fresh fruit juices (we particularly liked the raspberry), yoghurt, cereals, pastries, cold meats and cheeses, plus eggs to order.

If you’re feeling peckish post-sightseeing, you’ll find complimentary cakes and pastries set out from 4pm, and light bites such as Caesar salads and club sandwiches are available 24 hours a day. Pasta e Vino - a restaurant that had rave reviews in its former home, The Aubrey - is due to open in-house soon.

Meantime, there are plenty of restaurants nearby. In Plaza Mulato Gil de Castro you’ll find gourmet salads and sandwiches at Café del Museo and fusion sushi at Zabo. For heartier fare, head to Sur Patagónico where we dined on homemade polenta and tender Magellan lamb, washed down with artisan beer.

Sophisticated Opera offers 3 dining options in one location. You’ll need to book in advance for the French-influenced restaurant, where we feasted on lamb with ratatouille gratinee, rounded off with a ganache of dark chocolate and cardamom sauce. Upstairs, minimalist Catedral serves up a modern take on Chilean classics, while around the corner the Opera Café offers an inexpensive range of burgers, pasta and salads.

And don’t miss an exotic ice cream from Emporio La Rosa, just around the corner from the hotel. The dark chocolate with chilli is amazing.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Light meals
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Explore Lastarria and its weekend flea market, quirky designer shops and art centres, from the ultra-modern MAVI (Museo de Artes Visuales) and GAM (Centro Cultural Gabriela Mistral) to the Museo de Bellas Artes, a Belle Epoque landmark and the oldest museum in Latin America

  • Visit the historic centre: go people-watching in the lively Plaza de Armas; admire a display of every kind of fish and shellfish at the chaotic Mercado Central, and head to the Centro Cultural Palacio La Moneda for exciting exhibitions (changing frequently)

  • Pay a visit to La Chascona in Bellavista, the quirky house of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda (you can book ahead for a tour in English). There are fantastic handicraft shops and lively bars and restaurants around Patio Bellavista

  • Climb to the top of nearby Cerro Santa Lucía; on a clear day you’ll get spectacular views of the city backed by snow-capped Andean peaks

  • Chill out in leafy Parque Forestal for a real slice of Santiago life, complete with pampered pooches and smooching couples

  • Taste Chilean wine on a tour of the vineyards of the Maipo and Casablanca valleys; reception can organise

  • Take a day trip to the colourful and picturesque port of Valparaíso, a Unesco World Heritage site. The ‘Garden City’ of Viña del Mar is also well worth the journey

  • There's decent skiing 35km from Santiago (June-August). The chic 20-run resort La Parva is recommended

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets
  • Skiing
  • Swimming
  • Wine tasting

Kids

Children of any age are welcome and under-12s stay free of charge.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

An extra bed/baby cot can be added to Suites. Rooms 7 and 8 (a Superior and a Suite) can be connected for large families.

Babysitting:

Available on request.

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

10/
Rooms
6/
Food
10/
Service
8/
Value
9/
Overall

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Rates for Lastarria Hotel