In contrast to Providencia’s otherwise corporate accommodations, Hotel Hostal Thayer (Luis Thayer Ojeda 746, tel. 02/2339703, fax 02/2337022, hotelhostalthayer [at] terra [dot] cl, US$57 s or d) is an intimate boutique-style hotel with contemporary conveniences.
Few traditional townhouses remain among Providencia’s high-rises, but a Catalan couple has converted two of them into the attractive Vilafranca Bed & Breakfast (Pérez Valenzuela 1650, tel. 02/2351413, www.vilafranca.cl, US$42/50–51/59 s/d), whose only drawback is the drone of rush-hour traffic on nearby Avenida Andrés Bello. Engagingly furnished, the eight rooms vary from cozy attic doubles to more spacious suites, all with private baths, plus amenities such as breakfast, cable TV, and wireless Internet; the common areas include a comfortable living room with plenty of reading material and a shady patio.
At recommended Hotel Conde Ansurez (Av. República 25, tel./fax 02/6960807, www.ansurez.cl, US$50/60 s/d), one side of the 44-room building fronts the noisy Alameda—ask for a room, with private bath and buffet breakfast, in the back.
In Barrio París-Londres, easy walking distance from Metro Universidad de Chile, comfy Hotel Vegas (Londres 49, tel. 02/6322498, fax 02/6325084, www.hotelvegas.net, US$52/64 s/d) manages to stay cool in summer despite the lack of air-conditioning.
For business visitors, Providencia’s renovated Hotel Bonaparte (Mar del Plata 2171, tel. 02/2740621, www.hotelbonaparte.com, US$70 s or d) offers services equivalent to many more expensive hotels at a substantially lower price, partly because the neighborhood, though attractive enough, is a little less accessible to the Metro. Topped by a pseudo-mansard, it also has recreational facilities including a swimming pool and gymnasium, and spacious gardens.
Despite its inauspicious location half a block east of the busy Vía Norte-Sur, the Indian-owned Hotel Majestic (Santo Domingo 1526, tel. 02/6958366, fax 02/6974051, www.hotelmajestic.cl, US$80/90 s/d) is a 50-room Best Western affiliate; rates include a buffet breakfast, its double-paned windows keep out the noise, and there’s a swimming pool. Just two blocks from Metro Santa Ana, its restaurant is the only exclusively Indian eatery in Chile, featuring items such as samosas and curries. Discount rates are available through its website.
On the eastern outskirts of town, Vitacura’s unique Hotel Acacias de Vitacura (El Manantial 1781, tel. 02/2118601, www.hotelacacias.cl, US$83/92 s/d) is a family-run four-star hotel whose gardens and foyer feature an astonishing assortment of antique machinery and artifacts from around the world. The building itself lacks character, but the rooms are comfortable, the service impeccable, the recreational facilities outstanding, and it’s convenient to summer hiking and winter skiing in the Cajón del Mapocho. Rates include a buffet breakfast.
In recent decades, many high-rises have replaced handsome French-style buildings that once graced Providencia’s streets, but one survivor is the 23-room Hotel Orly (Av. Pedro de Valdivia 027, tel. 02/2318947, www.orlyhotel.com, US$72/82–82/94 s/d), whose ornate facade and mansard roof denote midsize rooms with breakfast and assiduous service.
Nestled into a high-rise neighborhood, the 33-room Hotel Montebianco (Isidora Goyenechea 2911, tel. 02/2330427, fax 02/2330420, US$65/75 s/d–US$95 s or d) is a bargain by Las Condes standards, with buffet breakfast, air-conditioning, and other amenities. Convenient to the Metro and the Bosque Norte restaurant cluster, this minor gem offers more personalized atmosphere than nearby megahotels.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Chile, 2nd edition