I selected the Crowne Plaza Santiago primarily because of its excellent central location. The historical neighborhood of Barrio Lastarria, filled with restaurants, theaters, museums, and bars is just a five minute walk from the hotel, while the bohemian enclave of Bellavista is a ten minute stroll in the opposite direction. The convenient Baquedano metro station is only two blocks down the street, and connects to both Line 1 and Line 5. The hotel has good rankings on TripAdvisor (#14 out of 157).
Crowne Plaza Santiago
Reception and concierge
Dining area and lounge
Cool vintage phones
We arrived late at night and check-in was quick and easy. I had used the Priority Club cash and points option (15,000 points + $70 USD per night) to book three nights at the hotel. The receptionist acknowledged by Platinum Elite status, and offered a higher floor room with a nice view, which I appreciated. Unfortunately, in-room WiFi was not free, but that wasn't a problem since there was a business center in the lobby area with four computers for complimentary guest use. There seemed to be at least one unoccupied computer available at all times during the day. A small gym was available at the hotel, but I didn't bother checking it out.
The front desk was helpful, although depending on who you asked. We wanted recommendations on good places to eat, especially on the first night when we arrived late, and the receptionist offered up a perfect suggestion (more details in the next post). We were also given a detailed map of Santiago and plenty of information on how to get to different locations.
View from the room
View of Cerro San Cristóbal
Regarding transportation in the city, we found that it was a much better option to take the hotel car rather than hail down a random taxi on the street. The hotel car offered a flat rate to neighborhoods throughout the area, while on the other hand, we were ripped off by taxis that would take roundabout routes. In the end, it cost more to take an old metered street taxi than to take the nice hotel car. In any case, there should hardly be a need for taking taxis except late at night when the metro isn't running.
While exploring the city, we passed by a number of other hotels, including the Intercontinental, the Holiday Inn Express, and the Radisson Plaza. While some of them were newer, I think the location of the Crowne Plaza really can't be beat. I would definitely recommend this hotel to anyone visiting Santiago.