Before traveling to Easter Island I spent two days at the Marriott Courtyard Las Condes in Santiago, Chile. It is a fine urban Courtyard hotel but not as upscale as the nearby Renaissance Santiago Hotel covered in the last post. Still, the Las Condes Courtyard deserves a post because the experience was so enjoyable.
Check in Was Fun
Check in is one of the least enjoyable parts of any hotel stay. Guests are fatigued from travel. Standing in line or waiting for a clerk to show up, providing ID and credit card, reviewing and verifying personal information and room rate, and hoping to get a nice room or even an upgrade is tedious to say the least.
Courtyard Marriotts I stayed at on this trip actually made check in enjoyable. Not only was the staff warm and friendly at check in (something many high-end hotels should work on), you could play a Wheel of Fortune game to win a small gift.
I won a beer at the airport Courtyard in San Jose, Costa Rica.
In Santiago, my luck wasn’t as good. I won a piece of candy. The clerk felt sorry for me and threw in a large bottle of water too. That evening I was surprised when they delivered a more substantial welcome gift.
I was assigned to a city view king room which was the room I booked. The clerk apologised for not having an available upgrade. Was that true? Who knows. The check in process was so enjoyable I didn’t mind. Nor did I bother to check the website to see if suites were still listed for sale.
City View King Room
This 28 sqm room is more than adequate for a single on a short stay. The best features are the comfortable bed, 42 inch flat screen TV, and a mini refrigerator for leftovers or a cold one.
This room faces north. It views Las Condes and Manquehue Hill.
The bath has a walk-in shower and single bowl vanity. Bath supplies are from Paul Mitchell.
Fitness facilities occupy the perimeter of the top floor. Spectacular Andes and city views encourage working out.
The hotel uses the interior space for an exercise studio and large game room.
Lobby and Dining
The hotel shares a high rise building with offices and a parking garage. The lobby is on the fifth floor.
The Bistro restaurant serves a range of international cuisine. I ate there one evening and enjoyed the meal. It was reasonably priced for a hotel. The full breakfast buffet is very similar to Courtyard buffets people may be familiar with in the U.S. or Europe. There is no lounge.
Courtyard Marriott Las Condes is in ideal location on Avenue Presidente Kennedy, one of the most beautiful main streets in Santiago. Parque Arauco, a luxury mall with a wide array of stores and restaurants, is two blocks down the street. It is reportedly the best mall in Chile. You can satisfy any shopping compulsion there or pick up needed items you didn’t bring. I used the post office there to mail materials to the U.S..
A “Hop On Hop Off” bus stop is located by the mall. That service can be useful for transportation as well as sightseeing.
High-speed WiFi is very strong throughout the hotel. There are five event rooms in addition to a Grand Ballroom. A coin laundry is very helpful for those, like me, who travel light and want to avoid paying hotel rates to wash clothes.
The Courtyard Marriott Las Condes is a moderately priced hotel that delivers a first rate experience. It occupies a prime location on Avenue Presidente Kennedy close to shopping, dining and transportation opportunities at Parque Arauco Mall. The staff was so friendly and cheerful I actually had fun at check in and didn’t mind not being upgraded. That single, initial interaction elevated my opinion about the entire stay. The only problem I encountered was trying to communicate with the wait staff in English. Even then, they were so nice about it, there wasn’t much of an issue. I’d be happy to stay there again if the rate is significantly less than the nearby Renaissance Santiago Hotel that has a lounge.