With a lot of help from local colleagues, as well as others outside Chile, we organized a two-day meeting here for about 100 experts in my field. Attendees came from about 20 countries. Most of the organization had been taken care of when I and two colleagues, together with members of our organizing team from around the world arrived.
I was given one of the "Preferred Guest" rooms, on the sixth floor. The first problem was noise. There’s a freeway just below, so the atmosphere wasn’t conducive to sleep. On the other hand, the hotel reaches toward a nearby hillside behind, which creates a pleasant atmosphere around the pool and garden. My room was not that well appointed for its price, e.g. no iron or ironing board was provided. Being in the energy business, I often like to comment on a hotel's sustainability. Sadly, the Sheraton’s score is low. The lighting is standard and OK, but the windows are poor, and no key card controlled master switch is provided. There seems to be no active laundry reduction program. All of my towels and sheets were changed daily. Worst of all was the shower. The shower head was a wasteful gusher, and to make matters worse, the diverter that forces the flow from the tub spout up to the shower head was ineffective. Despite my best efforts, more than half of the water spilled into the tub. What a waste!
To the extent we needed logistical meeting help, from my vantage point at least, service was mediocre. The conference room itself was OK, if set up in a rather awkward way such that the speaker and those at the dais could not see or point to the screens. This problem was mitigated somewhat by the addition of a large screen in front of the dais. Our biggest single problem though, was internet access. We specifically asked for hard Ethernet connections for at least two users both at the lectern-dais, and at a separate table for our support staff. We certainly got the cables, but the connections never worked properly. The hotel tech claimed at one point to have totally unblocked our IP addresses, but this made no difference. We ultimately had to abandon Ethernet entirely, which disrupted our procedures significantly. We made do using the hotel’s meeting room wifi, but this worked poorly also. We were never able to get a stable connection at the lectern, which made updating presentations and other materials inefficient and interrupted proceedings. We got intermittent service from the wifi, with frequent drops. To the hotel’s credit, when we complained about this, they did promise to remove any wifi charges from my personal bill, and they had been expunged by my checkout time. The staff were generally unhelpful and unfriendly, refusing for example, to provide a requested extra bottle of water. The funniest example was their set-up of a table for a 10-member panel session. All the microphones were at one end, and they also neglected to put back the steps down from the stage. Microphones were a bit of a problem overall. It was never clear when they were live and not. The lectern one couldn’t be turned off, and only one roving mike was provided for a pretty sizable audience. One final point, on the final morning, many of our group went on a tour and loaded onto buses along the side of the hotel. I noticed that many of the exits were locked and many passengers had to make their circuitous ways through other sides of the hotel. Is this fire safe?
The restaurant staff were very good by comparison. We deviated modestly from our schedule a few times, leading to somewhat early or late meals, but the staff happily and efficiently accommodated these adjustments. One minor point though. The buffet lunch was set up with two sets of dishes; however instead of being side-by-side they were sequential, i.e. everyone shuffled by the same layout twice. Why have duplicate set-ups if not to accommodate two separate lines? This made no sense to me, and sure enough, lunch lines were slow moving. On the other hand, the lunches themselves were good. I heard no complaints from an international crowd with diverse tastes.
Overall, for reasons I only partially understand, the room rate varied day-to-day, but I ultimately paid about US$180/night on average. I’m not familiar with Santiago prices, but this seems a little on the high side, and I don’t believe we were given any concession for being the meeting organizers. One very nice gesture was the hotel business center let us use their plush Las Condes conference room for a private meeting, including a long local phone call, for free! A partial compensation for the other problems for sure.
Overall, our experience was mediocre. Nothing bad happened, there were some setbacks and a couple of breaks. I wouldn't advise against organizing your meeting at this hotel, but check out some alternatives first.
Consider where the freeway is. You want to be as far from it as possible.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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We greatly appreciate your survey response with your feedback about your experience at our Hotel.
Our guests comments are vital to us. When positive, we feel rewarded in our efforts and our employees grow and gain confidence through positive reinforcement. When something goes wrong, as it appears is the case, our clients’ honest feedback helps us promptly correct any deviation in our service standards.
We do have plans to renew all our rooms in Sheraton Santiago for 2014. This plans not only will update the rooms from the esthetics but also in terms of sustainability trends as you described (master key, LED lights, water air flows faucets, etc). We also do have a program called Make a Green Choice which gives the guest the opportunity to keep sheets and towels during your stay. You should have been informed at your check in. If it was not the case, please brief me.
I will also share with our executive staff your comments regarding the restaurants, especially the banquet service and the other issues you have raised.
Please receive my deepest apologies for the inconveniences you may have experienced.
If you plan to visit us again in the short future, please notify me in advance as I will personally take care of your stay, in an effort to redeem your preference again.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.