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“An unexpected and upsetting experience”

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Santiago Hillside Hotel
Ranked #161 of 204 Hotels in Santiago
Reviewed January 18, 2013

I stayed at the Santiago Hillside in November 2012, and ideally would have highly recommended this hotel. But I feel like I've had two radically different experiences there. As other reviewers have said, the hotel is beautiful and quiet, the staff helpful, and it feels like a very special place. The rooms and public spaces are full of folk art, and the grounds are lovely in a intimate way. I and my family enjoyed our time there. The hotel was booked with other families who were attending the same event.

But the business side of the experience was very different. I booked the reservation online, and the room was charged to in full to my credit card weeks in advance, which was somewhat surprising to me. However, the hotel answered my email about it after a delay of a few days, and had a reasonable explanation. Other emails, inquiring about other logistics, went unanswered. When I arrived, I realized that the staff, except for the owner, spoke limited English, and thought that might have explained the lack of email replies. When we checked out, we were very surprised to be given a bill that showed an amount that was literally twice the quoted, and paid-in-full price of the rooms, and tried to communicate that, showing the original confirmation. The staff acknowledged the confirmation, and the issue seemed to be resolved.

When I returned home, I found a credit card authorization on my card for an amount roughly equivalent to the bill, to a person whose name I had never seen (not the hotel owner). I sent a cordial email to the hotel, asking about this amount, which went unanswered, so I notified my credit card company. They said it was just an authorization, not an actual charge, and we should just monitor it, so I thought that perhaps it was a security deposit type of hold, and indeed, the authorization disappeared in a month. The only place I'd used this credit card was at the hotel, so I know that the charge came from that source.

I was surprised and very unhappy this week, two months after our stay there, to find a four figure charge on that credit card for yet a different amount, to the Hotel Robinson Crusoe in Valapairso, which is a sister hotel to the Santiago Hillside. My credit card company has filed a fraud case. I would like to believe that this is some sort of mistake, but other families from the trip have reported similar experiences with extra charges. Even if this was some kind of billing error instead of intentional fraud, I must now exert myself to contest the charge.

The hotel itself is such a gem, it's a shame that I feel I must warn other travelers away from it, but it sure is a way to ruin a lovely memory.

Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
5  Thank MATraveller200
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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13 - 19 of 92 reviews

Reviewed November 24, 2012

I really loved this little hotel. It was the nicest accommodation I stayed in during my trip in Chile, and also the best value.

The hotel is situated on a hill overlooking a gorgeous valley in the foothills of the Andes about 30 minutes outside of Santiago. The area appears to be fairly exclusive, with many wealthy Chileans having homes nearby. It is also on a very popular cycling route up into the mountains (I am a runner, so one of my highlights was running the road outside of the hotel trying to find out where the cylcists were going...absolutely stunning hill running). The hotel itself is quite beautiful, with high vaulted ceilings and a grand fireplace in the common room. The rooms are all lovely, especially those with views of the valley (I would recommend requesting one of these if you can. You won't be disapppointed). The hotel is surrounded by gorgeous cobblestoned terraces which offer multiple places for privacy to read, talk with others, and just relax. The pool is very nice, facing out over the valley and the snow capped peaks of the Andes in the distance. I sat there for hours relaxing and tanning.

Breakfasts were also very nice, usually consisting of a fruit smoothie, omelette, bread and cake, with real french-press coffee. Though I did not eat other meals here, I heard from a local person that the woman who cooks is known for her gourmet meals. I had no trouble finding other restaurants. Within a 5 minute walk there are 2 grocery stores (both also having wines from small exclusive wineries that I was not able to find elsewhere in Chile, much to my chagrin). There is also a fantastic restaurant about 5 minutes away featuring local Chilean dishes, and other restaurants (and a gallery a short walk into the neighbourhood).

Though the staff do not speak English (except for the owner), we had no trouble communicating, and they helped me with everything I needed. If I wanted a restaurant, they recommended one. If I needed an adapter for my cellphone charger, they lent me one. They ordered me a taxi or a rental car whenever necessary. I found the staff to be exceptionally kind.

So, if you are looking for peace and quiet away from the smog and congestion and noise of Santiago, where you will be catered to when needed and left alone when needed, then this is the place for you. Truly.

If you are looking for easy access to the city, and to be part of the hustle and bustle, then this is not the place for you. If you are looking to have your needs catered to in perfect English, then this is also not the place for you (and good luck finding that place in Chile).

By the way, cellphone and internet connections were not a problem. Also please note, my experience in Chile is that noise transfer between rooms was different from what I am used to at home, and a problem. There is noise transfer between rooms in this hotel and from the hallways into the rooms. However, it is a quiet hotel, so sleeping at night was not a problem at all. Please also note, the driveway is quite steep and requires a bit of driving skill to negotiate.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank aeusher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2012

If the traveler looking to be in peace and quiet ... This is the place! . We were looking for a hotel to have privacy but while the romance flowing. My boyfriend and I had an excellent stay in Santiago, Chile. It's a totally secluded from the noise and traffic of a chaotic city. wonderful place!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank shannon m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 13, 2012

This hotel is located just outside the city of Santiago, was exactly what I and my colleagues were looking to focus on our business talks. The site is situated approximately thirty minutes from the city, this hotel is for people who need peace and quiet of the chaos and traffic of the city.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled on business
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Thank anthony g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded July 16, 2012

So happy!!!! Our beautiful Hotel was and excellent choice for your business purposes. We truly enjoyed your visit and providing you and colleagues the best of hospitality and service. Hope we see you again. Thank you.
Andrea, Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 2, 2012

The hotel is in a remote part of the city, on a steep and narrow road. There are no signs and the hotel's address does not show up on GPS. I drove back and forth several times until I spotted the hidden entrance. When you arrive, you are greeted by a massive electric gate. You need to get out of your car and press an electric buzzer, then wait several minutes until someone answers and opens the gate. The same ritual needs to be repeated every time, when entering or exiting. When the gate finally opens, there is steep 45 degree cobblestone surface with deep trenches which you are expected to drive up. The undercarriage of the car scrapes up and down this. In the hotel, the doors of the rooms have decorative perforations (!) or air vents which means that people in the hallway can see you moving inside and hear every word you say. Because the hotel is built on the side of a hill, there is no cell phone reception. And the wireless signal is too weak for computing. When I checked out the next morning, they charged my credit card for my ENTIRE scheduled stay, saying that the card had been charged by a company in the USA and there was nothing they could do about it. It's a creepy place! Be smart and stay at the Radisson!

Room Tip: Don't stay there! Go to the Radissson!
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled on business
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3  Thank Moshe S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2012

The hotel was beautiful, breakfasts were excellent and the rooms were lovingly decorated. For a secluded weekend in the mountains there would be nothing nicer. My only issue with the hotel is that it was originally suggested to us that it was 'centrally located' but it takes roughly 1 and a half hours to travel to the city centre via public transport and this includes a 15 minute walk down a mountain road with no side walk.

I would recommend car hire for anyone considering staying here.

The staff here do not speak English, this should be taken into consideration if you wanted to ask them for directions or restaurant ideas.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank Sarah R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2012

This is an absolutely perfect boutique hotel, not only because of its great location, close to everything, and minutes from santiago and mayor highways that lead you outside the city in minimum time (beach, airport, other towns and cities, etc etc)
But also because of the owner and its staff.

Welcoming, informative and helpful. The rooms are immaculate with a perfect balance of elegance and cottage like motif .

My 5 year old LOVED the view and the delicious breakfast as well

Peaceful, convenient , great for a night away from the hustle and bustle of the city, or if you are coming from out of town or from another country.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with family
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Thank GigiySoffia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Santiago Hillside Hotel

Address: Camino a Farellones 15201, Santiago 7591511, Chile
Location: Chile > Santiago Metropolitan Region > Santiago
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #161 of 204 Hotels in Santiago
Price Range: $100 - $250 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Santiago Hillside Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Gorgeous boutique hotel and abode, partly built by Chilean national sculptor/artist "Francisco Gazitua," located on 7 green, wildlife filled, walled guard gated acres of Andes Mountains Hillside, on one of the most prestigious and exclusive neighborhoods of Santiago. Fantastic views of the Andes, Mapocho River, Cerro Pochoco Observatory and the entire Valley of Santiago. Up nearly 1500 feet of elevation near San Enrique Square in Lo Barnechea and Las Condes. ... more   less 
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