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.
- 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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