We chose the Residence based on it being a Relais & Chateaux property. We wanted a relaxing time to experience the Colchagua Valley, so we stayed 3 nights. We used the hotel's airport transfer service from/to Santiago airport. Our flight was delayed, and we arrived quite late on our first night. The staff was very understanding, and served us dinner, even though most other guests were finished eating (but still lingering around the fire). The driver and guide were very nice, and gave us some tips on what to see in the area. The main building, with salon & dining room, was very beautiful design. Our stay included all meals and wine. The casitas are very lovely and perfectly clean. The bathroom was great, with a super shower & separate bathtub; the bed & bedding wonderful. And, we loved our wood-burning fireplace. As it happened, we were there during epic rains, and you have to leave your casita to go to the main building for all meals. Since this residence is built into a mountain, the path is very steep, and we were afraid of slipping in the dark. So, we were instructed to call the hospitality desk, and they came to get us in a golf cart with a plastic cover to keep us dry. The phone initially didn't work, but my husband thought to remove the battery & re-insert it so that we could call. After meals they took us back to our casita via golf cart. The activities in the area are generally hiking, biking and other outdoor pursuits. However, the rain precluded that. We did have a lovely tour of the beautiful winery. So, if this is all so pretty, why only a "very good" rating, and not "excellent"? It is a question of attitude. Everything you see will be beautiful: rooms, main building, people. But the hospitality left something to be desired. (The exceptions were the young man who gave us our winery tour was charming, and the long-haired woman who served us several meals was lovely.) The desk pretty much waited for us to ask them for things, but didn't offer many ideas beyond more winery tours. Our airport transfer guide had mentioned a museum in Santa Cruz. When we asked hospitality about it, they did arrange a taxi to take us. They had no other ideas of things to do, and did not help us communicate with the driver, even though they knew that we had very little Spanish. We are pretty adept at getting around on our own, so we figured it out. But they weren't very helpful. The other disappointment was the food. We love Relais & Chateaux because they are usually the best table in town. And, the food was good, but boring, boring, boring. I understand that the food is meant to showcase the wines, as this was a winery. During our 3 day stay we had multi-course meals at both lunch and dinner. The protein was always grilled; steak, pork chops....tasted the same. And, while the soup varied, the vegetables were ALWAYS zucchini, tomato, onions....possibly the same pot. By the last day, they were getting pretty cooked down. Maybe we weren't worth the effort to get some different vegetables? And, really, you can make more interesting food with herbs & spices and still have it complement the wines. The wine was delicious, and we enjoyed trying different Grand Marniers with dessert each meal. Although the Residence had made arrangements for us for our return to Santiago airport, and they knew that we had to leave after breakfast, they made no accommodation for us to receive lunch that they had included on our itinerary. The day before departure I had asked if they might be able to pack some fruit & cheese for us (something really simple) so that we didn't have to eat airport food, and they assured us they would. However, that didn't happen. It was a pretty frequent occurrence during our stay that hospitality said they would do something, and then it never happened. Finally, our pre-trip information mentioned that laundry was included. We had been traveling for over a week, and did need a few things laundered, so we had them done here. By the way, the laundry service is mentioned in the Spanish language section of the information book in the room, but not in the English language section. While the sport shirts & underwear were fine, my husband's dress shirts were pretty poorly ironed. Seriously? This is supposed to be 5-star. You may think this nit-picky, but I definitely hold them to a higher standard because, even "off season" we were paying $1,000 per night. In summary, it is beautiful to look at, but there is little genuine hospitality to be found here. While they were always pleasant and polite, the staff is just going through the motions. It was NOT up to Relais & Chateaux standards.
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- Also Known As:
- Clos Apalta Residence Chile/Santa Cruz