Santiago De Chile: Latin America’s Hottest Destination For Luxury Travel
Spanning more than 2,600 miles along the western edge of South America, Chile offers some of the most spectacular landscapes in the continent, with world-renowned destinations like Torres del Paine National Park and Nahuelbuta National Park—and this sprawling nation is no slouch when it comes to cities, either.
With roughly eight million people calling the metro area home, Santiago de Chile is a paradise for refined dining, world-class museums, and opulent hotels fit for royalty. If you’re planning an all-out trip to this bustling capital city, the following properties and attractions offer some of the finest luxury experiences in all of South America.
Experience the Elegance of the Ritz-Carlton, Santiago
The city’s most polished hotels are clustered around the neighborhood of El Golf, and when it comes to refined elegance, it’s tough to beat the Ritz-Carlton, Santiago. Adorned with graceful flourishes like polished wooden walls, a marble floor, and a grandiose chandelier, the hotel lobby is truly a sight to behold—and there’s a wealth of top-tier facilities waiting for guests just past the front entrance, with one of the most lavish being the penthouse spa. This tranquil oasis offers a steam room, sauna, and a wide array of facials and massages, and even comes with a massive enclosed pool and nearby viewing deck that offers spectacular views of the surrounding city.
Santiago is home to a wealth of top-tier dining destinations, but there’s no need to stray far from the Ritz-Carlton to find some truly tantalizing cuisine. Just past the lobby, the crown jewel of the property exists in the form of Estró, a polished restaurant that specializes in New Chilean fare. Seamlessly blending traditional local cuisine with a modern flair, dishes like mushroom dumplings, veal empanadas, and braised Patagonian grouper can all be found gracing the menu—and as an added bonus, the restaurant is equipped with a verdant streetside patio for the warmer months. After a dinner at Estró, the iconic Ritz-Carlton Bar is the perfect spot for a nightcap, offering a wealth of high-end whiskies and regular live music in a refined setting.
Sample Top-Quality Chilean Wine at Viña VIK
The Ritz is equipped with a pretty spectacular array of wines, but to take it one step further, be sure to add in a trip to one of the many wineries scattered around the outskirts of Santiago. While there’s no shortage of options to consider, Viña VIK is a particularly dazzling destination for wine lovers, equipped with more than 10,000 acres in the lush countryside of Chile’s O’Higgins Region. Innovative methods like using yeast from local wildflowers and barrel toasting with Chilean oak all play a role in crafting the property’s beloved wine, with La Piu Belle and Milla Cala standing out as two particularly popular bottles—but this sprawling estate is known for a lot more than just its wine.
Located high above the surrounding valley, the VIK Chile Retreat serves as one of the most relaxing escapes outside of Santiago, with an infinity pool, a vibrant zen garden, and the upscale dining venue Pavilion all awaiting visitors. The latter concept is a particularly tranquil lunch spot, offering diners an opportunity to sample a rotating tasting menu that’s designed to complement VIK’s top wines. Ritz-Carlton, Santiago guests can book a visit to the property with the concierge team, and if the two hour drive sounds too grueling, a helicopter trip is the perfect way to arrive at the destination. Operated by charter company TKOF, this journey highlights the spectacular beauty of the Chilean countryside and even shortens the journey to just 45 minutes.
Lounge Poolside at the Lavish W Santiago
While The Ritz brings a touch of timeless elegance to the streets of El Golf, the neighboring W Santiago offers a blend of high-end, contemporary luxury fused with a charmingly-eclectic flair. Colorful paintings, towering bookshelves, and ornate statues are just a few of the artistic installations scattered across the property, while guest rooms like the Spectacular offer a deep-soaking tub, a king-sized bed, and stellar views of the surrounding city from the private balcony.
With more than five drinking and dining concepts available on-property, the W is one of Santiago’s top destinations for a fun-filled night on the town. For a truly memorable night, kick off the visit with a trip up to Red2One, the property’s glamorous rooftop deck. During daylight hours, the venue draws visitors thanks to its elevated infinity pool, while twilight offers guests DJs and cocktails like the floral Gold Digger and rum-loaded Cayman Killer—both of which are best enjoyed beneath the glow of a Santiago sunset. After cocktail hour, Karai is the perfect dinner destination, offering a wealth of dishes that highlight the rich flavors of Nikkei cuisine. King crab nigiri, lomo saltado, and karai fried chicken are just a few of the dishes that are up for grabs, while the crema volteada serves as a particularly flavorful end to a spectacular night.
Discover Traditional Huaso Culture at Lo Pirque
After partying the night away on the W rooftop, a quiet escape into the Chilean countryside is the perfect way to unwind—and fortunately, there’s one particularly bucolic ranch that can be visited through the W Santiago concierge. Just 45 minutes south of El Golf, Lo Pirque is a living reminder of the traditional ranching culture that once dominated the surrounding countryside, with modern Chilean cowboys—or “huasos,” in Spanish—holding captivating performances each weekend. After the show, guests are invited to learn the “cueca,” a South American dance that’s meant to mimic the courtship display of a hen and rooster.
While the main attraction at Lo Pirque is certainly the huaso performances, it’s far from the only cultural experience that guests can enjoy. The venue is home to a massive buffet serving Chilean favorites that range from sopaipillas to cochayuyo, with no shortage of local beers to pair them with. After a hearty lunch, guests can enjoy a glass of Lo Pirque’s own wine, sample decadent desserts like passionfruit cake and milhojas, and play a few rounds of chaco, a Latin American dice game. After a few days spent in the dazzling W, this countryside lodge serves as the perfect introduction to the centuries-old culture that still lives on in the rural reaches of Chile.