The first W hotel opened in South America recently, in Chile’s capital of Santiago. We’ve got a detailed review of it, turned in by our man on the scene in Chile: W Santiago Hotel review.
This isn’t the only W hotel in Latin America, as the W in Mexico City has been a trust fund kids’ social magnet for years. I’m kind of surprised Starwood hasn’t opened more of these in the region, actually, since they are struggling in the U.S. and have lost two key hotels because of financial problems. The concept might not fly in a place like Buenos Aires or Sao Paulo, where there are already more than enough designer hotels without bringing in a corporate version, but in many other Latin American capitals there’s a serious dearth of hip hotels with good aesthetics that will appeal to people under age 50.
This Santiago version is too large to be considered a “boutique hotel” since it has 196 rooms and is attached to a huge real estate development with “a convention center, offices, luxury apartments, a sprawling gym, and several boutique stores including a local wine store—a store that is installing on the premises the largest wine cellar in Chile.” It’s got all the right visual touches though and has quickly become the place to see and be seen in Santiago.