Ritz Carlton Santiago Chile Hotel suite

The Ritz-Carlton, Santiago has long been a lonely oddity. Since its opening in 2003, it’s been the sole outpost bearing that brand’s name in all of Latin America. Thankfully that is changing now with the opening of a Reserve version in Mexico, but this will remain the only one in South America for the foreseeable future.

Chile’s capital city has changed a lot since 2003 though. There are a lot more Santiago luxury hotels than there used to be, plus a Mandarin Oriental is on the way—another that will be the first appearance of that brand in South America.

So it was time for a top-to-bottom renovation of this Ritz-Carlton to bring it fully into current times. As our correspondent who wrote our recently updated review put it, “The designers incorporated a palette inspired by Chile: blues and whites reflect the country’s sea and snow while copper accents are a nod to the valuable resource found underground.” By the time you read this and visit, the lobby and its lounge will be finished to match the fresh and modern look of the rooms. One bastion of the traditional Ritz look and feel remains: the dark wood and leather traditional bar.

The 205 rooms here are generously sized, running from 430 to 650 square feet, though you can have a pad the size of a luxury apartment if you go for the Presidential Suite. Otherwise, the best way to upgrade is to get onto the club floor and take advantage of the newly upgraded executive lounge. There are 49 rooms that have access to the lounge, so it’s usually not difficult to book one. Included with this upgrade are breakfast, food laid out almost all day, drinks (including alcohol), and staffers to help with business center needs.

Ritz-Carlton Santiago restaurant Estro

You’ll want to venture forth from the lounge to check out the revamped Estro Restaurant though.

The Estro restaurant’s dinner menu changes seasonally and may feature dishes like oxtail filled gyozo with radish emulsion and a battered and deep-fried poached egg. Or a skirt steak marinated in black beer and served with three types of Chilean potatoes. Prices are more reasonable than you’d expect to encourage local non-guests to dine there.

One of the most attractive draws at Santiago’s Ritz-Carlton, besides the superior service the top Marriott brand is known for, is the attractive indoor pool open all year. While many hotels tuck their indoor pool into a basement or dark corner of the building, here it’s under a canopy of glass that lets all the sun in and it’s long enough for laps.

You have to travel a long way down the Americas to find a Ritz-Carlton to stay in, but this one will make you glad you made the journey to Chile, whether you’re here for business or winding down a Chile tour in other parts of the country.

See our new updated review of The Ritz-Carlton, Santiago Hotel.