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Ask the concierge.

The opening of the W Santiago in 2009 marked the hotel chain's debut in South America and Chile's capital remains its only location in the region. The hotel, in the heart of the fashionable El Golf district, caters mostly to businesspeople and is a particularly popular choice with younger executives. Along with two restaurants--Japanese and French--it offers a terrace with a spectacular view over the city as well as the lively Whiskey Blue night club. Chief Concierge Sandra Riveros offers her tips for making the most out of a trip to Santiago.

What restaurant would you recommend for a professional lunch or dinner?

Our First recommendation, of course, is the hotel's own restaurants but, other than that, we mostly recommend restaurants on Avenida Nueva Costanera and, particularly, Tierra Noble. If guests want to be able to talk quietly, we call the manager there and they provide a very good service in that respect. Others we recommend on Nueva Costanera are Ox for meat and Puerto Fuy. I know there are a lot of restaurants on our street, Isidora Goyenechea, but they get very busy, especially at lunchtime, and we explain that to guests.

I have 24 hours in Santiago. What itinerary would you recommend?

We offer guests a city tour with a private driver, but quite often they want to explore on their own. In that case, we suggest they use the subway--which is very safe--and get off at the Pedro de Valdivia station to visit the Providencia district and then get back on and go to the Baquedano station to visit the Bellavista area and walk through the park by the river into the downtown area and La Moneda presidential palace and, perhaps, the Central Market.


Can you suggest one or two places to shop?

If guests want to buy Chilean craftwork, we suggest the Pueblito de los Dominicos which isn't far from here and has shops selling a wide range of typical products. The other option is Avenida Alonso de Cordova which is where the main international brands have their shops.

What are the must-buys?

Chilean wine--many guests come with the idea of getting to know Chilean wine and buying some--and, perhaps, lapis lazuli.

What safety measures do you recommend?

We suggest that women don't wear too much jewelry. It's not that we tell them that Santiago is a place where they're going to get mugged but just to be careful with jewelry and not be too conspicuous. It's embarrassing as a Chilean but I have to say we also warn guests about the risk of being overcharged by taxis they flag down in the street.

I have many meetings in the city. What is the best way to get around?

Use a hotel car and driver; that's what the vast majority of our guests do.

What is the appropriate amount to tip a taxi or other driver and in restaurants?

It's not usual to tip taxis you take in the street but, for a driver who's taken you on an excursion, around 10 percent is normal and the same in a restaurant.
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Author:Bradley, Ruth
Publication:Latin Trade
Date:Jan 1, 2012
Previous Article:Santiago: firsthand tips for visiting Chile's capital: insights and advice from Daniel Picciotto, president of Colombia-based PDC Vinos y Licores...
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