When we travel, it is typically my husband who makes the travel arrangements. On our last trip, he reserved an airport hotel for our last night in Santiago, Chile. At first I was not thrilled with his selection. Sure, we’ve used an airport hotel for the first night after a late arrival, or a last night before an early arrival. But we had an entire day after the stay and so I questioned his decision-making, thinking we should have booked somewhere in the middle of the action.
How wrong I was!
We arrived at the Santiago Airport Holiday Inn the evening before our last night, with a flight scheduled for 9:55 the next night, and I could not have been any more delighted.
The moment we walked in, I got a great, comfortable vibe about the place. We checked in and confirmed that we could leave our luggage in storage the next day after sightseeing. My two boys delighted over some of the best free wi-fi of the trip and my husband and I asked the staff for a restaurant recommendation for that night. The lady we asked continued to give us great tips for sightseeing, circling areas to visit on a map and then gave us tips on the best way to get in town. She suggested we take a taxi that evening, but use the tourist bus the next day, as the tourist bus would only cost us 6 Chilean dollars AND would get us into town just as quickly as a taxi. Cha-CHING!
Our rooms were modern, clean, spacious and super comfortable. They were quiet, too– no airplane noise. A quick look at the bar and restaurant menus showed lots of great fresh-prepared choices and a much more extensive wine listed than I expected. This place looked great!
The hotel staff called a taxi for us and we took it into town to the suggested restaurant,Azul Profundo, which was EXACTLY what we were hoping to find… excellent food, great service and festive ambiance. Our taxi driver returned for us and whisked us back to the hotel for a great sleep. The next morning we packed our bags, left them with the front desk, boarded the bus and had a great day visiting the sites. We hiked up to the top at Castillo Hidalgo, had lunch in Barrio Lastarria and took the Funicular to the top of Cerro San Cristobal to see the Virgin Mary statue. It was a great day.
We returned to the hotel a few hours early and lounged in the lobby bar, repacked our bags as needed, changed into more comfortable clothes, grabbed a few snacks and then, when it was time for our flight, walked just across the driveway to the ticket counter. It could not have been more convenient. The staff was excellent, the lobby bar was quiet but not stuffy, and the perfect spot to wait for our flight and arrive at the airport unstressed.
Unfortunately, our flight was then delayed, cancelled and rebooked for the next evening… But we were able to appreciate the hospitality of the hotel another night and day. It was the perfect place to be stranded for an extra 23 hours in Santiago.
So, lesson here: Don’t overlook the airport hotels. This one was certainly a treasure, and not just for its convenience.
What has been your experience with airport hotels?