Santiago, Chile is a surprisingly expensive city, with prices are either equal or higher than those found in the United States. Additionally, inexpensive hotels are extremely hard to find, and most hostels actually charge nearly $50 a night. Plaza Londes Hotel is on the lower end of the spectrum, so if you aren’t looking to completely break the bank while staying in Santiago you may want to check out Plaza Londes Hotel.
Santiago is made up of different boroughs, each providing a slightly different flavor. Although the price for lodging stays fairly constant no matter where you stay, Plaza Londes Hotel is situated in the small “Londes” borough, and within walking distance of major malls and restaurants. However, take into consideration the entire shopping and restaurant district shuts down at 9 PM (outside of McDonalds which closes at 10), so if you enjoy your nights out on the town this is a location in town to skip. When arriving at the hotel via taxi make sure to either request for a metered ride (if you don’t speak Spanish, simply point to the meter in the upper right corner of the windshield – the driver will understand) or barter your way down to around 10,000 pesos (roughly $20). Many taxi drivers are looking for a hand out and if you don’t agree on a price before entering the taxi you may find yourself receiving a $100 bill at the end of the rid.
If you’re looking for high end accommodations, you need to skip Santiago as you aren’t going to find them (unless you want to shell our nearly $400 a night). When staying with Plaza Londes Hotel you receive a bed in an old, 19th century building, a separate room with a shower (hot water thankfully) and a TV with two to three channels, all snowy and completely in Spanish. Wireless is surprisingly fast for the area and is available for free (talk to the front desk for the password). If you don’t have a computer there are two stone aged PCs available for those needing to check their email and flight reservations. There is a breakfast that consists of rolls, instant coffee (which you mix in warm milk, not water), orange juice and yogurt. Although this seems like a bare bones breakfast, it is more than typically offered by most Santiago hotels.
Bring your ear plugs when staying in the Plaza Londes Hotel as the nights often become noisy. This has nothing to do with the hotel or basic city noise (the hotel is situated on a small courtyard, away from the hustle and bustle, but during the night hours teenagers sit in the built in benches, drink and often sing together (sadly not well). If you are a light sleeper and don’t have ear plugs you may want to head for a different hotel (although the staff is willing to move you to a different room if you are bothered by the noise).
Despite offering few accommodations, the staff is extremely helpful. Most are willing to bend over backwards for you, even calling your room to remind you of the provided breakfast, should you forget. If you have any problems just ask the staff as they are accommodating, even to the point of moving you to a different room during the middle of your stay if you find it unsatisfactory.