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Room Report: Hilton Garden Inn Santiago, Chile Airport

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Arrival Experience: Shuttles operate 24 hours a day from the terminal to the hotel's front door. Simply visit the transfer desk in the arrivals hall where they will issue you a ticket to the hotel's third-party shuttle service (operating every 15 minutes, which is faster than most other airport shuttles). Once at the front door, the hotel's soothing lobby is compact and unrushed. Staffers speak excellent English, and handle check-in formalities swiftly. Two elevators are fast enough to never leave guests waiting. While most Americans expect a Hilton Garden Inn to be a limited service property, this hotel is more like a small, full-service Hilton offering top-notch quality for a value-based price.

Dining: The hotel's main restaurant serves three meals a day including a full breakfast buffet that boasts cooked-to-order eggs, fresh fruit and cheese, and a plethora of pastries and breads. For lunch and dinner, the menu switches to more continental fare boasting everything from salads and sandwiches to pasta and Chilean beef. The bar is always open with a complimentary coffee and tea selection on offer even after breakfast closes in the morning. Tipplers can linger in the evening for a cocktail and peer through the modern, eye-level fireplace into the reception area. Room service operates during dinner straight through to 6am when the restaurant reopens. A snack station by the front desk sells drinks, snacks, sandwiches, and salads at all hours for those with a hankering during off hours.

Accommodations: All of the bedrooms here are identical in shape and size although they vary between king or twin beds and whether they have vertical or horizontal windows (this is an aesthetic feature of the hotel's façade). Many guests prefer the views of the distant Andes' snow-capped peaks. Airport noise is limited to nearly zilch thanks to strong windows, and the hotel's flat-screen cable TVs and free wireless and wired Internet would be enough to distract from any faint engine roars. Desks are outfitted with speaker phones, numerous electrical outlets, and ergonomic swiveling Herman Miller chairs. Not to be outdone by the bigger chains, the Hilton Garden Inn has its own patented bedding package consisting of a comfy duvet and stacks of firm pillows. Easy-to-use alarm clocks make it a cinch to wake up early for flights. Bathrooms are large with glass shower stalls stocked with olive-scented products, and vanities are spacious topped with fog-resistant mirrors with excellent back lighting. All rooms have coffeemakers, empty refrigerators, full-length mirrors, and large closets with ample storage space.

Conclusion: The indoor swimming pool on the second floor features large window overlooking the surrounding area while a whirlpool bubbles for those with a need to relax. Two separate saunas for men and women sit adjacent to the lounge chairs by the pool. The fitness center is equipped with modern Precor machinery and overlooks the indoor swimming pool. An outdoor terrace is on the pool level supplements that on the lobby level for al fresco relaxation or functions. The property has a total of eight individual meeting rooms in various shapes and sizes, and each is named after an Andean chain mountain. This is a wise choice for travelers that have business near the airport or need to be close for an early flight. A taxi will happily take you into town or the ten-minute drive to the nearby metro station for a more affordable transit into the city. This is the country's first Hilton brand property and is garnering a strongly positive response in the market.

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