Santiago de Chile, Chile
A thoroughly modern destination for the Royal Holiday traveler looking for an urban vacation, Santiago de Chile, the country’s capital city and its largest metropolis, provides all the culture, nightlife, and recreation one could want from a city getaway. With its Mediterranean-style climate, gorgeous architecture, and fantastic public transit system, it is an ideal place for the urban enthusiast seeking a walkable, friendly city to explore. Whether one plans to focus on the dozens of museums and the cultural treasures in Santiago or hopes to use it as a base camp for exploring the Chilean countryside and the Andes Mountains, Royal Holiday members will find a welcoming city with everything to offer.
The club’s affiliate in Santiago, Rentaparts Apoquindo, can be found in the northwestern neighborhood of Las Condes, a posh barrio for a posh hotel. Royal Holiday members will delight in the handsomely appointed apartments, pool and gym, a full ballroom for events and parties, and the complex’s private terrace. With lodging ranging from studios to presidential suites, Rentaparts makes it possible for any size group to enjoy Santiago, while the easy walk from the lobby to the Escuela Militar Metro station puts the entire city at one’s fingertips.
First established as Santiago de Nueva Extremadura by the conquistador who founded the colony, the area now known as Santiago de Chile or Greater Santiago has been continually settled since 1541. After winning independence from Spain in the early 1800s following the Battle of Chacabuco, Chile saw steady development. By the 1920s, the population had begun expanding rapidly, and today, nearly 5.5 million people call Santiago home. While this big, boisterous city may seem imposing to Royal Holiday members, the extremely modern metro may be one of the finest in the world, and the recent institution of the Transantiago Plan has made the bus system similarly useful.
Royal Holiday members would do well to start with some perambulation. This extremely walkable city has some gorgeous parks and public spaces, such as the Parque Quinta Normal, where one will find numerous museums, the best of which, the Museo de Historia National and the Museo de la Memoria, reward visitors with a glimpse into Santiago’s rich history. One of the oldest neighborhoods of the city, the Plaza de Armas may be worth a visit, but spending time in trendy neighborhoods like Lastarria in the day and Barrio Bellavista at night will be more rewarding. The former offers excellent cafes, while the latter provides the best nightlife spots in the city.
Luckily, Royal Holiday members hoping to escape the bustle of the city will find numerous opportunities. While most winery tours require traveling hours from civilization, the Concha y Toro winery can be reached easily from the city and offers all the usual delights of wine country. Others will want to explore Santiago’s biggest and best park, Cerro San Cristobal, which offers funicular rides up to the statue of the Virgin Mary on the hilltop and gorgeous city and countryside vistas. Naturally, Santiago is also an excellent jumping-off point for exploring the rest of Chile, whether one wants to spend time soaking up Valparaíso’s unique charms, relaxing on the beach at Viña del Mar, or climbing the mountains in the Andes range.