Santiago, Chile

Michael Webb explores the bustling capital of Santiago, Chile and makes a few new discoveries.

Sleep

Aubrey: Stylish new boutique hotel in Bellavista, run by friendly Australians. If you cannot secure a room, stop by for a drink or dinner. (Constitucion 299-317; 02 940 2800)

Austral Suites: Located in Providencia, 16 apartments of varied sizes for $80 a night and up. (Francisco Encina 1781 at Concepcion; 02 567 6052)

Eat & Drink

Providencia

Le Flaubert: French bistro. (Orrego Luco 125; 02 515 4908)

Infante 51: Grilled or sautéed fish such as breca, cojinova austral, and kana-kana. Tranquil patio; no English spoken; check the bill carefully. (Infante 51; 02 264 3357)

El Hurtado: Creative vegetarian dishes. (Orrego Lugo 54; 02 755 1460)

Liguria: Chilean standards and a lively bar scene. (Pedro de Valdivia 048; 02 334 4346)

Baco: Handsome bistro and wine bar. (Nueva de Lyon 113; 02 231 4444)

Las Condes

KM.0: Hip restaurant located in the W Hotel. (Isidora Goyenechea 3000; 02 245 7077)

Vitacura

Mestizo: Expansive open-sided shelter supported by massive rocks on the edge of the Bicentennial Park; exemplary Chilean cuisine. (Av Bicentario 4050; 09 7477 6093)

Bella Artes

Opera: Sybaritic French menu in upscale setting. (Merced 395; 02 664 3048)

See & Do

Mercado Central: An ornate marketplace with raffish fish restaurants.

Museo de la Moda: A modernist mansion in Vitacura, where you can explore a fabulous couture collection and lunch at the chic El Garage cafe.

La Moneda Arts Centre: a lofty space for art exhibits and cultural events, located beneath the presidential palace.

Providencia: A bohemian neighborhood that straddles the river (a mere trickle in February); it feels like a village and makes an ideal base. Street-life is vibrant–sidewalk cafes and restaurants are thronged. Cheap taxis are abundant and the subway provides a fast link to downtown.

Museum of Memory: A museum which commemorates the victims of Pinochet’s brutality and the heroic resistance to his rule.

Matucana 100: An adventurous cultural center.

Gabriela Mistral Cultural Center: A must for lovers of music and dance is this heroically scaled block, soon to be joined by a new opera house.

FINAL TIP: For a comfortable, reliable trip to the airport call Taxi Officiel (02 601 9880), which offers town cars at a flat rate of $28 from the central city.

Click here to read the full story about Michael’s trip from Santiago to provincial villages on the fringes of the Atacama desert.

Michael Webb

Michael Webb

Michael grew up in London and now lives in a classic modern apartment in Los Angeles. His twin passions are architecture and travel, and he indulges both as often as he can, exploring every continent in search of material and inspiration. His travel memoir, Moving Around: a Lifetime of Wandering (ORO Books, October) recalls memorable experiences of people and places over seven decades. Michael is the author of 28 other books, most recently Architects' Houses. He has written on travel and design for The New York Times, Travel & Leisure, Virtuoso Life, Monocle, Architectural Digest and other publications
around the world.
Michael Webb

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