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With summer heating up much of South America right now, it’s a good time to spring for a ticket to that continent. Luckily, both LAN and TAM just announced a major sale on roundtrip Premium Business Class fares. They’re dropping fares by up to 44 percent, as low as $699 roundtrip. (That’s for flights between Miami and Bogotá, Colombia; fly instead to Punta Cana, the airlines’ lone Caribbean destination, and it’s just $176.)
Santiago, Chile feels like a new city. With most of its colonial architecture flattened by earthquakes, and mirrored high-rises towering against the snow-covered Andes, it can be tough, at first, to see the more intimate side of this South American city. Here are two neighborhoods chock-full of quaint boutiques, natty coffee houses, a boutique hotel or two, spirited street art, and a genuine sense of place amongst the skyscrapers.
If you think that DJ sets, mixology events, sleek common spaces, LEED certification, book signings, and lightening-fast internet don’t sound like hallmarks of most big-brand hotels, you’d be right. But the Renaissance hotels, owned by Marriott, are striving for a more boutique aesthetic these days. Of course, that means having to shrug off the stereotypes of outdated rooms, subpar restaurants, and uninspired common spaces that people associate with big corporate hotel chains. And that means making its newest properties less cookie-cutter and more bespoke than ever.
Ever wanted to see all – and we do mean all – of South America’s coastline? Holland America’s newest Grand Voyage for 2015 will let you do just that. The 68-day journey will make a complete loop around the continent from Fort Lauderdale, with a few additional ports of call in the Caribbean, Central America, and, weather permitting, Antarctica.
Across the globe, urban planners have beautified some of the most basic (and essential) city structures: subway stations. Through murals, sculptures, temporary installations, or just fancy signage, they have helped turn otherwise drab transportation hubs into dazzling, and sometimes even whimsical, works of art. From Tom Otterness’ miniature bronze sculptures in New York City to Dubai’s jellyfish-like chandeliers, here are nine underground masterpieces that can’t be missed. Click here to view our slideshow.
Long considered the most conservative of South American capitals, and passed over in favor of its flashier Argentine neighbor to the east, Buenos Aires, Santiago has been undergoing something of a Renaissance in the past decade. Chic hotels, restaurants, and boutiques have opened up all across the city. Despite this trend, the city is still a very affordable place to visit – and with LAN’s current “Big Deal” promotion, getting there doesn’t have to cost a fortune either.
Hip HotelsThe Aubrey hotel enjoys an unbeatable location at the foot of Cerro San Cristóbal, under the watchful gaze of the giant Virgin Mary that stands atop the hill. The hotel, which is housed in a building that a prominent political party once called home, is made up of two mansions dating from the 1920s. The 15-room boutique hotel retains the buildings’ art-deco wood paneling and features stylish interiors that mix Tom Dixon lamps with mosaic tiling, crystal chandeliers, and 17th-century oil paintings. Some of the rooms have terraces overlooking the bohemian Bellavista neighborhood, while at the on-site piano bar, you can sip an authentic pisco sour in the relaxing ambiance of the cobble-stoned courtyard. (Rates start at $242 a night).
I am getting married in January of 2012, and I am looking for a honeymoon spot for me and my fiancé in Central or South America. We are really adventurous and are looking for an all-inclusive place to stay for the first half of the week; then we’d like to do some exploring to get the real feel for the city and country that we are in. I thought I would ask you for suggestions since you guys are the travel experts. Are there any trips that some of the employees have gone on and loved?
My recommendation: Split your time between Santiago, Chile’s capital, and San Pedro de Atacama, an off-the-grid desert oasis set about 8,000 feet above sea level and perfectly positioned for romance.
Qantas: The Australian airline debuted in the Dallas/Fort Worth market on May 16 with flights to Sydney (includes stopover in Brisbane); return flights are nonstop (one-way fares from $499, based on round-trip purchase; www.qantas.com).
Lufthansa: The German airline will launch Airbus A380 service between Miami and Frankfurt on June 10, marking the first opportunity for Miami-area travelers to experience the world’s largest passenger plane (one-way fares from $614; www.lufthansa.com).
JetBlue: Starting on June 17, JetBlue (www.jetblue.com) will expand service from Boston to the Dominican Republic with the launch of that market’s only nonstop route to Santiago (one-way fares from $114).
Porter Airlines: Toronto-based budget carrier Porter Airlines (www.flyporter.com) kicks off its first fall service to Myrtle Beach (following two successful winter/spring seasons) on September 8, offering the only nonstop service between the beach resort and Canada (one-way fares from $179).
From the spring/summer issue of Smart Luxury Travel magazine by ShermansTravel.com.
Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on flights, hotels, packages, and more travel deals.
LAN Airlines has announced a new sale on round-trip fares from eight U.S. cities to cultural hotspots in South America. Fares start as low as $399 on flights from Miami to Lima, Peru, but there are plenty of other exciting destinations, including, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Santiago, Chile; and Montevideo, Uruguay that are reduced up to 30 percent. Whether an exotic beach in Uruguay, the glaciers of Patagonia, or a bustling Latin American metropolis, these rock-bottom rates will get you to those tantalizing, far-off locales. Tickets must be purchased before April 5 and the offer is valid for travel through June 15.
In addition, LAN Airlines has announced nonstop service from San Francisco to Lima beginning in July 2010, making it the only nonstop service from San Francisco to South America. Visit www.LAN.com for more information.
Sample Fares (Round-Trip, Excluding Taxes):
• Miami–Lima, Peru: $399
• San Francisco–Lima, Peru: $599
• New York–Buenos Aires: $799
• Los Angeles–Montevideo, Uruguay: $799
• New York–Santiago, Chile: $899
• And more!
To book your flight visit www.LAN.com
The Luxury W Hotels Worldwide has unveiled its first property in Latin America. Surrounded by the snowcapped Andes, the 196-room W Santiago sits within the El Golf district on the south bank of the Mapocho River. Near Providencia’s upscale art galleries, Bella Vista’s bohemian cafés, and the museums around the historic Plaza de Armas, the hotel also offers a gym, a spa, and a heated rooftop pool.
The Value The hotel’s opening W Warm-Up offer is available for the rest of the year. With room rates starting at $299/night, the package includes upgrades to Spectacular or Cool Corner rooms with in-room brunch, Pisco Green cocktails, free appetizers, and souvenir T-shirts for two. Spectacular or Cool Corner rooms normally cost $549/night.
The Catch The weather is pleasant during Chile’s spring, with high temperatures ranging from 66 to 72 degrees. But traveling in November means missing the country’s ski season.
The Details 56-2-770-0000, www.whotels.com/santiago
From the fall issue of Sherman’s Travel magazine.
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