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Hot Chile

Booming Santiago is no longer a mere stopover on the way to the Andes.

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Chilean vines: The vineyards near Santiago are world-class.  

City Counsel
How trendy is Santiago? The booming neighborhoods of Providencia and Las Condes have recently welcomed so many swank clubs, restaurants, and shops that the area has been dubbed “Sanhattan.” With a strong economy and a new free-trade agreement between Chile and the U.S., the city, a mix of European style and South American tradition (locals wear Mapuche jewelry with designer jeans) is finally getting the attention it deserves. Stay at South America’s only Ritz-Carlton (56-2-470-8500; from $180). By day, shop (below), sightsee, or sun at the pool. At night, have a pisco sour in lively Bellavista, then grab dinner at Japanese hot spot Etniko (56-2-732-0119) or the upscale Agua (56-2-263-0008).

Grape Escapes
You’d be hard-pressed to find an au courant wine list anywhere in the world that doesn’t include at least one Chilean Cabernet. Which is precisely why the scenic vineyards that lie just outside Santiago—some of the oldest in the country—have begun opening their doors to tourists. Don’t look for professional guides and gift shops stocked with artisanal cheeses—this ain’t Napa. Instead, enjoy the gorgeous grounds and traditional wine-making atmosphere at top vineyards like Concha y Toro, Santa Rita, and Cousiño-Macul, which dates to 1856.

Deal of the Week
Located in the tony neighborhood of Providencia, Santiago’s San Cristobal Tower will offer New York Magazine readers two nights with breakfast, plus one dinner and a bottle of champagne, for $400 when they mention this page before March 31; 800-325-3589 or visit starwood.com.

Hola, Shopping Spree
A guide to Santiago’s top stores.

Along Avenida Alonso de Cordova, you’ll find trendy boutiques like Farucca (sexy sandals), Donna (floaty dresses), and Chocolate (hipster jeans and tiny tees).

Outdoor markets like Aldea de Vitacura and Centro Artesanal Santa Lucía offer booth after booth of lapis lazuli and alpaca-wool sweaters—at dirt-cheap prices.

At El Mundo del Vino (56-2-244-8888), the helpful staff will happily swaddle your bottles of $5 Cabernet Sauvignon in travel-friendly boxes for the long ride home.

If your idea of great shopping is huge bargains on brands you can get at home, hit Alto Las Condes and Parque Arauco, Jersey-style malls that locals swear by.


If You’re Going To . . .
Tuscany
This spring, legendary chef Alain Ducasse opens L’Andana, a 33-room Tuscan inn featuring a spa, golf course, Ducasse restaurant, and acres of olive groves and vineyards (39-0564-944-321; from $372). Note to Francophiles: Stay tuned for Ostapé, L’Andana’s sister inn, opening in the French Basque country this April.

A W Hotel
The hip boutique-hotel chain has just acquired the hip spa chain Bliss. For starters, that means Bliss toiletries in guest rooms. But as of next fall, W properties will begin opening on-site Bliss spas, starting with the 49th Street and Times Square locations.

South Africa
In between those bumpy game drives, soothe sore muscles at Cape Town’s two new world-class spas: the Sanctuary Spa at the Twelve Apostles Hotel (27-21-437-9000) and the Spa at Cape Grace (27-21-410-7100).

Uruguay
Punta del Este, the Hamptons of Uruguay, welcomes the first resort from the Cipriani Collection (yes, as in the restaurants). Cipriani Punta del Este pampers visitors with linen bedding, personal butlers, and teak beach chairs. Guests are also treated to a full-service spa, a casino, and, of course, several Cipriani restaurants.


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