Su Merced, Santiago, Chile

LOCATION: This new boutique on the banks of the Mapocho river has an enviable location in the centre of Santiago. It’s nestled between the barrios of Bellavista and Lastarria – the two need-to-know addresses for nightlife and café culture – and all the major sights are walkable.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: The hotel itself is a little stunner, with the friendliest service I’ve had in a city centre property. The front door is conversely at the back – off the main Merced road – which means taxis can park and unload luggage much more easily. The lobby is almost non-existent – you walk pretty much into the restaurant – but you’re swiftly checked in and on your way up to your room.

THE FACTS: The nine rooms are simply but comfortably decorated, each distinguished by different, and rather stylish, wallpaper. The look is clean with bright accents, and everything is new and sleek, including the bathrooms, which feature high-pressure rain showers. The penthouse room has its own balcony, but there’s a communal lounge and roof terrace on the top floor too, where you can plan your day, kick back, or watch couples canoodle in the park opposite.

A GOOD BASE FOR: Making the most of Santiago. The Chilean capital isn’t a destination itself in the same way as Rio or Buenos Aires, but its blossoming into a city with a fair bit to offer, and clients will undoubtedly spend a day or two here on their way in and out of the country. Su Merced is the perfect sightseeing hotel – small, friendly, central, and with enough comfort inside to form a welcoming retreat once the sights are all seen.

WOW: The restaurant alone is worth a visit – sample hot, tender squid and melt-in-the-mouth octopus for half the price of the tourist-trap establishments near the fish-market. Breakfasts are equally lovely, with a range of cooked and cold options that arrive tapas style on small plates.

HOW MUCH: From £112 a night

sumercedhotel.com

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