where to stay: the hyatt regency santiago (011-56-2-218-1234; www.santiago.hyatt.com) has a spectacular atrium, pool, health club, and top-notch japanese, italian, and thai restaurants. hotel carrera (011-56-2-698-2011; www.carrera.cl) is a classic european-style hotel across from the government palace, with a rooftop pool, gym, and restaurant.
where to eat: the greatest concentration of international-class restaurants is in el bosque. the bellavista district, across the river from downtown, is santiago's left bank - full of funky eateries, and a little rough around the edges. café melba (011-56-2-232-4546) serves up omelets, bagels, and excellent light lunches in an airy cafe in el bosque norte business district (you get free internet access with a cup of coffee). central market (no phone) houses a variety of seafood restaurants, from simple stalls to the always-packed donde augusto restaurant (011-56-2-672-2829). zanzibar (011-56-2-218-0118) has happy hour on the roof and serves dinner and drinks until late. la ruta 66 (011-56-2-207-3944) dishes up world-class fusion cuisine and has an excellent wine list. in addition to its gourmet entrees, osadía (011-56-2-232-2732) features a wine bar in the cellar and a table in the kitchen, for those who want to get close to the action. el otro sitio (011-56-2-777-3059), located in a handsome old house in bellavista, proffers authentic peruvian food (arguably south america's best cuisine); there's also a second location in borderio.