Staying in this seven-story hotel across the street from Cerro Santa Lucía is like visiting an elegant old home that has seen better days. It's still a good deal, but the decor is dated and tired. The best rooms are those on the upper floors overlooking the hill, although those at the back are quieter. The rooftop restaurant and bar is a great place to enjoy the view.
Think of an old house that is clean, and serviceable and with really crazy patterned wallpaper. That's Hotel Foresta. Rooms are adequate, with old wooden furniture, including freestanding tilting full-length mirrors.
Simple, basic, occasionally have seen better days in the grout and tiles department.
Old school, with black felt boards with white letters advertising room rates. Small, with a large wooden counter from behind which the front desk attendants hand out keys.
There is an onsite restaurant upstairs serving soups, salads and mains, with a view over Cerro Santa Lucía.
Attached bar Don Rodrigo (on the first floor) is a Chilean institution. It is dark and upholstered, crowded and gets rowdy, with decent drinks and inexpensive wine in a very cozy (cramped) atmosphere, and attracts old-timers and younger 20s patrons alike.
There is also a bar upstairs in the restaurant, which is more sedate, if you're looking for a quiet place to have a drink.
This hotel is well-situated to many points of interest within walking distance, and a few blocks each from the green line (linea 5) and the red line (linea 1) metros. At night, after metro closure, taking the bus is posible, but Uber/Cabify or a taxi is easier.
Within short walking distance of the hotel is the restaurant-heavy Lastarria (4-minute walk) strip where we recommend Bocanáriz (3-minute walk) for food and wine pairing, or for a more chill experience, head down to the plaza at the opposite end (near Alameda) and try Casa Lastarria (4 minute walk). For Chilean sandwiches and beer check out José Ramon 277, (5-minute walk) or Liguria for Chilean bistro-style food in an ornate, old mansion. Or head into Bellavista for traditional Chilean food at Galindo (15-minute walk) or ancestral food at Peumayén (16-minute walk) or take your pick of one of the other restaurants in Patio Bellavista (13-minute walk) or the adjoining street of Constitución.
Bar Berri (3-minute walk) is a popular option near the hotel, and they open their ornate second floor on weekends. For Pisco cocktails try Chipe Libre, (3-minute walk) or any of the other bars in Lastarria such as La Junta (5-minute walk). Head over to Jardín Mallinkrodt (18-minute walk) for a beer garden atmosphere, or to Siete Negronis (18-minute walk) for high-quality cocktails. Hidden Bar (15-minute walk) is aptly named, ensconced in the basement of the Hotel Nippon, or try Azotea Matilde (17-minute walk) for a more lively environment. Or for outdoor drinks closer in, try Castillo Forestal's (5-minute walk) pleasant terrace.
WHY WE LIKE IT
This place fairly shouts tradition, from its French exterior to the relatively unchanged interior. For location, it's hard to beat, and it overlooks Cerro Santa Lucía. it is a bit worn around the edges but continues to be a Santiago classic. And if you decide to tie one on at the downstairs bar of Bar Rodrigo, it won't take you long to go upstairs and fall into bed.