Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Thank you Sheraton Providencia

Yesterday was a hot day in Santiago, even out of all the days that had great sunny weather. So in the morning, Rod and I had decided to walk outside and venture south because we hadn't gone that way before. Everything touristy is north, east, or west from the city center (Bellas Artes) where our hostel is located.

But after walking a km or so, we felt that the weather was hot enough that we could go swimming. There are several public swimming pools in the city that are pay per use. We went back to the hostel and searched for an open swimming pool to no avail. They were all closed for the season already.

Rod had the idea of going to a nearby hotel that either of us had status at and "borrowing" their swimming pool for a couple hours. I didn't mind the concept, but I didn't want to go through the pain of going all the way there and then getting booted out fruitlessly by security. He convinced me though, and in 30 minutes we were on the subway headed to a Sheraton in a nicer part of town called Providencia with our swim shorts on.

When we got to the hotel, we walked in as if we belonged there. Unless you knew what all the guests looked like, you would have never known that we were visiting.

The first thing we did was head to the bar to get a drink and scope out the area. We asked the waitress where the pool was. She told us it was on the roof of the building. That made me think we wouldn't get past the elevator security, but we finished our drink and soon we were in the elevator going up to the 9th floor.

There was no card slot in the elevator at all. Anyone is able to go up to the rooms. We exited at the 9th floor and loitered for a few minutes to prevent some suspicion, and then walked back into the elevator and took it to the 12th floor, then walked around the corner to the stairwell and walked up to the roof.

The pool was small but there was a jacuzzi and not a single employee, so we freely sat in the tub and dipped ourselves in the pool for a few hours. That was really nice. The pool water was so cold we could only sit in it for about 30 seconds before we had to get out. I realized why the public pools in the city were all closed. Only crazy people would be swimming in a non-heated pool.

Other guests came and went. Even a security guard came up. We said hi to him and continued our conversation. Our plan if we were questioned was to flash Rod's Sheraton status card and tell them we were just using it for a little while.

I took a few pictures from the roof area because the view was nice.

After we were done, we dried off, took the elevator, and walked out the front door. :) I'm sure I looked funny walking out with wet swim trunks on but it turned out to be effortless. We didn't even feel that bad, since the beers we had were $6 each because it was Sheraton.

The pool was just what we needed that afternoon. Thank you to Sheraton for the opportunity :)


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