Vina del Mar vs. Valparaiso

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<p>We'll be in Chile end of Nov-Dec, then embark on the Veendam Dec. 8 to return to BA. Embarkation is Valparaiso, but we've been told to stay in Vina del Mar the night of the 7th. I've made reservations at the Sheraton for that night ($210) but would appreciate any other recommendations. A friend recommended the B&amp;B Albamar Hotel, but it looks a bit too modest for us (no photos of the rooms on their website -- $120 for superior room). </p>

My information is old but we stayed one night in Vina in January 2002. We stayed at the Hotel Monterilla (Avenida dos Norte 65, Viña del Mar, Chile).
I just checked current rates which are $159 or $183 for a double. We paid a lot less! But it was very pleasant and the location was convenient.
We had a private guide who picked us up at the ship, dropped us off at the Monterilla with our luggage, and then we spent the day with him. The next day we moved on to Santiago.
You can google the hotel but here is contact info if you are interested:
Tel. 56-32-97 6950
Fax 56-32-68 3576
I don't have any other suggestions! I think the recommendation to stay in Vina the night before you board the ship is well taken. Even when we were there, Valpo was a bit -- er -- marginal.

As a contrarian, I personally prefer Valparasio. Although admittedly it is slightly seedy, it is exotic and has much more character and personality than Vina del Mar, and of course in its role as a major port city Valparasio is much more historic. Vina is safe, but sterile. If you do opt to stay in Vina, make sure to allow yourself enough time to take a half-day sightseeing tour of Valparasio (if it's not included in your cruise package), before you embark on the ship.

I my name is Anita Ream. I am originally from Chile and I have ran many tours there. I would definately stay in Vina del Mar, since you only have one night.
I book all my clients at the hotel Ankara. It has an excellent location on San Martin Avenue a block from the ocean and next to many restaurants. The last time I checked it was $ 98 for single or double with a nice breakfast.
If you have other questions on Santiago (good central location not too expensive hotel)and tours just let me know. This is my hobby and I enjoy helping people traveling to Chile.