The hotel was In great condition. Evidently the construction that others complained about has been completed. The hotel staff was very amiable, but I did not understand why I could not check in before 3 pm even though rooms were available. Like in much of Chile, the wifi connections were weak, but worked well in the lobby. Without a doubt, the pictures that I took of the condors on top of the church across the street was a moment that MasterCard would find priceless.
La Serena was interesting and the central market was a short walk from the hotel. Try one of the restaurants in La Recova, the central shopping center, in the center of town. Your decision on which restaurant to choose should largely depend on the weather and the time of the year. In May, the southern restaurants are cooler and the northern restaurants are warmer.
I walked the more than a mile to the faro, the light house, but I stopped at a beachside hotel and asked them to call me a collective taxi to take back. In general, and with normal precautions, you should be able to feel safe here.
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