Los Eucaliptos 590, San Isidro, Peru
The low–key historic boutique hotel Country Club Lima, located in a ritzy residential and business area, is like a hushed conversation in the corner of a loud party. This refined and formal hotel serves as a boutique refuge for anyone seeking a sense of history and a feeling of grandeur.
Located across from the Lima Country Club, this equally traditional and sumptuous space is a favorite of many who shun the larger and flashier hotels in the area. If you're in Lima for pleasure instead of business, the choice is between here and the seaside Miraflores Park Hotel. In terms of history and a sense of place, modern buildings can't top this 1927 mansion. It attracts a mix of high'ranking diplomats, industry leaders with their families, and romantic couples starting or ending a vacation in Peru.
Huge palms and wide stairs lead through a series of arches to the grand lobby, which nods to the days of Francisco Pizarro. Extravagant oil paintings picture conquistadors in battle, gilded torchieres join a large fireplace, and the Baroque furniture adds an air of seriousness. All through the hotel, rotating Spanish Colonial treasures on from a nearby museum are on display. You check in while sitting at a desk, while past the lobby a stained–glass skylight brightens up the adjoining café. The afternoon tea is a big social event here, while a pianist performs in the background.
Rooms here are special enough to attract plenty of repeat guests on their own. The suites at Country Club Lima are often single–room quarters, but they are very large, with spacious sitting areas beside their king bed or two paired queen beds. The ornate window treatments, rustic tile floors, and oversized wood appointments provide a reminder that this is not a hotel designed by chain purchasing agents a continent away. Hefty marble–topped desks, minibars, and ample closets with quality hangers keep you comfortable. Flat–screen TVs are mounted on the walls and in a big advantage over many rivals in Lima, Wi–fi is complimentary here. Plenty of marble adorns the baths, with better room classes getting you a separate stall shower.
Request a room with a balcony facing the golf course if you sleep easily. Otherwise this street–facing side of the building may not be best. Try to book in one of the top three levels of suites (21 of the 74 rooms) since these come with more space, whirlpool tubs in upgraded baths, robes, and shoeshine machines.
Perroquet, the fine–dining room, puts up one of the most upscale atmospheres in town and the paneled English–style bar is a good spot for deal–sealing by day and romance by night. The well–stocked library is attractive, but you can get a workout at the gym and sauna. Apart from a whirlpool facing the street, guests are out of luck for taking a dip in the summer, however. Get the hotel to arrange a way into the country club across the street for a round of golf. There is a 24–hour business center on site and a concierge to take care of leisure activities.
In terms of rates, Country Club Lima ranks at the top of the scale in this city, but regular guests say it's worth it. The well–trained staff at the Country Club is rivaled only by the Swissotel and Miraflores Park Hotel and it doesn't take long to start feeling like a VIP everyone knows by name.
Web Address: www.hotelcountry.com
Total Number of Rooms: 74
Published rates: $285 to $1,850
Review and photos by Timothy Scott.