Malecon de la Reserva 615, Miraflores
The flashy and brash business hotel is a standards–only affair when it comes to accommodations, but the great clifftop location and social center lobby of this JW Marriott make it worth considering, especially those who need to strike deals and juggle meetings while in Lima.
Lima's outpost of the predictable JW Marriott chain is not as fancy as some of its competitors in Miraflores and in San Isidro, but with its central location on the water and panoramic views, it's a magnet for business travelers from around the world. The hotel overlooks the ocean and the seafront shopping and entertainment promenade, and this very American operation is fittingly surrounded by a Pizza Hut, Tony Roma's, TGI Fridays, and KFC. The two striking glass highrises— one with office space, the other with the hotel and casino— are unmistakable landmarks in Miraflores.
You enter the hotel on the ground floor, but the lobby is one floor up, meaning everyone entering the hotel waits for one of the three elevators serving the high–rise. The dramatic lobby is the high point here, with killer views of the sea outside and lots of bold design elements inside. Sculptured lighting, a sunken fountain, swirling colors in the carpeting, and contemporary sitting areas lead to a flashy modern bar that's always buzzing with conversation and cell phone rings.
The restaurant behind the bar is now a trendy spot blending ceviche and sushi: a fusion combination that actually makes sense. The La Vista waterview does its best to please both Americans and Latinos, with Peruvian dishes joining the American beef burgers and fries. Nearly every public room has some kind of water view through a wall of glass.
Accommodations here are much improved since we first visited, the dated plaids ditched and more neutral solids applied. Rooms are spacious and well–equipped for business travelers, but are short on character, apart from a few framed photos and prints with local scenes. All 300 have water views, however. Roomy sitting areas and desks sit on plush carpeting, but the desk chairs are not ergonomic. Most rooms feature king or queen beds, but a few have two twins. Spacious tile and marble baths usually have stall showers, separate shallow tubs, magnifying mirrors, and a wide array of toiletries. Large flat–screen TVs with ample English channels, high–speed Internet access (hefty extra charge), minibars, coffeemakers, clock radios with MP3 inputs, irons and ironing boards, and closets with safes make these accommodations in line with international norms. Two local brand water bottles are gratis.
If you're looking for anything beyond a standard room, pickings are slim at the JW Marriott: 12 junior suites and a Presidential Suite are the only non–standard offerings. The executive level rooms are worth the upgrade though. The recently revamped lounge does not throw in alcoholic drinks, but a new spread of food comes out every few hours and is excellent. Room service runs 24 hours, but strangely for a hotel with these rates, there is no longer turndown service except for executive level rooms.
An excellent gym is in most respects the best in town, plus there is a seasonal pool, tennis court, sauna, and massage room on site. There are lots of jogging and walking options right outside the door. The casino has gotten an upgrade and is now non–smoking. Expensive valet parking, a tour desk, numerous shops, and shuttles to the airport round out the hotel's offerings, while the entertainment complex across the street has quality shops, more restaurants, and a movie theater.
Apart from the overtaxed elevators and a too-small reception area, things hum along smoothly at this dependable chain hotel. If you've stayed in JW Marriotts before, you already know what to expect in this one and it is a good facility for getting work done. The bilingual staff is used to working with foreigners day in and day out and the views are excellent. If you're in Lima on vacation, however, the Miraflores Park Hotel a few blocks away is a better seaside option with more character.
JW Marriott Lima
Total Number of Rooms: 300
Published rates: $240 to $580
Review and photos by Timothy Scott.