Plaza Bolivar s/n Urb Selva Alegre
For now the Libertador Arequipa Hotel is the only game in town for discerning travelers. While it is removed from the impressive city center and is not walking distance to attractions, it makes up for these shortcomings with a pool and plenty of space to stretch out.
Located on a side street next to Selva Alegre Park, the Libertador Arequipa is the reigning luxury hotel in Arequipa and the only one that can be considered full–service. While many owners would use that monopoly position to cut corners, the Libertador is surprisingly well designed and staffers are clearly the cream of the crop in the area. This is no bland international hotel either; Interesting architecture and dramatic colonial furniture combine to provide a strong sense of place. The first impression upon arrival is two palm trees flanking a pink Spanish colonial structure with white trim. The stucco lobby contains a large wrought–iron chandelier over heavy wood and leather chairs and antique chests. A fireplace roars in the cool months, with a large mural depicting village life filling the wall over it.
More art lines the rustic tile hallways. The colonial–feel restaurant with beamed ceilings throws in a nice array of local dishes and puts up a pretty face with its cloth napkins and fine glassware. Guests step back in time at the comfortable bar, filled with lots of leather and tiffany lamps. Dozens of other dining and drinking options are a five–minute cab ride away.
The spacious gardens––with a resident llama and ostrich — contain one of the biggest hotel pools in the country, plus a whirlpool, outdoor bar area, and a good playground for children. The ample gym covers all the bases with the usual machines, an aerobics room, free weights, sauna and steam room. Standard rooms here are a big cut above others in the Libertador chain, both in size and appointments. They avoid the boring decor prevalent in many of their other hotels and instead feature plush burgundy carpet, patterned spreads, impressive carved wooden headboards, and sitting areas with quality furniture that feels solid. Robes and slippers are included in all rooms, joining expected amenities and quality toiletries. The marble baths have large vanities and combo tubs with sliding doors.
Junior suites have double the space and many have nice garden views. Full suites have an extra sitting room, but request a suite with its own whirlpool tub as this feature is not in all of them. Both classes are worth the reasonable premium. This is not the kind of hotel that's going to wow picky guests with its over–the–top service or extras, but it is a professional operation that is clearly the top choice in town.
Web Address: www.libertador.com.pe
Total Number of Rooms: 88
Published rates: $123 to $270 BB
Review and photos by Timothy Scott.