Ave Malecon de La Reserva 1035, Miraflores
For most discerning, well–traveled visitors to Lima, the Belmond Miraflores Park hotel has long been the clear top choice. It displays a refined character, attentive service, and impressive views of the ocean from the cliffs of Lima's posh suburb of Miraflores. With only 82 rooms, it combines the service of a boutique hotel with the amenities of a much larger property.
© Timothy Scott
At the southern end of Miraflores' commercial seafront district, three blocks from the JW Marriott and at the edge of a line of pricey condos, this Belmond gem is among the top luxury travel stops in Peru. Many of its guests are beginning or ending a trip that will involve the company's other top rail and hotel choices in the Cusco, Machu Picchu, and Colca Canyon regions. This is no mere way station, however. Whether you are visiting Lima on a country tour or on business, you may find that a stay here changes your mind about the city and compels you to stay in town a little longer. With the crashing waves below and the luxurious surroundings on the cliffs, it's easy to postpone the flight home another day or two.
The 11–story glass highrise sits next to a pretty park perched over the sea and your room provides a panoramic view if you choose correctly when booking. The lobby has a timeless air of sophistication, blending local touches and European elegance into a cohesive whole. Inca antiques and Peruvian masks are displayed above quality wood furniture, soft lighting, plenty of fresh flowers, and one wall of leather–bound books. When night falls, piano music fills the airy space, where an impressive staircase spirals up to a mezzanine.
© Tim Leffel
The adjoining library lounge is all old–world elegance, with the feel of an exclusive private club. The dark wood flooring, oriental rugs, paneled walls, and attentive service make it feel like a bar that has been here for a hundred years.
The restaurant on the first floor here has changed names and styles several times, but the current Mesa 18 focuses on seafood and fusion food presented with high style, whether that's exotic dishes (conger eel marinated in cilantro, asparagus, garlic, and almond sauce) or more mainstream ones (baby shrimp risotto). The space is as inviting as the plates, with a seductive lounge feel, sculptures made from light tubes, and outdoor patio seating. There's an additional bar here open at night with a wide range of Pisco and South American wine. Quality buffet meals are served at a poolside restaurant on the top floor, with a wall of glass facing the ocean.
The view from the rooftop pool nearby is equally impressive and the pool itself is big enough for laps. Just inside from there, a full–fledged spa is connected to a basic gym with sea views. Valet parking and limousine service to and from the airport are available.
The accommodations here are some of the largest and most attractive in the city, with generous molding, rich textured fabrics, and carved hardwood furnishings. (Some rooms are starting to look a bit tired though when compared to the fresh faces on offer at the newer competitors like the Westin.) Well–stocked minibars, robes, slippers, and umbrellas are standard, while the baths here—especially in the suites— are still some of Lima's best. Large and full of marble, the bathrooms are stocked with plenty of fine amenities, including plate–sized rain showerheads and deluxe toiletries. Many have huge round baths for soaking.
Ocean–view rooms command a worthwhile premium (though be prepared for fog and haze nearly half of the year), while the 12 junior suites offer slightly more sitting space and a private sauna. The four huge Presidential Suites on the 10th floor, the only suites in the hotel with a closed–off second room, have spacious living and dining areas, separate bedrooms, and baths with sauna and whirlpool.
© Timothy Scott
Rooms 401 to 403 have small garden spaces. Spring for the decadent bath butler service for a special treat: rose petals on the floor lead to a scented drawn bath surrounded by candles. Iced sparkling wine, and chocolate–covered strawberries top off the romantic atmosphere. Nightly turndown, 24–hour room service, daily–replenished fruit and flowers, and complimentary shoeshine are just the grace notes that put this one a sizable notch above its more commercial competitors. Plus here's a shocker among luxury chain hotels: no charge for Wi–fi.
Website: Miraflores Park Hotel
Total Number of Rooms: 82
Published rates: $350 to $2,680
Review by Timothy Scott