Via Central 150 Centro Empresarial Real, San Isidro, Lima, Peru
Swissôtel Lima is a corporate hotel through and through, but as the best true business hotel in the city, it is a good bet for those combining business with pleasure. This enclave for financiers and executive VPs is one is known for superlative service, excellent restaurants, and no surprises.
The Miraflores hotels may have better views, but the office district Swissôtel Lima gets the biggest share of globetrotting corporate road warriors, especially those from Europe. (Time will tell how many the nearby Westin will siphon off.) Housed in a striking 18–story highrise traversed by three glass elevators, this ultramodern property makes no pretense of being anything but international in appeal, with its La Fondue restaurant, a gleaming lobby that could be from anywhere in the world, and classical music streaming out of the public area speakers. Nevertheless, it remains a hit with foreign dignitaries and moneyed travelers who want everything to be just so. Top amenities, fine dining, and commendable levels of service keep it in the running with the Miraflores Park Hotel for leisure travelers and well above the pack for business travelers.
Smartly dressed doormen usher guests into the lobby, an impressive marble and columns room surrounded by a gracious curving staircase. Sitting areas and an open lobby lounge are sunken below the ground level past arches, with more sitting areas and meeting rooms at the top of the stairs. An adjacent well–regarded Italian dining room often has a piano player performing and service is impeccable. The casual café is the only place to really try out some local dishes and it's a bright room with modern art displayed. The Swiss restaurant, La Fondue (open 10 months a year), is the place for striking deals or impressing a companion however. Diners share elaborate fondues, and imported meats in a wood–paneled room meant to replicate a chalet in the Alps. After settling in here it's easy to forget where you've landed.
The heated outdoor pool here isn't all that large, but it is definitely one of the most attractive in town. With surrounding lawns and plants, it features a waterfall tumbling over stones and a flagstone deck with ample chaise longues. A tennis court is on site and the high–tech fitness center gets high marks from those preparing for an Andes hike: plenty of machines, an aerobics room, and a personal trainer on staff. The spa has a sauna, whirlpool, and a lounge with board games and food service supplemented by a variety of massage treatments.
A fine beauty salon and expensive shops line a hallway in back and the usual tours and transfers are easy to arrange. A fleet of Mercedes taxis stands at the ready for local trips and the fare can be charged to your room.
The standards here are not very large, but they're well-stocked with amenities, including two sets of remote–controlled curtains on the window. They're incredibly quiet too, with great bedding, so if you can't sleep here you're in trouble. The executive club rooms are well worth the modest upgrade though to get better furnishings and service, plus five meals a day in the lounge. Continual refurbishings have upgraded many aspects, with most rooms having rich furniture of exotic woods, well–upholstered armchairs, new beds, and original art. These rooms––on floors 16, 17, and 18––also add Incan–style sculpture, scales, and iPod docks. Desks are conveniently positioned next to 110–220 outlets and come with office supplies in the drawer. Well–stocked minibars, safes, bedside controls, robes, slippers, and spacious closets are in all rooms.
Combination baths run from large to larger, are awash in honey–color marble, and are appointed with magnifying mirrors, plenty of counter space, and quality Hermes toiletries. The views are nothing to speak of in most rooms, but some overlook the dusty Huaca Huallamarca archeological site and a few have balconies. Fresh flowers and fruits are replenished daily and chocolates arrive at turndown. Corner rooms ending in –04 are largest. Junior Suites are just a larger room but the Executive Suites have a whirlpool tub and a separate living room. The Presidential suite has a large terrace, walk–in closet, huge TV with DVD, Bose stereo and its own sauna in the whirlpool bath.
Room service runs 24 hours, nightly shoeshine service is complimentary, and the staff operates with as close to Swiss efficiency as you will find in Latin America. Those looking for local color will not find it here, as the Swissotel's staid Continental interiors seem to follow the international corporate handbook to the letter. Apart from that though, there's little to fault in this fine–tuned business operation surrounded by corporate headquarters.
Web Address: lima.swissotel.com
Total Number of Rooms: 244
Published rates: $220 to $1,750
Review and photos by Timothy Scott.