Sometimes luxury hotels do not necessarily need to feel like a home, but the returning guest can nonetheless have a feeling of familiarity that is generally only found at home. It is like that at Belmond Miraflores in Cusco. The team, led by Belmond’s Peru GM Laurent Carrasset, know exactly what the gal likes. The favourite room, the ideal fruits and, what a lovely innovation, every honoured guest can now actually choose their VIP welcome, on arrival. Want a fruit bowl, assorted local sweets, Peruvian cheese, popcorn and chilled beer, cookies or half a bottle of good local red or white wine, by Intipalka Valle del Sol? This Peruvian wine, by the way, is produced in the Pisco heartland, in the Ica region, and the wines, including Cabernet, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah and Tannat, are stored in French oak for two years.
Offering a choice of welcome gift is a nice touch, adding yet more quality. I lunched with Monsieur Carrasset – his father worked for Air France so I can address him thus. See the video of him describing his new train, under PEOPLE, to the right of this website (it is well worth watching, the train sounds amazing, to use the in-word in Peru right now). As always the Tragaluz food is great, overseen as it is by one of food-centric Lima’s top culinarians, Augusto Baertl: I started with a salmon and tuna tartare palette, and went on to an Amazon river fish, paiche, with banana and palm salad and chorizo sauce. Tragaluz allows you to eat outside, on the terrace overlooking the hotel’s turtles, or inside, looking at walls that are always a pop-up art gallery with local works chosen by Renzo Pittaluga of Impakto, which I visited last time in town.
There is always so much to do in Lima, and even staying in the hotel can occupy available time. They have upgraded the rooftop gym, which now has excellent Technogym equipment, with on-screen games, and there are trendy Ziva weights, and an Arke wall of pieces of equipment that in many cases defy comprehension – I cannot believe anyone uses a bright green soccer ball with a brown spout erupting out of it. Anyway, you can look out at swimmers in the heated outdoor pool as you play sudoku or, if you prefer television, you can catch up with who is the latest to exit the White House with his tail between his legs (so far, it seems, no females have been fired). And then, of course, I must always take one of the hotel’s city bikes with built-in baskets, for my daily circuit, which is an eight kilometres cycle path round trip, along the clifftop over Puente Villena, past the hang-gliders and on to San Isidro.
The route passes a really advanced skate park, which is clever as it takes kids off the streets, and then you get to Estado Niño Heroe Manuel Bonilla and the cycle path does a loop and you find yourself coming back. There at the hotel is my friend Tula Castaneda who has, as always, arranged this trip meticulously, and then I head upstairs to 1003, wondering whether or not to get into the plunge pool (yes I do) and, dried and dressed, I go next door to the Executive Club for a very welcome glass of Argentinian Chandon, and big enough snacks to make an entire dinner for those who are hungry. But I prefer to dine in my room, off the must-have ceviche with white corn, and an avocado-studded Observatory Salad, in memory of the company’s now-lost Sydney hotel. If you want to see what a favourite room looks like at this luxury hotel, watch the video below.
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