Sunsets from the tenth floor Club Lounge of Belmond Miraflores Park, Lima, are special, but then the lounge is rather special too. When this luxury hotel did a new-look in early 2014, it was cleverly decided that, firstly, it really did not need three Presidential Suites, and also, with so many very early flights into Lima, and many late-night departures, it would be advantageous to have a holding lounge, with shower facilities. The hotel still has two fabulous suites, says the gal, but the third is now a lounge where early check-ins and late check-outs can rest, and where suite occupants can gather for day, and evening, drinks and jolly good food (try the Pisco Sours here).
I was back in my favourite of the 81 rooms here, 1003. It is the nearer of the two suites to the lounge, which saves time. It has a patio big enough for a really deep plunge pool. I found I got excellent quick exercise by swimming vertically. Others might then relax on the patio lounger but I retreated to the desk by the bedroom window. You can look down at the Miraflores public cycle track, four miles end to end along the Costa Verde clifftop to Estadio Niño Heroe Manuel Bonilla. Especially at weekends, you can also watch the dozens of hang-gliders who take off, and land, about a mile away – I passed those collapsing on the ground, at the end of their flights, as I cycled that track on one of the hotel’s city bikes.
There is a bigger pool, by the way, on the 11th floor terrace, 50 feet long, and heated. Also up there are The Observatory breakfast room (Girlahead tip, get one of the outdoor terrace tables, and try the breads, really good) and the gym, which looks out over the pool. Up here, too, is Zest spa, a really excellent facility that uses Germaine de Capuccini, a product which founder Carmen Vidal developed from beauty secrets she had learned in Algeria during her childhood. Oh gosh, there is so much to do here. Just outside the front door is a pond with baby turtles, which provide constant amusement and photo-opportunities. Afternoon tea, in the lobby, is followed at five every evening by Pisco Sour making in the bar.
And then of course there is dinner. I get dressed, and pose in front of a wall decoration in suite 1003. I go down to Tragaluz, and once again admire the art pieces put there by the Impakto gallery nearby – one currently displayed is another of the Pokémon pieces that I saw in the gallery itself. This does not feel like a hotel restaurant, partly because it only opens from the street, and also because it is filled with knowledgeable locals. The china is folksy Churchill, triangular with corners cut off. I start with a pair of tartares, tuna on an avocado base, and salmon on a bread base. I go on to the most superb suckling pig confit with eggplant purée, both dishes typical of Augusto Baertl’s food (though two strong-arm men near me are both munching through three-inch-high hamburgers). And I wonder how many luxury hotels would dare to divert from suggesting Ch Margaux and say, actually and accurately, that a Pisco Sour goes extremely well with suckling pig!
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