Hotel B in Lima plays on its contrast with this bustling metropolis by providing each client with a tailored art of living fostered by the presence of contemporary art on its walls.
Travelers staying in the Barranco District of Lima discover a surprising facet of the city: lush greenery at every turn, a tranquility that beckons them to explore its little streets, and historical character still visible in the townhouses, hinting at the opulence of times past.
Hotel B is established in one of these, and not just any one: in the 1920s, this urban manor house was the vacation home of Augusto Leguía, the president of Peru. Built by the French architect Claude Sahut, this Belle Époque-style building stands at the corner of a ravishing tree-lined esplanade opening onto the Pacific coast. Its immaculate facades have retained all their old-fashioned charm, demonstrating exemplary architectural restoration but also the hospitality of the establishment itself, which clearly resembles that of a bed-and-breakfast. Not one of the 17 rooms is identical, whether in the furnishings or the layout, almost leading clients to believe that they are guests in a private home.
The check-in desk is discreetly located in a reception area richly appointed with period furnishings and several works of art. Among the hotel’s owners are the gallery owner Lucia de la Puente, whose exhibition space is located next door, and her sister Susana. They have greatly invested themselves in the hotel, providing a large part of their art collection for its decoration. These more than 300 works by Latin American artists – such as José Tola, Víctor Rodríguez, Miguel Aguirre, Carlos Runcie Tanaka, Aldo Chaparro, and many others – adorn the rooms and brighten even the smallest nooks of the common spaces. You might wonder whether you’ve wandered into an art museum. Moreover, the upstairs reception area resembles a crowded cabinet of curiosities, while the library on the ground floor is overflowing with art books that you may browse on a whim.
“Not one of the 17 rooms is identical, whether in the furnishings or the layout…”
But that is not the full extent of the service provided: Chef Franco Hurtado prepares contemporary Peruvian cuisine at the hotel’s restaurant. The bar just off the dining room is highly recommended for its signature cocktail, the not-to-be-missed pisco sour, in a funky American bar atmosphere. Speaking of not-to-be-missed, did we mention the terrace roof which has been converted into an open-air lounge offering views of the sunset? Oh, and did you know that Lima’s rainfall is among the lowest in the world?
If you feel the desire to wander through the district, Barranco offers a number of points of interest. Peruse the art galleries and stop over at the city’s contemporary art museum and that of the photographer Mario Testino. Reserve a table at one of the capital’s trendy restaurants, such as Isolina, José del Castillo’s tavern; Central, run by the famous chef Virgilio Martinez; or Kjolle, belonging to his wife the chef Pía León.