Amongst the contemporary art galleries and stylish ateliers in the airy boulevard of Saenz Peña in Barranco, there sits a majestic, pillared mansion. Built in 1916 by a wealthy Limeñan, this stately home was somewhat neglected, passing from hand to hand and inevitably falling into disrepair. That is until a few years ago, when the proprietors of the sumptous Titilaka hotel discovered this dilapidated beauty and envisioned its potential for greatness.
After two full years and countless hours of painstaking planning and restoration, this grand old building is now finally on the brink of being unveiled to the world. Ever curious (and desperately eager to see a hotel that since 2011 has had us waiting at the edge of our seats in the sheer anticipation of being able to offer it), those of us at Aracari have been privileged enough to pay Hotel B a visit (or five) in the final stages of its development. Based on what we’ve seen so far, we think that this hotel is not only very beautiful, but that it will be totally unique to Lima as the only upscale boutique hotel in the city. It’s stylish and elegant, but in a discreet manner, and we expect it to be very much “a-la-mode”… a sentiment that How to Spend it has already voiced. We’re very confident that it will be an ideal hotel for Aracari guests.
Much like its original design intended, the home is a sanctuary in the heart of Lima‘s bohemian district by the sea. Yet its function has a different purpose, as it is now transformed into a historic-meets-modern, luxury boutique hotel. The story goes that it belonged to a sixty-something Limeñan woman who left Peru to live in Europe, and that the hotel guests are in fact visiting her home . This appealing dash of creative storytelling adds mystery and substance to a visit here: everything has been modelled to to fit with the look, story and theme of the hotel.
Hotel B is fittingly named, with its elegant yet unpretentious design as well as its superb location in the formerly trendy vacation spot for the well-to-do. The intricate cornicing and lofty windows of the facade set the stage for the meticulously planned design within. From the 17 suites and the common areas to the restaurant and bar, its distinct style welcomes the old-world and new-world.
Every one of the rooms is different with its own unique and original features. Ten of the accommodations are located in the original structure of the mansion – the “old wing” – and are each designed with with characteristics such as high ceilings and exposed wooden beams to add to their charm. The seven other rooms – in the “new wing” – similarly, carry personalities and details all of their own. From what we’ve seen, we think that those in the old wing are ever so slightly more charming than those in the new wing.
As far as the “bells and whistles” are concerned, Hotel B have not cut any corners. The hotel is full of original features, and traversing through it’s various spaces is much like meandering through a private art gallery or an antiques collection. With pristine white walls and ample lighting, each room reveals a new and surprising mix of contemporary and ancient Peruvian sculptures, paintings and antiques. The hotel will be displaying original works sourced from private collections and galleries.
The flooring throughout the house is also something to be marveled at, as the hotel has maintained the beautiful and richly colored wooden floors, elegant marble, and colorful decorative tiling which was an original feature of the house. The furniture arranged in each common space, from oversize leather sofas to the bold, black armchair with coordinating iridescent feathered footstool, each piece serves a purpose of inviting relaxation or arresting your attention.
Located on the main floor and overlooking the boulevard is the hotel’s trendy restaurant, with a striking copper bar, floor to ceiling latticed wine and drinkware cabinetry, and conversation-inspiring artwork. The restaurant, which is informal tapas style, boasts a menu featuring Peruvian-Mediterranean cuisine prepared by Peruvian Oscar Velarde, chef of Lima’s much celebrated restaurant La Gloria. Its casual and inviting atmosphere and cozy seating areas help give it that quiet confidence that makes it a perfect place to relax and enjoy a drink before you dine.
As well as the restaurant, there is a seperate lounge for breakfast, while guests are also able to have breakfast out on the spacious patio between the two wings. In the months to come, guests will also be able to enjoy a cocktail on the rooftop terrace with a glimpse of the calm waters of the Pacific ocean. This terrace has been styled much in the same manner as the terraces atop Riads in Marrakech, we’ve been told, while there is also a plunge pool and exercise bikes.
Finishing touches on the hotel are still to come, with the official grand opening tentatively set for the end of June. Currently, Hotel B Lima has 10 rooms available for guests, including 1 handicap accessible room, in the original wing of the house. The restaurant and bar are only open to guests but will be open to the public in the near future. If the superior attention to detail in the superficial appearance is any indication of the quality of service that is to follow, then this could very well be a contender for our favourite hotel in the country’s capital….