In honor of International Women’s Day, Aracari is celebrating women who dedicate their lives to leading responsible businesses connected to tourism in Perú. Here, you’ll meet Mariana Gonzalez of Cuesta Serena Boutique Hotel.
Mariana Gonzalez’s Cuesta Serena Boutique Hotel is located on the slopes of Anta, 20 minutes outside the city of Huaraz. The hotel sits in the Cordillera Negra, overlooking the most impressive ice peaks of the Cordillera Blanca, which is the highest tropical mountain range in the world. The hotel houses 7 unique bedrooms with incredible views of the mountains.
Mariana, who is originally from Lima, spent many years living in the USA and working for Prada. She returned to Perú a few years ago when she inherited this property from her father. She felt the place was too beautiful not to be shared, and has created this haven to allow guests to disconnect, recharge, and enjoy the amazing sights of the region. Mariana’s husband Charlie also owns a lodge higher up in the mountains (Llanganuco Mountain Lodge), and they share their love for the mountains with their 3-year-old son Jack. Mariana and Charlie split their time between Cuesta Serena, Llanganuco Mountain Lodge, Lima, and skiing in Vail, where they spend the off-season devoted to their family passion of skiing.
A One-Of-A-Kind Treasure
There’s simply no place else like Cuesta Serena. “Our hotel is the only luxury boutique hotel in the Cordillera Blanca,” Marian says. “Every detail in our hotel has been planned for our guests, from using the freshest ingredients, to selecting beautiful local art pieces and textiles and the highest quality amenities. Our carefully landscaped gardens with privileged views of Huascaran, the highest mountain in Perú at 6768m, provide our guests with a contemplative, relaxing space. Most importantly, we differentiate ourselves for our level of customer service. We only have 7 rooms, so we are able to provide our guests with customized and expert advice to explore this special region that we call home.”
When it comes to sustainability, Mariana affirms it means taking steps to create a business that thinks beyond the bottom line. “We have chosen ecologically-friendly amenities to reduce waste, we work hard to recycle and compost waste, we grow our own organic produce in our garden, we avoid the usage of plastic, and we are moving towards solar energy.”
Women Supporting Women
Mariana also encourages a positive and supportive environment. “Many of our staff are women, and our management team is all women, which is rare for this region,” she says. “We support our female staff by providing flexibility regarding childcare needs whenever possible, sending management staff to leadership trainings, and always keeping open communication. We work with our female staff, encouraging them to grow in their roles in order to succeed and become leaders.”
“Luxury to me means sophistication, exclusivity and a feeling of specialness,” Mariana says. “In Cuesta Serena, we have created a luxurious space for our guests, providing the best quality of linens, gourmet food, a wide selection of liquors, exclusive services, and attention to detail. Our guests’ comfort is our number one goal. Our hotel is located in one of the most rural areas of the Andes so we work hard to provide this unique experience. Cuesta Serena has lots of touches of the colors of the Ancash region, each room is well decorated representing the colors of women’s costumes from this region.”