Hotel B : Lima, Peru
In and around Hotel B, in Lima, Peru, it doesn't take much to imagine yourself back in the early 1900s. The neighborhood of Barranco was the summer residence of the well-to-do whose primary residence was in nearby central Lima. They built mansions over the cliffs of the Pacific and spent the summers relaxing, which set in motion a series of conditions that, nowadays, make Barranco the bohemian nexus of Lima.
Hotel B capitalizes on this bohemian past and present. This small, privately owned boutique arts hotel uses its colonial architecture framework as a blank canvas for the private collections of its eight investors, like Lucia de la Puente, whose gallery next door promotes established Peruvian artists. Every room is packed with art, and good taste is paramount, down to the details.
When I went this past January, Hotel B was the absolute perfect base from which to explore Lima. First coffee on the lovely balcony, overlooking New Orlean's-esque streets, complete with New Orlean's-esque humidity.
Mornings meant one of the lovelier breakfast spreads I've ever experienced, set up on antique furniture in the hotel's library, with requisite bread and butter but also avocado, local cheeses and quinoa.
And evenings meant drinks (especially what I think of as Spanish-style gin and tonics). The restaurant is a project of Óscar Velarde, a well-known Peruvian chef that specializes in Mediterranean-style cooking with ingredients from Peru. The hotel bar is famed citywide, and it's a favorite spot for limeños to see and be seen. Art and cocktails fight for the forefront; La Cantante Calva, the first work of art in the entire hotel, hangs over the buzzy ambience, while modern artists like Abel Balentin have a showing in surprising corners.
In Hotel B, every corner is an opportunity to surprise and delight. No bedroom is alike; details are curated with museum-like detail. Hallways and even the top-floor balcony, for guests only, is the model of understated elegance.
It's a must-visit...and if you don't believe me, you can always ask Conde Nast, which named Hotel B to it's Top 20 hotels in the world list in 2016. (Told you so!)