When it came time to book a hotel in the Peruvian capital, I knew that while I would by no means want to go “cheap” per se, I also didn’t want to spend a small fortune. Originally I had planned to cash in the many Marriott Rewards points we had accumulated for the JW Marriott in Lima, a hotel that is considered to be one of the best in ALL of Latin America. Unfortunately, I guess I waited too long in trying to book (I tried doing this about 4 months before our trip) and all rewards points rooms were sold out for the night I needed. I (briefly) considered spending the $330 USD to stay there anyway but deep down it just didn’t seem worth it. So I cast my lot with the Casa Andina Private Collection Miraflores.
The hotel: Casa Andina is a Peruvian hotel chain with multiple properties in the tourist heavy cities of Lima and Cusco as well as in Lake Titicaca, the Sacred Valley, and Arequipa. Since it was a hotel chain I obviously wouldn’t get to experience anywhere outside of Peru, I was intrigued in trying it out. That and because the Casa Andina chain is repeatedly reviewed in numerous guidebooks I knew it had to have some quality to it. Moreover,the Private Collection is billed as the more “luxurious” option of its hotels in Lima. I’ll describe in a bit why I didn’t feel that was really the case.
The location: One of the main reasons I wanted to stay at the JW Marriott in Lima is that it’s situated right on the malecón-the famous seaside walk. Lima is, of course, located on the Pacific coast and I always love being near bodies of water, but especially oceans. I guess in my Peruvian ignorance, I’d underestimated how sprawling a city Lima is, but especially its Miraflores neighborhood. Miraflores is considered to be an upscale area where many of Lima’s top restaurants and foreign hotel brands are located. While the Private Collection was in Miraflores, on the map it looked to be a bit far from the malecon. I had planned to walk there on the day we arrived in Lima but tiredness paired with having evening plans meant that “aspiration” was nixed unfortunately. But within a 10 minute walk of the hotel, you have your choice of restaurants, shops, and anything else you may need. I will say that the Private Collection seemed to be in more of a residential section of Miraflores than the touristy part.
The public areas: The lobby area was quite gorgeous and also very “modern” looking. There was a stand that sold (from the looks of it) higher end clothing and accessories made from alpaca wool, a bar of course, a coffee shop, and a restaurant (Restaurante Alma). The hotel even had an ATM on site which was quite convenient since whenever you need to find one, it’s never as easy as that. Our room rate included complimentary buffet breakfast which we got to enjoy the one day-it was a quite extensive spread having typical European breakfast fare (cold meats and cheeses) as well as items more for the American palate. Dinner is also available at Alma, although we did not partake.
The room: And here’s where my disappointment lay. Upon stepping out of the elevator on the seventh floor, you would have thought you were in a different hotel. The walls in the hallway were old-looking, the carpeting even more outdated. The room was the same way-it just looked like a room from the late 1980s/1990s. Don’t get me wrong-everything was clean, the furniture was nice, but the hallway and the room just did not match the sleek modern appearance of the lobby. We also ran the air-conditioning as it did get a bit stuffy, but that also made a terrible racket that you had to try to tune out. I paid about $200 USD for the room and while yes, it was cheaper than some of the other more well-known chains, I just wish it could have been better.
Recreation: Probably my favorite feature of the hotel was the fact that it had a pool. Being able to swim at two different hotels on this trip was a real treat. The pool is technically located outside and even though we were there during Peru’s winter, we could still enjoy it. It was definitely cold upon entering the pool but once you were in the water it was obviously heated. The sad thing though, with Lima’s perpetually bleak and depressing skies was you didn’t have much of a view when looking out-it was just colorless all around. There was also a spa and gym on site but with such a short visit, we didn’t use either.
Guest services: The hotel has complimentary WiFi, although there is also a business center for guests to use which featured multiple computers and printers (we were able to print our plane tickets out). One thing that I really did like was that when you needed a taxi, you could have the staff call one for you or you could hire one of theirs that is available through the hotel. You know the rate beforehand (you don’t have to negotiate) and you can even have the fare billed to your room, which was super nice in case you are low on cash.
Staff: The staff was terrific, incredibly kind, attentive, and just all around pleasant. And being in a major city visited by countless foreigners, all the ones I heard spoke impeccable English.
I only stayed a night at the Casa Andina Private Collection so in many ways I don’t feel I had a perfect picture of everything there was to the hotel. However, for what I could see and experience, it was a decent site but probably my least favorite of the three I stayed at. Certain things about my stay were great, but the room was less than I’d expected. If you’re not a room snob however, you will probably love it.
Casa Andina Private Collection Miraflores
la Paz 463, Lima 18, Peru