Atelier Suite

Originally a decadent seafront retreat built in the 1920s, this former belle époque mansion in Peru’s capital is nothing short of good looking. But how does it stack up as a boutique hotel? Darren Loucaides checks in.

First impressions

Laden with a backpack and acoustic guitar, I guess I don’t look like the typical Hotel B guest. On the formal side of boutique, this handsome property is one of Lima’s best hotels, set in the affluent Barranco district and is proof that the country offers a twinkling array of stylish city hotels. A little worse for wear on arrival from the airport in a battered city taxi, I’m given a sceptical look by the doorman. "Do you have a reservation here?" he asks.

Hotel B ExteriorA haven from the unnerving pace of Lima
Hotel B

The staff inside are more welcoming. Smartly dressed, they are just a part of the hotel’s glamour. Classic and contemporary artworks are set against immaculate white-painted walls and woodwork complete with finely crafted mouldings. While reclining into a plush brown leather sofa at the front desk, I’m offered a complimentary glass of champagne. This is the sort of luxury I crave after a long flight from London.

Ascending to the first floor, I have to cross an elegant salon to reach my room. I pause here to admire the surreal paintings and photography. With many books on design and art, it’s a great place to relax, either sitting on the padded window sill or in the black Chippendale armchair.

The salon also contains pictures showing the belle époque mansion’s state of disrepair before restoration began in 2011. The house was originally built in 1914 by French architect, Claud Sahut, and became the retreat of President Augusto Leguia in the 1920s due to its proximity to the seafront.

Two years of sensitive renovation work, with help from master sculptors and woodworkers, was the prelude to Hotel B’s much-vaunted opening last summer. Today it feels like a stately home made fresh by the predominance of white and the fact that it feels as much like an art gallery as a hotel.

Ideal for…

A haven from the compelling but unnerving pace of Lima.

The room

Hotel B Chamber SuiteThe Chamber Suite mixes religious and contemporary influences
Hotel B
Soon after checking in, I drop straight into the enormous bed in my Chamber Suite. Later I take a soak in the large free-standing bath, separated from the bedroom by sweeping drapes, which feels gloriously indulgent. In fact, I can hardly bring myself to leave this sanctuary on my first day in Lima – I’m hopeless when it comes to jetlag. The ceilings are high with ancient-looking timber supports, wardrobes with mirrored exteriors, and a curious painting of a robed silhouette above the bed mixing religious and contemporary influences.

Best room?

With a gargantuan king-sized bed and its own private terrace overlooking the wide San Martin Boulevard, the Atelier Suite feels more like an apartment than a room. Situated on the second floor of the hotel, it’s remote and sumptuously furnished.

Eating and drinking

Over the last 20 years, a revolution in Peru’s culinary scene has seen its cuisine gain renown across the globe, with notable restaurants opening in Europe and the USA. A visit to Lima is not complete without sampling the country’s traditional fare – saucy meat dishes, rich broths, roasted guinea pig, and of course, ceviche – as well as buzzier contemporary food.

Hotel B’s own restaurant and bar is worth a visit. Mixing local cooking with Mediterranean influences, the menu is masterminded by leading Peruvian chef, Oscar Velarde, whose Lima restaurant La Gloria is a local institution. The bar has an impressive wine list, and of course, plenty of pisco, the local poison.

Hotel B Living RoomIndulge with an elegant breakfast
Hotel B

Breakfast is served in a comfortable living room, with a range of freshly baked breads, delicious cheeses, cold meats including Jamon del Pais – pale-coloured Peruvian ham – and various just-ripe fruits. A fresh juice mixture is prepared every day; my favourite contained watermelon and orange, and was incredibly refreshing. Make sure to order huevos peruanos: Peruvian-style eggs fried in a rich tomato salsa infused with tangy cheese, and mixed with the winning touch, quinoa, a staple of the pre-Hispanic diet.

There’s also afternoon tea with a range of blends (no ‘English breakfast’, I’m afraid) and infusions, accompanied by incredibly indulgent alfajorcitos – which are similar to macarons – and slices of dense sponge cake.


Boasting its own art collection, Hotel B will inspire you to check out the local art scene. The hotel is connected with the Lucia de la Puente Gallery, through which private viewings can be arranged.

Room for improvement

Hotel B can feel a tad overly formal at times, although most of the waiters are friendly and chatty. The hotel’s usual clientele may expect to be treated with pomp, but I prefer to feel at home during a stay.

Out and about

Barranco is Lima’s most glamorous neighbourhood and a stone’s throw from the sea. Walking along the lawned paths atop the cliffs looming over the tempestuous waters is delightful. The nearby Miraflores neighbourhood is worth visiting for its many restaurants and bars. For contrast, head downtown – and down to earth – for Lima’s pulsating heart; it’s full of ornate churches, impressive squares, craft markets and traditional drinking holes.


Hotel B
Avenida San Martin 301, Barranco, Lima
Telephone: +51 (0)1 206 0800.
Prices start at $270 per night per room, including breakfast and afternoon tea (based on two sharing). This special offer is available until the end of March.

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