ARTS MEETS HOSPITALITY
The Arts Boutique Hotel B (Hotel B for short) is surrounded by elegant mansions that harken back to Lima’s heyday in the early 20th century. The historic manor house was built in 1914, designed by the French architect Claude Sahut as a wealthy family’s second residence. Every corner of the two-story mansion feels intimate and personal. It opened as a hotel in July after a two-year renovation. Most of the details date back to its earlier days. Then there’s the art — work that veers toward Surrealism — placed throughout the hotel. The well-curated graphics, photographs and oil paintings are clearly meant to stop you in your tracks, like the massive painting of an orchestra hanging behind the bar. The whole place feels more like the mansion of a rich, eccentric art collector than an actual hotel.
The hotel is in one of the fancier neighborhoods in Lima, Barranco, with its leafy streets and ornate architecture. It is also the artsy district, the romantic, bohemian pocket of the city. And it’s right on the Pacific, making it a prize destination among Peru’s surfing community.
The dining room is small and appealing. A handful of tables, high ceilings and, again, the conversation-inducing artwork lend themselves to a decadent meal. The celebrated Peruvian chef Oscar Velarde created the perfect-size seasonal menu that is Peru by way of the Mediterranean. Dishes like watermelon, feta and black olive pizza; avocado, anchovy and olive oil bruschetta; and fresh whatever-was-just-caught ceviche were highlights (and actually not that expensive — dinner for four came to $200). Though the hotel offers room service, it’s much more fun to have breakfast in the hotel library. Order a frothy cappuccino and help yourself to the fruit, bread and cheese selection at the buffet (included in the rate).
Hotel B is like a trip back to the Peru of the 1920s — complete with striking artwork, stellar service and romantic interiors.