Art And Artifacts Set The Stage
Originally built in 1927, this grand dame in Lima’s upscale San Isidro neighborhood once played host to royalty like the Duke of Windsor Edward VIII, literary luminaries including Hemingway and Faulkner, and movie stars like Ava Gardner and John Wayne. The property’s illustrious history is palpable from the moment you approach the stately façade and ascend the steps to the entrance. Though Peru gained independence in the 1820s, the hotel was built in the Spanish colonial style popular among Lima’s elite in the early 20th century. Inside, the lobby aims to impress with soaring ceilings, marble floors, stained glass windows allowing plenty of light, gold chandeliers, antiques, and fresh flowers.
To celebrate its 90th anniversary, the property recently underwent a renovation by acclaimed Argentine designer, Francisco López Bustos, aimed at honoring its historic heritage while updating it for today’s sophisticated travelers. Now the 83 rooms and suites feature a tasteful mélange of antiques and modern furnishings, new lighting, and light-weight textiles in earth tones. For the rooms, Peruvian artist Gihan Tubbeh created large-scale murals depicting monochromatic photographs of looms and polleras (vibrant hand-woven skirts traditionally worn in the Andes) enhanced by pops of color, which add some texture to the walls.
The best way to get acquainted with Peru’s rich culture is to peruse the collection of more than 300 pieces of art and artifacts on loan from the Pedro de Osma Museum.
Celebrating Peruvian Culture
But the best way to get acquainted with Peru’s rich culture, fusing pre-Colombian craftsmanship with baroque splendor is to peruse the impressive collection of more than 300 pieces of art and artifacts on loan from the Pedro de Osma Museum, which houses paintings, furniture, silver, and Incan artifacts in a historic mansion in Barranco. Its onetime patron, Don Pedro de Osma y Pardo, was a wealthy collector of religious art, including an 18th-century Virgin of Pomato and other rare paintings. Country Club Lima Hotel is organizing two exhibitions this year—one in May and one in July—to honor Peru’s cultural heritage, but you can see these pieces anytime, as they’re on permanent loan from the museum.
The hotel’s celebration of Peruvian culture extends to the English Bar and Perroquet Restaurant. Despite its name, the English Bar is known for the best Pisco Sours in Lima. The expert bartenders shake up this classic cocktail made with Peruvian Pisco, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white before straining it into a Nick and Nora glass. With its dark wood paneling, leather chairs, and sofa, it has the air of the kind of early 20th century bar Hemingway would frequent.
The award-winning Perroquet Restaurant serves some of the city’s best Peruvian cuisine in a space livened up by a brightly colored carpet and modern pendant lights that hang above white-napped tables. It’s the perfect place to sample Peruvian ceviches, tiraditos, and conchas. The chef can even do ceviche demonstrations on request for those hoping to learn the secrets to Perroquet’s perfectly flavored version.