This is one of those grand ole hotel found in most cities that have been colonized by Europeans. It was apparently part of THE country club in Lima and the current club is adjacent to it. Lawns are perfectly manicured; marble floor is highly polished; cutlery is silver; tablecloth is white. It feels very much like a set from Miami-Vice or CSI Miami with a restaurant that has patio seating: there are lot of oldish business suits sitting around the place anytime of the day or night. There must have been a lot of deals cut in this place.
I stayed there for a total of four days spread over two occasions. It was an interesting contrast, details below.
The good parts of the hotel: it is a large place so you can expect a full plethora of services. The restaurant is good if pricey. Check-in was especially classy. You sit down and you are asked if you want champagne. The first time I checked in, I was accompanied by my guide and I had flown in straight from a business meeting in Bangkok. So I wore a suit. I got offered champagne twice.
The second time, I flew in from Cusco after seeing Machu Picchu and I was wearing a casual jacket. This time, no offers of champagne. So I am inclined to think that the ghost of colonialism still haunts the place.
The first room I had was on the left wing (as you stand in front of the hotel). It was large and not very well laid out. It could have used a bench at the end of the king bed so that the room would not have looked so empty.
There were two bizarre things. First, the LCD TV was right in front of the desk. That means, either you watch TV or you work. And if you are a couple …?
Second, the draft from the airvent on top of my side of the bed was so strong that even at the lowest speed, I could feel the draft. I had to sleep practically in the centre of the bed.
The bathroom was pleasant with the only snags being the absence of slippers and toothbrushes. A pleasant touch was that lotion was L’Occitane.
Breakfast was the same everyday for the four days, which suggests to me that they were either unimaginative or did not expect guests to linger long.
My second stay was on the right wing. It was a smaller room although the bathroom was the same size with a Jacuzzi bathtub and a shower. Although smaller, it was more sensibly laid out with the TV at the minibar cupboard away from the workdesk.
The snag with this room was that at 6 am we were awakened by the sound of furniture being dragged in the room above us. At 6.30 pm, while resting before dinner we heard the same sound. So I called the front desk, who sent up a TV repairman. I was annoyed, told him to buzz off and called the General Manager this time. It was 7 pm then and a lady answered: “Sir, you are on the top floor. There is no room above you.”
She suggested that the sound may have come from the airconditioning and offered to move us from our room—a nuisance as we were all nicely ensconced. But my wife was sufficiently creeped out and agreed to move.
This time we moved to the ground floor. This room was longish and even better designed with the bed and TV at one end and the sitting area and workdesk at the end of the room. This end opened up to an enclosed patio (see photo) although a kid climbing the garden furniture in the club could look in.
Would we stay here the next time we visit Lima? Well, there are two other places in Lima I would like to check out. One is in the old downtown area, which is wonderful for walking around. I might explore that. Gran Hotel Bolivar would be a place I’d look at.
The other is the newer area overlooking the sea with a walking/jogging trail between the road and the sea. It looked very pleasant. This is where Hyatt and Marriott hotels are.
What I intensely dislike about Country Club was the sense of being uppity. I may be taking it too personally but I cannot fathom why I was offered champagne the first time and not the second time. I despise people who judge people by their appearance. (Ironic because my spiffy-looking suit was a US$40 thing from Vietnam and my scruffy-looking jacket was a Hugo Boss bought at Zurich Airport because of a sudden snow storm.) For this reason alone, I don't think I will return to CC. If you have to be in the area, there is a Starwood hotel Libertador next door and Delfines Hotel & Casino right opposite.
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- Also Known As:
- Country Hotel Lima