Casa Andina Private Collection Arequipa (Ugarte 403, tel. 054/22-6907, www.casa-andina.com, US$208 s or d, US$263 suite, buffet breakfast and airport transfer included) is the finest hotel in Arequipa’s historic center, and one of the best in the whole city. Declared a historic monument, this colonial mansion was Arequipa’s Casa de Moneda, the old Mint House, in 1794. Restored and remodeled in 2008, the hotel features two ample colonial courtyards, original frescoes, and an exquisite chapel long hidden from view.
The hotel boasts five spectacular large suites with Peru’s republican-era decor, a skylight shielding the main courtyard from Arequipa’s intense sun, and 36 new spacious rooms, all with WiFi, flat screens, bathtubs, room service, and other amenities. Amenities include an Internet center, an ATM, a fourth-floor terrace, a handicrafts and gift shop, a colonial-style bar, and an excellent gourmet restaurant called Alma, with superb regional food. This hotel is three blocks away from the Plaza de Armas.
The grand Hotel Libertador (Plaza Bolívar s/n, Selva Alegre, tel. 054/21-5110, www.libertador.com.pe, US$220 s or d, US$395 junior suite with buffet breakfast) is the only five-star hotel in Arequipa. It sits next to one of the city’s largest and prettiest parks, yet is still only a 15-minute walk to the Plaza de Armas. The rose-colored, republican-style building, built in the 1940s, has a grand lobby with elegant details carried throughout the building. The rooms and suites are decorated soberly with dark wood furniture, deep red carpets, and huge bathrooms with tubs, among all amenities for this kind of hotel. The big outdoor pool is surrounded by gardens and a playground. There is a Sunday buffet at the restaurant.
© Ross Wehner and Renée del Gaudio from Moon Peru, 3rd Edition