Combine 18th century charm with modern amenities
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City | History & culture
Arequipa is a baroque jewel whose UNESCO-listed centre has been hewn out of the distinctive white sillar rock, sourced from its volcanic setting. Hence its affectionate nickname, the White City. Here, you’ll find grand churches, historic monasteries and atmospheric plazas, all within an easy walk of this central hotel. It’s just around the corner from Santa Catalina Convent and three blocks from the main square. Prime among the sights is the superb La Catedral, dating back to the 17th century. Earthquakes and revisions have seen it born anew in vaulted interiors and white marble detailing. However, head out of the city centre and you’ll be rewarded with a trio of looming volcanoes and rural valleys that make for a picturesque backdrop for a range of adventure sports.
Restored to its original grandeur after more than a century of neglect, this is one of the finest hotels in Arequipa. Dating back to 1794, it’s housed in the former Casa de la Moneda – old mint – and is as much a living museum as it is a hotel. It features cathedral ceilings throughout and two colonial courtyards. Modern Superior Rooms are spaciously comfortable while the suites – located in the original mansion house – are the real highlight. Wrought iron chandeliers light bedrooms that hide in secret alcoves, complete with exposed stonework. The fourth floor terrace has views of the city’s famed cathedral and El Misti Volcano.
Arequipa has long been lauded for its role in Peru’s culinary renaissance. And, in this Casa Andina offering, its signature Restaurante Alma gladly takes up the mantle. Sited in the hotel’s original building, dark wood furniture and arched stone ceilings are the atmospheric backdrop to meals that showcase traditional Arequipa flavours. Think classic spice that breathes fresh life into everything from stuffed red peppers to prawn chowder. International classics are also available while the included breakfast buffet is a particular treat.
Preferring to keep original features intact, you’re more likely to find antique paintings than oversized amenities here. That being said, there’s a compact spa and sauna while the Alma Bar is the perfect place to relax after a day’s sightseeing, perhaps with Peru’s signature cocktail – a pisco sour. There’s also a laundry service, internet centre and high speed WiFi available.
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