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Hotel check: Hotel Paracas, A Luxury Collection Resort

HOW MANY ROOMS? 136 rooms and suites

PROPERTY HIGHLIGHTS A stunning waterfront, fantastic seafood and a convenient home base for off-the-beaten-track exploration

PRICE Internet rates for a traditional room start at $195

CONTACT Hotel Paracas, A Luxury Collection Resort, Av. Paracas S/N Paracas, Peru, tel 51-56-581333,

VERDICT: What seems like a southern California resort is actually one of the most celebrated hotels in this part of Peru. For those who have done Machu Picchu and are looking to delve into another facet of Peru’s varied activities, this is a great home base.  

BACKGROUND: This Luxury Collection resort sees a good mix of North Americans and regional travelers. Whether it’s an escape from bustling Lima or an alternative activity after hiking Machu Picchu, Paracas is a must-see part of the country that deserves more attention. 

WHERE IS IT? The drive south from Lima takes about three hours, making this a great weekend getaway for Lima residents. Tourists flock here to relax by the pool, take aerial tours of the mysterious Nazca Lines (Pisco airport is just 15 minutes away), and go sand duning through the desert. The resort’s activities desk can organize a variety of tours unique to the region.

WHAT’S IT LIKE? Laid out in three rows of individual villa buildings with two floors, this resort offers plenty of privacy. All come with outdoor patios to enjoy the tranquil gardens, and the pools are a pleasant place to nap to the tune of chirping birds. The main lobby building houses the reception desk and a welcome station  with all-day Peruvian coffee and herbal teas.

ROOM FACILITIES: Guest rooms feature tile floors, oversized king or queen beds, flat-screen cable TVs and work desks with plentiful power outlets and task lighting. The furnished balconies provide great views of the gardens, pools or the ocean. Sliding doors roll back to reveal huge bathrooms with glass shower stalls, deep soaking tubs and wide vanities stocked with Gilchrist & Soames toiletries. The resort is both quiet and picturesque with its white-washed buildings, blossoming flowers and trees that line the meandering pathways.

RESTAURANTS AND BARS: Ballestas serves three meals a day beginning with a lovely breakfast buffet that includes everything from freshly prepared eggs to a gluten-free and healthy station. Most popular are the traditional Peruvian dishes, and on weekends, a carving station makes an appearance. The a la carte menu can be enjoyed in the dining room, on the terrace or poolside, too. One of the most popular spots is the lunchtime ceviche bar, Chalana, located at the end of the pier. Here, the freshest seafood is served in the seaside breeze.

LEISURE FACILITIES: The central swimming pool is an adults-only venue ringed on either side with shaded cabanas and lounge chairs. It has bar service from nearby servers. The resort has a signature gin experience, delivered by an elaborate cart where craft cocktails are made tableside. A second pool is larger and closer to the beach. Watersport activities can be rented nearby. The rooms that front the pool offer easy access between them; a children’s playground is tucked around the corner. The spa provides numerous treatment rooms, and a glass-lined gym.

BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES: A separate convention facility sits on the property’s edge with air conditioned meeting areas and multifunction ballrooms, free wireless Internet and the latest audiovisual equipment. The garden terrace fronting the beach attracts social functions like weddings and receptions.