The Hilton Lima Miraflores was the first stop on our 3-week epic South America trip. For many years now the other Mr. Highlife and I have ignored the conventions of Christmas, ploughing what we would have essentially spent on presents and dining out to fund a no-expenses spared holiday in a warmer climate. Once again in true form we did exactly that, settling on a trip to the southern hemisphere which would take in Peru and Argentina, kicking things off with a first-time visit to Lima.
Following a heart-stoppingly tight connection in Sao Paulo (thanks British Airways!), we eventually made it to the Peruvian capital around midday. I must say, the LATAM business class experience really put our national carrier to shame. Cocooned by some great service in the lap of moderate luxury, I barely registered the 5-hour journey from Brazil. Our temporary new home would be the Hilton Lima Miraflores, chosen for its location south of the city. Surprisingly, the taxi ride to the hotel was a long and dull affair, despite only being a mere 11 miles distance from the airport. After flying for almost 20 hours, I was really looking forward to slowing down the pace and eager to get to our Lima base.
And what a satisfying first impression it was. There’s something to be said about that moment when everything looks familiar, even when you’re seeing it for the first time. Situated in a quiet residential part of the barrio yet surrounded by a small strip of lively restaurants and cafes, the Hilton Lima Miraflores presented itself just as I had anticipated from photos witnessed. Situated in a low-rise building of only 11 floors featuring 207 guestrooms and suites, there’s an air of modernity and easiness to the property as you’re greeted by comforting earth tones, marble flooring and good natural light pouring through the lobby lounge.
As HHonors Gold members, we were grateful to be acknowledged with an upgrade to an executive suite during check-in, which gave us access to the 11th floor lounge and complimentary breakfast. Our guestroom was light and airy, continuing the contemporary look and feel of the property with views out to the ocean. I especially enjoyed the carpet-free flooring and very quiet air-conditioning unit – such a rarity in hotels these days. It made for a very pleasant sleep experience on Hilton’s signature ‘Serenity’ beds. A nightly turn-down service and a lovely welcome amenity were also nice touches worth mentioning.
We took our breakfast on the outdoor patio, which was served a la carte in addition to a breakfast trolley wheeled out to each table containing a selection of pastries, light snacks and fruit. I usually enjoy roaming a breakfast spread to pick and choose items at my own leisure, so from my perspective as a hotel guest, this felt a little awkward. It was probably my least favourite part of the Hilton experience.
The hotel has an outdoor pool and fairly decent sun-worshipping area on the 11th floor, which we didn’t have time to use, in addition to a basic gym. We did venture to the Executive Lounge one afternoon to enjoy canapés along with some excellent local beer (Quzco Gold – highly recommended), and we found the staff manning the lounge to be polite and friendly. This was actually pretty consistent with employees we encountered in other areas of the hotel as well. There’s a fantastic rooftop bar, but unfortunately each time we made an appearance it was deserted, forcing us to go in search of a more lively drinking hole. A missed opportunity in our view, and the hotel should try harder to create some atmosphere by promoting a ‘happy-hour’ style offering.
As a neighbourhood, the part of Miraflores the Hilton is located in is quiet and safe. There are some excellent restaurants within walking distance, a corner shop across the road and plenty of retail outlets and ATM machines within a few blocks. Taking an Uber into the old town is an easy way to explore the more historical parts of the city. One of the other things we enjoyed the most was walking the few blocks down to the Malecon, where we joined diverse groups of Limeños enjoying the cool sea breeze and sunset views as paragliders flew above us in quiet formation. You’re also in walking distance to the bohemian Barranco district, and it’s definitely worth the trek if for no other reason than to experience the fantastic street art on display.
There’s very little to complain about here, and the Hilton Lima Miraflores delivered on our expectations. I did a lot of research on where to stay prior to arriving in Lima, and it’s worth noting the luxury hotel stock isn’t terribly imaginative. For reference purposes I did consider the Belmond, finding it too old world and chintzy for my taste. I was also quite taken by the much lauded Hotel B in the neighbouring Barranco district, eventually put off after a friend warned me about the small, noisy rooms overlooking a busy road. We did in fact stop by for a cold drink, and as lovely as it was from a design and architecture perspective, it was full of ladies who lunch in a rather claustrophobic space. We were very happy to return back to the Hilton, and I’d stay there again the next time I’m back in Lima.
Hotel – 8/10
Experience – 7/10