We are in Arequipa, staying at the Casa Andina Private Collection ~ a restored Colonial Manor from 1794.
I love that Mr. C ferrets out these wonderfully authentic places to stay as we travel. It adds so much to the trip, to feel like we are really staying wherever we are ~ as opposed to even a very nice chain, which all feel the same. This is a National Historic Landmark, and it feels like it.
This place is completely charming, tip to toe ~
From the huge used-to-be-exterior-turned-interior courtyard, which now serves as a sitting area and comfortable gathering place ~
~ Decorated with staggeringly huge pieces of antique furniture, which still look strangely dwarfed in this enormous room.
Every nook and cranny is just charming, charming, charming.
~ To the fully restored (massive) wooden doors, with big ole' antique keys. (I have a thing about old wooden doors!)
~ And the simple, sophisticated (and necessary) labeling of the basic services of any fine hotel.
~ To the actual outdoor courtyard, where this historic column has been keeping watch for centuries, and where we are served a lovely (diverse) breakfast before heading out to all our adventures each morning.
Breakfast which includes dishes that are traditional to Peru, like beef with peppers ~
~ Sauteed vegetables, and tamales; along with things more tradition to the U.S. like salty meats and eggs.
~ And European fare like salad stuff and cold cuts and cheeses.
It has become my custom when we are abroad to find my usual eggs and sides, 'cause I know that will leave me well-fueled for the day; and then to always add something non-traditional for me (like a tortilla or peppers with beef!) ~ since I may never pass this way again......
It was all quite delicious.
The plaque above his head describes the small room across from us, telling us that:
"Chapels such as this were customary in Arequipa's Colonial Manor houses. The colorful decorative elements that can be appreciated on the portico, interior vaulted ceiling, and cupboard door are tempera paintings on wall and wood, and have been meticulously restored after the removal of up to 5 coats of paint accumulated over some 200 years."
Charming. All of it.
It's been referred to as a "Living Museum". I don't know about that, but I do know that I feel like I've stepped back in time. Except for the running hot water thing. And heat. And AC. And toilets that flush (no paper in there, though!). Otherwise, I totally feel like I've stepped back in time. Except for the front desk guy who will call a taxi for you, if you want. And the concierges desk who will set up excursions for you. And the omelet guy at breakfast who will whip you up some eggs. Otherwise, though, totally like I've stepped back in time. Oh, except for the elevators that will take you to the second and third floors of the new wing which was added on. Otherwise, though. Totally.
And it's completely charming.