Dimitri had read Lonely Planet on Lima and had done a lot of research online to identify accommodations that would be comfortable for us for a month. We like to have a kitchen so we can have a salad for lunch or a light dinner from time to time. It’s also great to have a kitchen so we can buy food to try in the local markets. We also wanted to have a separate bedroom and living room in Lima. Dimitri localized our search to the suburbs of Miraflores and San Isidro.
Audre was doing the driving north to Lima; the divided highway into the city that started about 100 km south astounded us. It was easy but Audre turned over the wheel to Dimitri outside of town, not wanting to deal with the undisciplined Peruvian drivers in the city.
The first two apart hotels we looked at weren’t for us but we liked Sol de Oro Suites Apart Hotel, (Jr. San Martín 305, Miraflores, Lima 18 Perú, (51-1) 610-7000, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org , www.soldeoro.com.pe). Dimitri negotiated a rate of US$132 per day for the first week and then US $100 thereafter for apartment no. 904. We had a glimpse of the ocean and an otherwise open view, not being close to any other building. The TV was moved from the bedroom to the living room and an extra desk was installed for us. The closet storage was big enough and there was a separate area for all of our empty luggage. The rooms were quite ample and we were happy.
|Our living room, dining room and kitchen at Sol de Oro|
At Sol de Oro our price included breakfast. Typically we like to have Fitness cereal, skim milk and banana for breakfast. Most hotels have corn flakes or a sweetened cereal so we bring a plastic bag filled with our cereal choices and just use their fruit, milk and coffee for breakfast. We added popped quinoa and kiwicha in Perú to our cereal for a little excitement. The coffee at Sol de Oro (and many other places in Perú) is a thick and strong essence to which hot water is added. If the water is hot enough the coffee can be a pleasant temperature. It’s a unique system. Every day Sol de Oro had delicious freshly made juices and sliced fruit. We started enjoying Peruvian mangos! Our favorite is the Edwar variety.
When paying the bill at Sol de Oro after the first week, we learned that paying in dollars was to our benefit because the exchange rate that the hotel used to convert dollars to Nuevo Sol was so disadvantageous. Interestingly, at the ATMs we could specify that we wanted US dollars and the hotel accepted US dollars. By withdrawing dollars from the Citibank ATM we could avoid all of the exchange rate shenanigans, both with the bank and with the hotel. We ended up paying US$100 a day—full stop. That is the first time in 14 years of traveling outside the States that we paid in US dollars that we had withdrawn from a local ATM outside of the US.