Posted by Beth | January 5, 2016
Our first official stop in Peru was in the small beach town of Paracas. Our main reason for visiting Paracas was to explore the nearby Paracas National Reserve and the Islas de las Ballestas. Caleb wrote yesterday about our adventures riding ATVs through the desert.
We redeemed 41,800 Hilton points to stay at the Double Tree Resort right on the beach. We burned extra points for an upgrade to an oceanfront room. Something we normally don’t do, but a small splurge after several weeks of hiking.
A few days before our arrival date we started to receive emails from the hotel warning us of a large conference happening at the hotel during the stay and essentially trying to get us to rebook our stay it seemed.
It didn’t work for us to move our stay because it would have screwed up future bookings, but we were still a little schocked at how big and important the conference was when we rolled up. There were hundreds of the most important business and political leaders in Peru in attendance, including CEOs, the former president, the current vice president and all of the new presidential candidates. Our hotel had been completely taken over for this event, with a huge temporary tent set up, unfortunately right outside of our room on the beach.
I (very politely) asked the hotel if there was anything they could do to make up for the fact that our oceanfront view was, well, not so much. All we were hoping for was another free round of pisco sours (the two free served as welcome drinks were delicious), but the hotel ended up buying us dinner at the restaurant. We were the only people in the dining room (possibly only people at hotel not there for conference), but enjoyed delicious meals and a nice change of pace with being able to order anything we wanted without considering our budget.
Because we are Hilton gold members (thanks to the Citi Hilton Reserve card and the Amex Hilton Surpass card) we also enjoyed a free breakfast buffet at the hotel the next morning, and we both agreed it was the best breakfast we’ve had the entire trip.
Despite the hotel being swarmed with conference participants and media, we ended up having a very nice stay and wished we could have spent another night. The hotel featured typical Double Tree benefits, including two bedroom suites and warm chocolate chip cookies at check-in. We were even able to check in at noon, though we had been told via email it wouldn’t be possible. Another thing we loved about the hotel was free kayak and catamaran rentals.
The two disadvantages to this hotel is it’s on the very edge of town so you’ll have to take cabs from the bus station, to other restaurants, etc. Also, the concierge was not super helpful in getting our activities booked. Luckily a bilingual woman in the bar area heard us struggling to communicate via Skype with the ATV company and made some calls for us.
Paracas is a very cool little town with lots to do and should not be skipped when designing your Peruvian itinerary. The Hilton DoubleTree Resort is a great option for a points stay, and if we could do it again we’d book it for two days: one day to enjoy the local attractions and one to just relax on the beach/at the pool.