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Escape to Peru's Hotel Paracas

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Located three hours south of Lima, Paracas Bay is a weekend resort for many upper-class Limeños who keep beach homes here – and yet, Paracas is also a unique maritime environment and a gateway to the Ballestas Islands and the Nazca Lines.

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With one of the richest ecosystems in the world, the desert peninsula of Paracas includes Paracas National Reserve, which is two-thirds water. The turquoise waters of Paracas Bay are endlessly captivating – and particularly when one is situated at the Hotel Paracas, A Luxury Collection Resort.

First built in 1944, the original hotel was something of a well-loved dowager, frequented by successive generations of Lima’s well-heeled families – but the 2007 earthquake devastated the property. Since then, Hotel Paracas has been completely rebuilt according to the standards of The Luxury Collection – and the results are stunning.

With two swimming pools (both enormous) overlooking the bay, the property is a pristine resort, with immaculate grounds (manicured by a fleet of gardeners) and open-air bars and lounges and dining areas. The sense of calm is so pervasive that a visit to the spa almost seems redundant – and yet The Spa at Paracas provides an entire menu of reasons to remain in residence for an additional weekend.

The commodious accommodations include chalets, bungalows, and villas, all of which are immaculate and modern, furnished with an assortment of contemporary pieces that evoke a private home in the Hamptons. Amenities include private waterfront terraces, iPod ports, and 37″ LCD televisions – as well as the requisite rainfall shower. Complimentary shoeshine and decadent chocolates are the sort of details that keep one smiling.

Overall, the atmosphere at the Hotel Paracas is not unlike living in a luxury seaside compound, where it’s impossible to believe that anything is awry with the world. You want the world to be this beautiful always; you want to linger at the water and marvel at the magnificent sunsets. In short, you want to move here and never leave.