April 1, 2020
World-renowned US magazine Travel + Leisure picked CIRQA as one of the best new hotels in the world in its 2020 It List!
To be included in Travel + Leisure's It List is no small feat. Aiming to showcase properties that are at the top of their game and adding something new to the conversation, the lists includes only the best of the best, featuring gems from end-of-the-world escapes to intimate boutiques from all around the globe.
The layers of history embedded in the white sillar rock of this 1583 building add character to the new 11-room Relais & Châteaux hotel, nestled in a narrow street at the heart of the colonial city of Arequipa. The décor at CIRQA epitomizes organic luxury; each of its rooms is uniquely outfitted with sculptural wooden furnishings, linens in earthy hues, and contemporary fixtures; superior rooms have standing bathtubs and barrel-vaulted ceilings.
Cocktails and alfresco meals are served on the arched lounge patio, with its alpaca-throw-laden sofas and pit fires; follow the terrace and you'll come to a glass-walled restaurant nestled alongside a wine cellar and smaller private dining area. The cuisine is fresh and Peruvian-inspired, featuring dishes like river crayfish ceviche and yellow chili quinotto. The ambiance is appropriately meditative and peaceful for a place that was once a monastery, and it would be easy to breeze through a stay alternating between dips in the plunge pool, expert massages, and sunset cocktails on the soon-to-open rooftop bar — but you'd be remiss to skip the singular discoveries to be had on one of the property's bilingual guided tours.
Previously, Travel + Leisure had already mentioned CIRQA when it nominated Arequipa as the second best place to visit in 2020. "The town (of Arequipa) finally has accommodations befitting the local history: August saw the opening of CIRQA, originally built in 1540, the year Arequipa was founded, as an inn for guests of the Church of San Agustín next door. The property marries preserved elements of the original parador — high vaulted ceilings, textural stone walls — with contemporary flourishes, such as black-steel-framed windows and a plunge pool."
Only a few months after CIRQA's opening, we are beyond proud to already form a part of this list. If you want to read the full article, click here.