Villa Jazmin is a beautifully located eco-hotel in Ica. The site on which it was built is surrounded by sand dunes and consequently the hotel offers marvelous views. We offer you 20 rooms, each of them with a very ample bathroom.
Besides the fact that it is the perfect place to rest a little while and to enjoy the sun before moving on to Arequipa or Lima. Equally it is the ideal point from which to set out on a visit of the Nazca lines or the Ballestas Islands and the Paracas Reserve or for a visit of one of the many Peruvian vineyards. From Villa Jazmin you can also conveniently start out on an adventure through the desert in a sand buggy.
We were pleasantly surprised by this off-the-beaten path hacienda/vinyard hotel. Don't be thrown off by the dirt (sandy) road entrance. Inside are colonial-style clusters of rooms surrounding a pretty pool lined with centuries-old trees. The first thing you notice is bird-song. We saw many different types of birds during our stay. The dining room has an old-world feel and is situated aside the pool and gardens. The staff speaks only Spanish but is extremely gracious and helpfull. They went out of their way to make sure everything was to our liking. Be sure to ask for any promotions (rooms, all meals, and most activities are included) for very resonable rates! Ask to see several rooms to choose from (some are nicer than others). The criollo (Peruvian) food is some of the best we've tried, especially Sunday's buffet. Don't miss Sat. night supper served by candle light amongst the wine casks attended by Monks and acustic Peruvian folk music. We were sad to leave our place in the sun (it is eternally Spring here, really)!
Stunning view out back of arenales (sand-dune mountains) over the vinyard. Super-attentive restaurant staff serving first rate criollo food. We were impressed by the fossil collection (whale skulls, etc.) located in the gardens. Nice pool and jacuzzi. If you ask they will light a bonfire outside at night or the fireplace in the game/little bar area with comfy leather couches and games to lend.
This hotel was recommended by my husband's stepmother, who is Peruvian. Apparently it's where all the rich families in Lima go for their vacations. We paid $80 per night through Cusco Shopping online.
Because of this, we expected it to be a little nicer than it was. The rooms themselves are OK, definitely good-sized, with two sinks even. No air conditioning, though, and it's HOT. The floor is tile, and my feet got quite dirty just walking around the room (from the ever-present sand?)
The grounds are expansive and lie in the shadow of a huge sand dune, with activities ranging from swimming to tennis, mini-golf (llamas on the golf course), horseback riding & sandboarding. However, no one seemed to be doing anything except hanging out by the pool. Even though it was school vacation, it didn't seem very crowded.
As mentioned by another VTer, food service was spotty. We didn't know if we got breakfast included - if we did, then too bad for us as we paid. The "cafeteria" was supposedly open 24 hours, but there was never any food set up - they mostly pointed us back out to the patio restaurant. We did ask for the cheaper cafeteria menu and could order from it for lunch at least. We opted not to eat from the buffet, trying to stay safe, and from what we could gather, it cost 50-some soles (about $18 - pricey for what was there).
Try as we might, though, I suspect that the BLT I got for lunch the first day is what gave me my first bout of diarrhea, which lasted 3 days. Maybe it was something else, but I had avoided fresh veggies and fruit until that time. Expensive doesn't mean clean - and Ica's not the cleanest-looking source for water, either. Either that, or it was the complimentary pisco sour (egg whites?).
Las Dunas has its own (not connected) airstrip, from which the Nazca lines overflights leave. The Aerocondor office, though, is located in the lobby of the hotel, on the left hand side before you get to reception. It's $150 or so per person for the 1 hour 30 minute flight. Best to book early - we got there at 2 pm and had a reservation, but couldn't get a flight until the next morning.
The Ormeno bus (9 am from Lima, arriving around 1 pm) didn't stop at Las Dunas on the way in, but it did pick us up there ( at 1 pm) so we didn't have to take a taxi back into Ica proper.
This amazing and beautifull place is absolutely clean. further then more, the staff is very nice and with a supreme attention on your needs.
It is located in very near to wacachina sand sunes and they can also provide a privat car or whatever you need, like sandboards, taxi and so on..
It costs just 6USD for a double room, completely clean, with privat bath and shower.
The only invconvenient, in a way, is that is alway FULL, so it would be better to check the availabilities first.
Where would you find a GH with swimming pool, jacuzi and that view???
This is absolutely my reccomandation!
The bus stops right by the door of our substituted hotel. Las Dunas is a large resort and has its own grand entrance for the bus to use. We have some time to settle in before we are being picked up again, and once we have dumped our bags in the room and the valuables in the safe, we set about exploring the resort. It is very nice but not my taste at all. There is one thing guaranteed to put me off a hotel: piped music by the swimming pool. We are only here for one night and I don’t intend spending any time by the pool if I can help it, but this is where the rich families from Lima go for their holidays. The facilities are fairly impressive, with lots of sports available in or from the hotel.
Dinner is not included but there is nowhere else around here to eat so we have to dine in the hotel. Tonight they have a buffet, but as neither David nor I are particularly fond of buffets, we order from the menu. It turns out to be a good choice, not just because the food is delicious, but we later find out that the hotel charges for each item you choose from the buffet. I have never come across that before. My jumbo prawns in garlic are yummy and David also really enjoys his Fillet Mignon.
Christian told us yesterday that breakfast is served from 06:00; this was also confirmed by reception last night. It is a shame nobody told the restaurant. At 06:00 there are a few items of fruit, but not a lot else. I like fruit, but we do actually have American Breakfast included in the price of the room, so it is disappointing to miss out
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