The Hotel Paracas is a Starwood property. Your friends will assume you’re talking about Caracas, Venezuela. Just tell them, “No–Paracas with a ‘P’ as in Peru.” And since one of the best things to do when you’re in Lima, let’s face it, is to leave Lima, you hop aboard a super comfy, super clean private bus headed four hours down the coast, past dunes and nothingness and through Pisco (yes, Pisco, sound familiar?), to an old fishing village that’s now an up-and-coming resort area. There’s a cevicheria in town but no Tommy Bahamas boutique (not yet, anyway). The stretch of bay is kite-boarding paradise–the wind is named the Paracas wind. New-ish glass-fronted houses face the water. You point at one of the larger ones and ask your kite-board teacher, “who lives there?” He shrugs. “Some rich Dutch guy.” Peruvian chocolatier Helena provides the bedtime turndown yummies filled with such revelations as prune and guava.

Rooms range from: $200-500
Contact: 1-800-325-3589