Arica is the northern most city in the South American country of Chile. When traveling from Peru you are undoubtedly going to be traveling through this city, as it is the only port of entrance between Peru and Chile. Arica is most known for its beach residences, but with the rough surf and rocky coast line there are few hotels situated directly on the water. Hotel Arica, is one of the few acceptations, and although the hotel is possibly the most expensive lodging option in Arica, you may find it well worth your wild to splurge on the accommodations.
Hotel Arica is most often reached via taxi, as it is slightly outside of the city (although it is roughly a 30 minute brisk walk from the town’s main strip). Thankfully, if you want to skip the walking it is only a 1500 peso taxi from the shopping district (slightly more than three American dollars). Despite being outside of all the major activities the hotel nearly always has a taxi on call, so you are never stuck long in the lounge. It is a good idea though to bring the hotel’s address with you when visiting other locations in the city, as many taxi drivers are unfamiliar with the name of the hotel.
Each and every room in Hotel Arica has a view of the Pacific Ocean, and this is essentially what you are paying for. There is only one other hotel in the entire city that provides an ocean view, but even than only half the rooms face the water (the other half point directly towards the concrete parking lot). Wi-Fi is free in every room, although many are so far from the router the signal is almost non-existent, forcing you to move to the lobby or hotel restaurant. Wi-Fi is available on the ocean front pool, but good luck viewing your computer screen as the sky is almost always cloud free, making the glare significant. The rooms do come with basic cable, including many English speaking stations, but most likely you are not going to spend much time in your room. This is a good thing as your room is basic, consisting of nothing more than a bed, bathroom and the hutch supporting your TV.
When visiting Hotel Arica you may never find the need to actually leave your lodge. Outside of the room’s ocean view (many suites have an included balcony) there are three different pools, all facing the water. None of the pools are heated, making swimming during the winter months or at night rather chilly, but your body quickly adjusts. The infinity pool is especially pleasant, as your view leads right into the ocean while swimming. Along the swimming pool area is a bar which is staffed at night, but you are unlikely to receive drink service during the day, unless you approach a server at the hotel restaurant (many of which are rather unfriendly, especially if you are unable to communicate in Spanish). Tennis and soccer facilities are available, with the tennis courts made out of a local clay and overlooking the water. The courts have seen better days, but the two match locations are serviceable, and honestly with your view of the water it is hard to complain. Additionally, the hotel boasts of a mini golf course, but this has fallen into disrepair (despite being located at the front of the hotel grounds).
Right off the hotel’s three pools the city is constructing a lagoon, as most of the coast line is too rocky and rough to actually swim in. This is a pleasant option for the hotel, as you soon can walk to the beach from your room, but it is unquestionably going to increase the amount of pedestrian traffic near the hotel (and trash), which is what helps set the hotel apart from others in Arica.
Despite being located directly on the water, rooms generally start around $140 (this can fluctuate slightly, depending on the season you are visiting). The price is rather inexpensive for a water front hotel that guarantees an ocean view, especially when taking into consideration much of Chile actually costs more than the same service found in the United States. Rooms do increase to nearly $500, but outside of the added space and balcony, you receive little for the added cost.