Touching Clark Gable’s door knob
My flight back to the States wasn’t until midnight but I arrived in Lima, Peru at 7 am very sleepy after the long bus ride from the northern coast. I had to get a hotel in order not to lug around my luggage all day in such a sluggish state. Furthermore I wanted a shower before my long flight which included 2 layovers and customs in both Mexico City and Los Angeles.
I would have been content with those hotels charging about $30 daily, breakfast included, however I was low on cash. Cheap hotels take cash only. I had no choice but to use my credit card. I found a hotel called Gran Hotel Bolivar next to a KFC, which greatly saddened me. The beautiful historical Plaza San Martin where the hotel is located has both a McDonald’s and KFC, not exactly my idea of a picture-postcard.
The San Bolivar employees are very nice and professional. If or when renovations are made, I will not be able to afford this historical landmark stuck in time. As grateful I am for its affordability, it does deserve to be more upscale. Prior to arriving here, I had just walked from the Sheraton inquiring on tariffs. The Sheraton costs 3 times as much and full of international beautiful people but the time warped elegance of the Gran Hotel Bolivar better suits my style.
Once I settled, I noticed many tourists entering the lobby, taking photos, then leaving. I realized it was a grand hotel from the 1920s and part of the tourist trail. I walked around taking photos of ornate ballrooms, hallways and ceilings.
I was already impressed by the time I discovered it lodged a few of my favorite classic Hollywood stars including Clark Gable, Ava Gardner, and Yul Brynner. This just made me love the place even more. I had to find their rooms! Gable’s room is 408. Roberto Rossellini’s is 424. Other famous guests included Richard Nixon, Julio Iglesias, Ernest Hemingway, Charles De Gaulle and Robert Kennedy—all who had stayed in suite 312.
I touched Clark Gable’s and Rossellini’s door knobs to feel their energy. I even gave a light knock on Gable’s door but not too loud in case someone were staying in his room. Perhaps there were ghosts too. You never know.