The View From Your Window Contest: Winner #178


A reader writes:

India again? That has to be somewhere in the south of India. The building in the center of the view is what all building and windows used to look like growing up. Everything around the building is new, especially the US-style concrete-and-glass building partially visible in the right. It most likely houses some BPO or software company. (Don’t tell me CGI…).  I am going with Bangalore, specifically some part of old Bangalore, and not one of the burbs.


Harbin, China? It’s been in the news thanks to its “wonderful” air quality, and the slapdash-next-to-glitz atmosphere is spot-on for modern China.  Plus, no external air conditioner condensers, so most likely a far northern city.  Beijing, where I lived in 2001-2003, was full of them.

Another gets on the right continent:

Sticking with my preferred method of semi-informed guesses as opposed to hours of meticulous Internet research, this looks like Buenos Aires.  At first glance I was in a different part of the world, but then the architectural details, tiled roof, temperate climate vegetation and possible Spanish sign on the building drew me towards a southern conclusion – maybe somewhere around Balvanera.


The word “Casa” appears on the side of the building to the right.  Caracas was the first place in the Spanish-speaking world that popped into my head.  And that was the best I could do this week …


Aargh, so tantalizing. This has to be Mexico City – the subtle giveaways include the green and orange colors of the walls, the windows, the clothesline, “Casa Something-or-Other” on the office building, and just the pleasing overall jumble. But where in the Distrito Federal is it exactly? Not spiffy enough for the Polanco, possibly shabby enough for Zona Rosa or Doctores. On a total hunch, I’m going to place this window across the Avenida de los Insurgentes Sur in the Colonia Roma. We’re near Avenida Álvaro Obregón. So let’s say Mexico City, Mexico, in the Roma neighborhood, somewhere on Guanajuato between Insurgentes and Monterrey.

On the other hand, the overcast sky suggests Lima, Peru. Still, I’m sticking with Mexico D.F. Can’t wait to see where this really is.

Commence kicking oneself:

This view is from the first floor (above ground floor) of the Hostal Buena Vista, at the corner of Schell and Grimaldo del Solar, in the Miralores district of Lima, Peru, looking NNW. The room has french doors leading to a balcony, from where the picture is taken. The low building with the clay tile roof and the building immediately behind it is the El Monarca hotel. The tall glass and concrete building in the background is the Casa Andina Private Collection Miraflores. I’m certain there will be many correct entries along with photos and maps since the Casa Andina name and logo are visible. Were it not for that, I would not even have attempted this window.

Right city, wrong hotel. Another reader:

I am guessing this photo was taken from the El Monarca hotel.

Nope. Another:

Here is is a panoramic photo from the opposite perspective, probably taken from the Casa Andina. The window from where the photo was taken is right in the middle of this photo:



I’ve never been to South America, but this picture was my idea of South America.  I googled “Casa Andora South America” and got nowhere.  So I squinted some more and tried “Casa Angina logo.” Do you mean “Casa Andina logo?” the Google asked me.  And of course I did.

Another gets the right hotel:

The window from which my partner and I think the photo was taken is circled in yellow:


(There was some debate between us as to whether it was taken from the left-hand window or the right-hand one. I really hope I didn’t screw this up for us…)

Our first tip-off: The building in the background, with the sign for “Casa A*****”. After a bit of trial and error, figured out that the second word was “Casa Andina”, and from there, it was pretty quick work to find a hotel in that chain matching the photo:


Traveling a block south to figure out where the view from, my partner and I hit a bit of a snag: There are a lot of hotels densely packed into that block, and none of them had photos matching the view on (Sidenote: Why do so many people take photos of their hotel-room toilets, and so few take them of the views from their window?)

The big breakthrough: After trying for a while to figure out if the photo had been taken from El Monarca Hotel, I realized that the front of the hotel was actually *in* the VFYW photo, so the photo must’ve been taken from across the street. The identifying marks are marked in green:


That was when we realized that the green wall in the foreground is the other side of the red wall visible from the street. From there, it was a matter of trying to reverse-engineer the window. We’re pretty sure it’s one of the two windows visible across the street from El Monarca, but since there are a number of hotels clustered together there, we’re not 100% sure which hotel the window belongs to. We’re going to say that it’s a room in the Hotel La Castellana, but it could also belong to the Maria Angola Hotel and Convention Center, or to the Hostel Buena Vista.

Hotel La Castellana it is. Another reader:

The history of La Castellana goes back a century. It was originally a manor house constructed in La Castellana Hotel Lima Peru1912 and named after Grimaldo Del Solar, for whom the street is named. A vice-president of Chile lived there during his stay in Peru, it was owned by the German Association in Peru for a while, and then was a Bed and Breakfast. In 1980 its current owners purchased the property and spent two years converting it to the Hotel La Castellana, which was opened in 1982.

Out friend Google threw a few curves locating the proper building in Lima. Depending on how you approached the hotel chain listings, many times what turned out to be the correct location displayed a picture of a small, totally different building in street view. It took quite some time and a combination of Android-based Google Earth and Google Maps on the PC to sort things out with the modern building at the correct location. The search for the window was then possible.

Mercifully, both the Casa Andina building and the general location of the window were easy to recognize from the overhead views, as getting a useful street view involved a lot of hopping around. A key to the proper line of sight turned out to be the oddly forked tree on Schell Street. A street view from next to that tree showed pretty much the same line of sight to the Casa as this week’s picture.

Picking a winner this week was especially tough because the photo was sent to the Dish over four years ago. We had to go back that far in the archives because good candidates for the window contest are hard to find. The submitter writes:

Oh dear, you’ve sent me on a search through old itineraries because I can’t remember where I took the photo. And (20 minutes later) I can safely state that the photo was taken at: La Castellana Hotel, Grimaldo del Solar 222, Miraflores

I’m living in Metro Manila now. Perhaps I can take some photos to be featured on your blog around 2017.

Heh. Given that limited info, to determine the winner this week among the dozen or so Correct Guessers of previous difficult views, we counted the total number of contests they’ve participated in. The following winner has a total of 24 contest entries:


I imagine that when there’s text on a large building, you’ll end up with a lot of correct responses, but this one from Miraflores, Lima, Peru may prove tricky for everyone to determine the exact address.  I’m pretty sure the photo was taken from the window circled in the photo, but I can’t quite tell which building it belongs to. I think it’s from La Castellana, a hotel, based on this photo from its interior on its TripAdvisor page, where the windows seem to match the ones in your photo.

One more reader:

I’ve taken a swing at these contests several times now, and been excruciating close on some of the more obscure views. Always off by a window or two, but here’s hoping this time will be different. And I’m including a gratuitous selfie just in case this comes down to a tiebreaker.


Woe to other contestants without beards!

Pogonophilic pandering gets you everywhere on the Dish.