Often visitors only pass through or spend one night in Cuzco on their way to or from Machu Picchu.
It remains one of the great historic cities in Peru. A place for exploring - plazas, cobbled stone streets, restaurants and pubs, busy markets, ongoing preservations projects and venturing out to ancient Incan ruins.
Two years ago we were in Cuzco and stopped by the Monerserio for lunch. We inquired about the extensive construction underway on the adjacent 16th century convent; hoping we might get a peek inside. We were unable to gain access, but were encouraged to return after Orient-Express completed their decade long project and sample the results.
We just returned from Cuzco and fantastic stay at the Palacio Nazarenas. With more than twelve years invested in the transformation of the former 16th century convent, our espectations were exceeded at this boutique property.
Unlike the Monasterio next door, this property has obviously been positioned to cater to up market travelers seeking both a historic elegance as well as unchallenged levels of services and amenities.
Butler service 24/7, fresh suite flowers changed daily, a variety of custom and scented pillow offerings, a private selection of organic baths (a must have for the roman tub) drawn and prepared as requested, a grand assortment of daily replenished mini-bar snacks, ensuite complementary bar service (carafes of Piso and Rum restocked as consumed) with butler preparation, if requested.
Our stay included:
• three nights in a Chica Junior Suite (we were upgraded to a Z Collection suite)
• breakfast each morning
• a three course dinner and wine pairing
• and a multitude of other perks
The butler team offered to assist us in creating a travel program for Cuzco, which we could accessed on an iPad provided during our stay. We passed on the offer but still thought it was creative. We also didn't require oxygen to be pumped into our veneration system; however, it was available upon request.
Touches we enjoyed at the hotel:
• the under-floor heating system, warming the Peruvian marble bathrooms
• well soundproofed walls and total blackout window shutters.
• carved antique furniture, a separate bathtub and shower, fresh flowers and plenty of space..
• the guest lounge; housed in the building’s former chapel, a great place for a cup of tea or coffee while considering what to do and where to go
• the spa in our treatment room (possibly in all others) glass panels were placed in the floor, enabling views of the ancient Inca walls beneath the building.
• breakfast by the only outdoor heated swimming pool in Cuzco with accompanied by music from an Andean harpist
• the extraordinary dinner at Senzo Restaurant in a refined atmosphere (we enjoyed five courses or six if the handmade chocolates served with our espresso was counted)
Ideas for spending time in and around the city:
walking the historic cobbled stone streets and plazas and exploring ongoing restorations
visiting Saint Pedro market and sipping a fresh chica morada
hiking from Palacio Nazarenas to Sacsahuaman and exploring with the aid of a local guide (usually a number of them are offering their services at either entrance to the site).
Or hire a guide with a car and driver to visit Sacsahuaman, Q’enqo and Tambomachay
Dining drinking and socializing:
1. La Bodega 138, Herrajes, 138 - only short walk from Palacio Nazarenas and a world apart in dining experiences. If you go, ask if Diego is working (one of the owners). Very, very casual, inexpensive and can be a lot of fun, depending on your spirit and those of your fellow diners.
2. Greens Organic, Santa Catalina Angosta, 135 - a casual second floor hangout for backpackers and 'tree hugger' types. Honesty and fresh simple food, at a fair price. If you can score the one table on the small balcony - take it!
Paddys Irish Bar almost everyone who spends much time in Cuzco will climb the stairs, try and find a place to sit and sip some liquid.
3. looking for a place with drinks, more English channel satellite TV choices and friendly barkeepers check out the new JW Marriott Cuzco
Whatever you do, don't just pass through Cuzco! This is a wonderful place to stay for a several nights and explore the history.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set in a tranquil plaza behind Cusco's main square, this former palace and convent emerged from years of restoration to become one of the city's most exclusive hotels. Step past walls of Inca stones and into a cloistered courtyard with an ancient fountain at its heart. Then be surprised as contemporary Cusco comes to the fore: a fabulous spa, the city's first outdoor pool and stylish restaurants serving cutting-edge local cuisine. This intimate urban retreat has just 55 suites, each enriched with oxygen and with its own private bar where guests can create drinks accented with fresh ingredients grown at and around the hotel. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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