Having stayed at the Belmond hotel at Iguasu Falls in Brasil I was looking forward to another Belmond experience and was not disappointed. I booked the spa/lunch/room package for two separate nights before and after an Andes trek/Machu Picchu. We stayed in room 113 in the new portion of the hotel both times and really liked the room. My only regret is that we hardly had time to enjoy the property, so I will return and stay longer. With a longer stay we could have observed the weaving demonstration and enjoyed afternoon tea in the garden.
Upon arrival we were offered coca tea and then our butler (Manuel) walked us through the property and explained the features of our suite. We were glad that we could check in early at 1pm. Love the heated bathroom floor and the special soap (cut from a soap loaf by our butler). We had a lovely lunch at Senzo followed by massages at the spa. During our second stay we had a delicious dinner at Senzo. Prices were similar to restaurants in San Francisco ($10 quinoa salad), but the portions were larger (bottled water was $3.50). The breakfast was the private buffet during our first stay and a typical get-up and get-your-food buffet during our second stay.
The spa hours are 9am-9pm. The massages were very good and we were in the "couples" treatment room that has a private outdoor jacuzzi which can be used after the massage. There is also a steam room and showers in the spa as well as an outdoor relaxing courtyard. Except for the dressing rooms (showers and toilet), the spa is co-ed. My daughter and I were the only people there and did not realize that the steam room was not women-only. We wanted to use the steam room before our massage and it had to be warmed up (just a couple of minutes). We found broken glass inside when we entered (difficult to see with the steam) and let the staff know. They did not seem to understand even though we showed them the chunks of glass. Luckily we did not step on any of the chunks.
Our second stay was a bit complicated because the train from Machu Pichhu did not run all of the way to Cusco, so we switched to a bus and arrived at the hotel 2 hours later than expected. This meant we were too late for our spa appt. We had called to let them know we were running late and our butler quickly adapted. The spa stayed open late for us so we could get a quick dinner and have our massages at 9:30pm. We really appreciated the flexibility. However, given the quality and cost of the hotel we also expected the exceptional service. Another example of the great service was that our room package included a special herbal/oil bath. We were too busy to use the bath and since we were not a couple (mom and daughter) it would have been awkward to share a bath. Manuel told us we could take the bath treatments with us (the hotel sells the packaged up herbs and oil for $25). We did take two of the treatments and enjoyed them when we had time in Lima!
Only two areas for improvement. During our second stay the room was set up for a male/female couple instead of for two women (mom and daughter). Instead of two women's size slippers, we received a man's size and a woman's size and we received a mix of manly/feminine shampoo and massage oil. It was interesting that the bath product selection is customized. The second area for improvement is to offer a reasonably priced laundry service. $25 for 24 hour laundering a dress is too much. At our hotel in Lima laundering a dress is $8. We had an entire duffle bag of hiking clothes laundered for $15 through a per-kilo laundry service. However, the heated floors were great for drying clothing that we hand washed in the lavish bathroom of our suite.
I'm not someone who always stays at 5 star hotels, but when I am in a city with a Belmond hotel I will definitely splurge. If you enjoy staying in a historic area/structure that is unique and has an exceptionally warm and competent staff you will enjoy the Belmond Palacio Nazarenas.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Would the nuns in this converted 17th-century convent have approved of the pisco sour cocktail-making stations? Anything is possible, given the diverse incarnations of this contemporary urban retreat. Belmond Palacio Nazarenas was built on Inca foundations and became a palatial private home in the 1500s. It was owned by the conquistador Mancio Serra de Leguizamon—a warrior who is said to have gambled and lost the gold Inca image of the sun from the Coricancha temple. The Jesuits converted the building into a school in 1644, which itself became a convent in 1715. We’ve preserved all that’s most precious here: you’ll find original Inca stonework, colonial frescos and gold-framed paintings collected by the nuns. At the same time you’ll discover the best of the new world within our walls. We’ll look after you in the most elegant way possible, whether your idea of relaxing is taking a morning yoga class or an evening salsa lesson. ... more less
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