Located right in the middle of ancient Cusco, on the Plaza Nazarenas, a very short walk away from the cities main Plaza de Armas, hides one of the most exclusive hotels in Peru. Dating back to the 15th century, and built on former Inca foundations is the luxury Belmond Palacio Nazarenas. It also houses the only outdoor swimming pool in Cusco, but it was much too cold to partake in swimming in October. Of all the hotels we stayed in during our 2 1/2 week visit to Peru, Belmond Palacio Nazarenas had the most refined service, excellent interiors and original antiques.
There are 55 spacious junior and larger suites. It is located inside a former Jesuit convent, which was built on Inca foundations of a palace. There is still a church in the property and the hotel has a distinct colonial look and feel. The hotel is set around 7 cloistered courtyards and there are some original frescoes on the walls.
All guests are supposed to enjoy complimentary butler service with their suites, although we never saw our butler during our three night stay. Supposedly they teach you how to make a pisco sour. One thing I like is everything in your minibar, and the pisco sour station and cocktails, coffee maker and snacks in our suite are all complimentary.
The bathrooms are large, and this was the only hotel that has double sinks, a separate bathtub and shower, and heated floors. Because of the high altitude, at over 11,000 feet, the hotel pipes in oxygen to the rooms.
We had very professional spa treatments at the hotel and the best breakfast of our entire vacation. The food was a perfect mix between national and international fare, with a large buffet selection as well as a la carte options. The chef who set up the restaurant is Virgilio Martinez of Latin America’s number one restaurant, Central.
There is a boutique shop selling local handicrafts on the property, and the pool has a coffee and fruit cart that makes smoothies. All in all this whole experience adds up to a luxurious stay in a historic building and some high-end travel.