Where? Cusco, Peru
Exactly? I stayed at the Belmond Hotel Monasterio and the Belmond Palacio Nazarenas
When? Sept 2019
Why? For the start and finish our Andean Adventure with Belmond, we were invited to stay at two of Cusco’s most prestigious hotels. Cusco is the main hub on the Inca/Machu Picchu trail as it houses the nearest International airport.
Here’s my photo diary of the Best Luxury hotels and restaurants in Cusco, Peru….
Cusco is one of the most beautiful and fascinating cities I have ever been to. Set high in the clouds at an altitude of 3400m above sea level, this quaint and colourful Peruvian city was once the capital of the Inca Empire before before the Spanish conquest in the 16th century.
In 1983 it was designated a world heritage site by UNESCO and rightly so. It is filled with a mixture of Inca and European culture, incredible architecture and fascinating tourist spots and landmarks.
Belmond Hotel Monasterio
Staying at the Belmond Hotel Monasterio was such a wonderful experience. After all it’s not everyday you get to stay in protected national monument.
Housed within an ancient monastery building, you are transported back hundreds of years, to colonial Peru. As you walk down the corridors you can hear the mesmerising sounds of monks chanting and classical music being played, which gave me a deep sense of nostalgia and serenity.The Hotel is right in the heart of Cusco, (only 15 minutes from the international airport) which gives you the perfect base from which to discover this incredible city.
But the best thing about the hotel is just how stunning it is, wander through the cloisters, enjoy breakfast in the floral, sun-filled, courtyard and revel in the original artworks and architecture. It houses one of the biggest collections of 18th century, colonial, religious art in the country. You can ask for a guided art tour of the hotel.
A Peruvian weaver sits in the cloisters using a hand loom to craft traditional tapestries which you can buy in the hotel.
So lets talk about the interiors. The 122 bedrooms and suites are built in the original monks chambers, completely refurbished obviously and filled with luxury furnishings, bed linens, beautiful tapestries and ecclesiastic paintings.
You feel very much at peace in the hotel grounds, much like the original monk inhabitants did I expect. The hotel has a really calm ora about it, creating a very magical experience.
The enchanting courtyard with central water fountain and tables set for lunch.
Food and drink
There are two restaurants at the Belmond Monasterio Hotel, as well as a lobby bar, plus a trendy deli on site. Buffet and a la carte breakfast is served in the cloisters dining area with live chamber music accompaniment.
In the evenings you can enjoy a more formal yet intimate dinner, with international cuisine, in the El Tupay Restaurant. The atmosphere is candlelit, with high ceilings which resonate with the sound of live opera three nights a week.
The city itself is quaint and pretty, the main commercial hub is completely safe and the locals are super friendly. Take a wander around the main square and peruse the pretty shops and boutiques in the streets that lead off it. Relax, wander and enjoy a Peruvian coffee.
Alternatively there are several hikes and tours to local temples, shrines, ancient city walls and other places of interest. Everywhere you go is so colourful and the architecture is beautiful. I really loved this city.
Belmond Palacio Nazarenas
On the final leg of our journey, when we returned to Cusco after visiting Machu Picchu we were lucky enough to stay at the spectacular Belmond Palacio Nazarenas.
Pictured above: Charlie and me in the beautiful courtyard at the hotel.
The hotel comprises of seven historical cloistered courtyards and in the centre of the main courtyard is Cusco’s first outdoor, heated swimming pool. It’s the heart of the hotel with the restaurant and the bar offering beautiful views of the blue pool and Cusco’s colourful hillsides beyond.
The hotel comprises of 55 splendid, luxurious suites with roll top baths, large wet room showers, divinely sumptuous beds, beautiful individually designed rooms and the most luxurious thing about them is they are enriched with oxygen.
Yes oxygen! I realise this might sound strange, but at this high altitude the air is very thin, so the fresh O2 pumped into the bedrooms really helps with the altitude sickness.
I got quite ill when I arrived in Cusco, but after relaxing in the room for the couple of hours it really helped me to acclimatise. I could definitely tell the difference and felt the benefits of having the oxygen pumped into the room. It’s such a luxury and something I would definietly recommend if you’re feeling short of breath, dizzy or indeed sick.
Top image of me on my stunning balcony and image directly above, doing my make up in the most ornately decorated bathroom wearing the hotels Peruvian silk gowns, they also have a towelling option if you prefer.
It’s all about the details here, you can ask the bath butler to run you a signature Nazarenas bath filled with Peruvian salts. It was blissful. You can have your shoes shined free of charge. And another wonderful touch is that the hotel sommelier will come to your room and make you Pisco Sours in a cocktail master class session. Cheers!
Above and below: The decor at the Nazerenas is elegant, rich and intricate. Each piece of furniture is elaborately crafted or embroidered, so much workmanship and artisan skill has gone into creating this hotel.
A harp player plays by the pool at breakfast time.
As well as staying at this incredible property I really enjoyed photographing it too.
The immaculate and beautiful streets of Cusco.
5 Best Restaurants In Cusco
Famed for it’s world class ceviche and Peruvian potatoes, the culinary offering in Peru is diverse, delicious and also healthy. There was fresh grown produce and organic ingredients everywhere we went. My top five restaurants in Cusco are as follows:
2) Organica – cheap and cheerful organic food cafe, not much on the interiors side, but the salads and smoothies are insta ready and delicious too. (image below) £
3) Ceviche – As the name suggests it’s the best Ceviche restaurant in town. With lovely views of the central square and the mountains beyond. Think fresh fish with a view. ££
4) Uchu – Posh Peruvian steak house, a must for meat eaters and do try the local speciality of roasted Guinea Pig. Charlie tried it and said it was gamey and delicious, I chickened out :) £££
5) El Tupay at The Belmond Monasterio. This is Cusco’s most luxurious restaurant. Candle lit ambience accompanied by live opera and classical music. Dress for the occasion. £££
That’s all from Cusco and Peru. A huge thank you to Belmond for organising the most luxurious and totally epic Andean adventure for us. For more information on the hotels, trains and similar packages check out the Belmond website.
And to see the Machu Pichi blog click here.
Bon voyage xx
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Peru is definitely on my bucket list. It looks so beautiful. I really need to visit soon
So colorful and beautiful. I love the Peruvian attire on the locals. You look like you had a swell time.
Amazing pics! Would love to someday travel their and see for myself. Bet it was breathtaking in person.
This looks like such a gorgeous trip to take, I’d love to stay in Peru :)
Peru is on ,y must-visit list. These pictures are gorgeous and make me want to visit even more!
Peru always seemed like a dope place to visit, nice to know I can go for the culture while not sacrificing my comfort
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