We were recently given the chance to visit the newest luxury hotel in Cusco, and we might need to update our top 5 hotels list from last week! Although Cusco has its fair share of top quality places, you can never have too much of a good thing, and the hotel Palacio Nazarenas is the latest stunning property to open its doors.
Opened in June 2012, Palacio Nazarenas is the newest addition to the Orient Express collection, and is right beside Hotel Monasterio, the chain’s other 5 star offering in Cusco. Nazarenas was initially planned as merely an extension of Monasterio, in order to make the popular hotel bigger and increase capacity, but this idea was quickly shelved as the Nazarenas project began to take on its own identity. Although they are side by side, and run by the same company, the two hotels are very different in style, something that becomes immediately apparent on entering. Monasterio uses its setting in an old monastery (hence the name!) to great effect, and the building is extremely grand, full of ornate pillars, walls and hundreds of fabulous, original paintings. The hotel really plays on its history, and the beauty of the building itself is one of the major selling points. Nazarenas however has gone for a much cleaner, contemporary style, with less pomp, gold, and old paintings, and more understated class. It is a beautiful place to explore with all manner of ancient passageways leading you somewhere new and exciting, and it is sometimes a struggle to not get lost! But this is all part of the charm, and it is wonderful to be able to wander round an old 18th century convent and soak up the atmosphere.
It is obvious that the team behind Nazarenas have worked hard on the style and aesthetic appeal of the hotel, and this extends into the 55 rooms that make up the accommodation. Every one of the rooms is a suite (no standard rooms here!) with even the bottom range option offering real luxury to the guest. They are individual in terms of layout, and have special features unique to each room, such as views over the patio, private access via an old Incan passageway etc. In terms of detail the rooms are spectacular, with the clean, simple style mentioned above making for a very bright, welcoming experience. They are all equipped with everything you could possibly want, from silk robes, slippers, and daily newspapers; to a fully stocked, and included in the price, mini-bar, iPads, and an oxygen supply should you struggle with the altitude. And the lavish bathrooms complete with walk-in showers, bathtubs, and heated floors are worth a special mention!
Hospitality is also a big thing at Nazarenas, and you are really taken care of from the minute you check in, with your own personal butler on hand 24-hours a day. Each room is assigned its own butler who will take care of all your needs and ensure that everything is in order and you have all you need to make your stay extra special. As I said, real luxury!
And the food on offer really keeps the luxury count high, as breakfast, lunch, and dinner will each be an experience you won’t forget. The Senzo restaurant is the jewel in the crown offering fantastic Peruvian cuisine with a modern twist for lunch and dinner. Under the guidance of renowned chef Virgilio Martinez the restaurant has made it its mission to use fresh local ingredients, with a focus on seasonality, providing a real showcase to the fantastic, varied produce to be found around Cusco. The highlight is the 5 course tasting menu, giving you the chance to sample all the stars of Peruvian food. Breakfast and lunch are also spectacular, with fruit and salad carts (modeled after similar carts that can be seen in the streets of Cusco), giving diners the chance to customize and take exactly what they want.
Oh and something else the hotel has that really sets it apart from comparable options in the city is its swimming pool! A heated outdoor swimming pool is a real rarity here in Cusco, and after a long day sightseeing and exploring the city, what can be better than a relaxing swim under the stars!
Palacio Nazarenas is just the latest in a long line of incredible 5 star hotels to open in Cusco, but it really has something special about it. The beautiful rooms and personalized butler service, coupled with the classy and clean décor offers the guest something a little bit different, and ensures a truly memorable stay.