Belmond Hotel Monasterio
What We Love
- Staying in the heart of historic Cusco, just a block from the Plaza de Armas
- This wonderfully preserved monastery is full of Inca and colonial history
- Pisco sours in the lobby bar
- Some rooms are enriched with extra oxygen to ward off altitude sickness
What To Know
- Cusco is 11,000 feet above sea level; give yourself plenty of time to adjust (water, oxygen) to the altitude
- All rooms have a different style and layout; some of the Superior Rooms feel small, at 269 square feet
- El Tupay restaurant can be pricey but is worth the splurge
- There is a mandatory $350 New Year's Eve Gala Dinner charge for adults staying on December 31
- A 10 percent service charge per room will be collected at checkout on Jetsetter
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
If these walls could talk. It’s not typically the first thing you think of at a hotel, but few, if any, are infused with history on the scale of Cusco’s Belmond Hotel Monasterio. The collision of cultures that this Spanish monastery, built in 1595 atop an Inca palace, witnessed is first revealed when you enter from the Plazoleta Nazarenas, where walls of original Inca stones give way to the hotel’s regal doorway, which is still graced with Spain’s coat of arms. Exploring the hotel’s history could easily occupy a full day. Its story is told in the exquisite art that adorns the walls and the stone columns that rise from a series of inner courtyards, with the main cloister protecting a 300-year-old cedar tree. It also houses a Baroque chapel decorated with works by Cusqueña artists.
Bed and Bath
Despite its age, this hotel’s 126 rooms and suites, originally the dormitories for the Jesuits stationed here, are far from monastic — they are, in fact, supremely comfortable. No two are exactly alike, but all are decorated to reflect the building’s colonial and Catholic heritage: burned yellow walls hung with religious art, and antique wooden beds, tables and chairs. Window shutters open to reveal views of the courtyard or the red tile rooftops of Cusco, which sits a dizzying 11,000 feet above sea level. Few travelers will have experienced such heights, and in some rooms, the hotel will pump pure oxygen into your room to ward off altitude sickness.
The service here is as superior as the hotel is historic. Your luggage is whisked away upon your arrival, so you can sit with an energizing coca tea or pisco sour in the lobby lounge while the front desk deals with check-in. The hotel’s two restaurants veer from the traditional, combining local ingredients with chef Federico Ziegler’s French sensibilities at El Tupay. Hearty breakfasts and light lunches are served at Illariy, which looks out through floor-to-ceiling windows into the main courtyard. The concierge services are knowledgeable and comprehensive, though you’d be well served to plan your explorations of Cusco and the surrounding archeological sites well in advance — there’s half a millennia of history to explore, after all.
In the Area
Cusco’s ancient alleyways and cobbled streets were made for exploring on foot. Don’t miss the Plaza de Armas and its 16th-century cathedral, the Qorikancha (Temple of the Sun), and the artists of the San Blas neighborhood. The extraordinary Incan ruins of Sacsayhuamán and the market town of Pisac are also within easy reach. Shop for stylish alpaca scarves and knitwear at Kuna and Sol Alpaca, and silver jewelry at Ilaria. Feast on Novo Andino cuisine at Limo, which overlooks the main square, and sample inventive cocktails at the Museo del Pisco bar.
How to Get There
The staffs were nice and kind! The actual hotel had been a monastery in the 1600 and had so much character and style. We only had breakfast in the restaurant, but it was excellent as well.The room was charming and comfortable.
If you have not heard of the Belmond brand then this property is a great introduction to outstanding service and quality of their hotels. We stayed here as part of a Belmond Experience tour (outstanding!!). We were picked up at the airport by the Belmont hotel concierge’s, Rene, and his driver Marco. The hotel features a beautiful courtyard and lovely rooms and dining places as part of a converted monastery. The dining experience, the breakfast, the bar service and the location of the property was exceptional. This property gets full marks!! As part of our Belmond Experience tour, we took several private tours with our guide, Jhader. He was trained in tourism and has a deep knowledge of the local history and sites. We understand that the Belmond is very particular about who they use as guides and we can understand why they chose Jhader. We thoroughly enjoyed the days we spent with him...which included visits within Cusco, the Sacred Valley and a trip to Machu Picchu. We also enjoyed having the same driver, Marco, each day.
Stating the obvious right at the beginning: the London based luxury tourism group Belmond has never been suspicious of picking second rate locations for their growing portfolio of *****properties. Monasterio is in fact a former Spanish monastery right in the heart if the longest inhabited town of the entire Latin American continent. You all know of Cusco‘s extreme altitude of 3400 M knocking not too infrequently visitors flat out with height sickness. But when you arrive at Cusco airport Belmond guests will already right there be welcomed by a Monasterio person offering Coca tea while waiting for the short ride into town.