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
- 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
Stunningly beautiful property - the service and quality of the food and bev is top notch (amazing breakfast buffet), and the staff is exactly what you'd expect from Belmond - crisp, attentive, friendly, unobtrusive and respectful. If you're used to first world standards for hotels, in Cusco, then Belmond is really the only choice. The property was a sanctuary for us (the gentle background music of Gregorian chants adds to that vibe), and every time we left the property, we couldn't wait to get back inside the gates because Peru is an assault on the senses. The added oxygen in the rooms is a must - at least, it was for us. We are very fit, we hike, run, ski, etc, but nothing can truly prepare you for sleeping above 11,500 feet. Treat yourself and stay at The Monasterio or its neighboring sister property. You won't be disappointed.
From the very moment we entered the hotel Roger made us realize how important customers are for the Belmond Monasterio. We stayed for three nights and had dinner at the main restaurant surrounded by a wonderful atmosphere created by an opera duet. We enjoyed the place and the superb service. Thanks for the outstanding experience. We recommend the hotel to everyone going to Cusco looking for a high quality place and service.
This hotel is simply stunning. The travel company told the hotel about our Wedding Anniversary so they upgraded us to a suite off a private courtyard and sent us chocolates! From the moment we checked in all of the staff we met referred to us by name. They could not do enough for us. One member of staff even brought me a blanket when the temperature in the bar area dropped in the evening. The suite was spacious with a bedroom (containing a huge, comfy bed), livingroom, large bathroom and plenty of space for clothes/suitcases.
Eating breakfast out in the courtyard beside the 300 year old Cedar tree was an absolute pleasure. The food was delicious, plenty of choice and exceptional service.
Because this hotel was once a Monastery they even have their own Chapel that you can visit. My only regret is that because we had planned to do so much sightseeing we didn't actually get time to properly enjoy the hotel facilities.
i cannot say enough about the wonderful people at this hotel, who treated my mom and i so well during our 3 night stay. the room was spectacular, overlooking the courtyard. and honestly, this was the best hotel breakfast of my LIFE. you must try the quinoa pancake - very special.
We stayed here on two different occasions during our trip to Peru. Obviously it’s a great historic hotel and earns all of it’s five stars. The one thing that impressed me the most was the level of service from the entire staff. I believe it was the best service of any hotel I’ve stayed in the world over. Honestly Latin America is not known for great service. The Monasterio is wonderful example of what good training and good management can yield. Oh, and by the way I really liked the hotel!