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
We had a stopover here on our way to Machu Picchu and found this hotel excellent in every sense of the word, in all areas. They have a way of easing you into a situation that I was a little unsure of. No request goes unattended and everyone that works here strives to make you feel important and comfortable. This hotel obviously has a rich history and it is nice to be a part of it, if only for a night or two.
The level of service and accommodation was beyond outstanding. We stayed here as part of a group trip and added on an extra night. All staff treated us royally. From the warm check-in with Coca tea brought right away as we sat at a nice table in the lobby versus waiting at a front desk. Restaurant both for breakfast and the dining room for dinner have excellent food. Our room was appointed with every detail. Bed is comfy and shower oversized. Not the largest but more than enough room for the two of us. They way they put the TV in a cabinet at the foot of the bed takes up a bit of room. And considering we never turned it on, could do with out it. Our room was on the front of the hotel which I would not recommend if you are a light sleeper as you will here the cobblestone noise from the cars passing below. And they start pretty early in the morning.
This hotel is wonderful. Located in a walkable distance to everything in Cusco, plus room with balcony and an amazing bed. They have oxygen in the room for a charge of $30. We didn't need it because we had been in Cusco previously and acclimated to the height but it's good to know it is there if you need it. So very comfortable and spacious. The breakfast is so complete and delicious, probably my favourite thing about the hotel!
This beautiful hotel was a monastery for 370 years before being converted. They have kept all of the best from the monastery and made the rooms perfect for royalty. Our room wasn't large, but it was certainly luxurious. Unlike the monasteries I had stayed in in Portugal, these rooms were large enough to be considered hotel rooms and not just monk cells. The bed was extremely comfortable with great pillows and a thick duvet. The rooms are wonderfully decorated consistent with the 16th century and there are many original old paintings around the grounds.
There are two places to eat at the hotel. The breakfast is served as a buffet with eggs available for order, and in the evening, the main restaurant is open. The food was excellent at both.
The chapel remains with all of its original opulence. There are two gardens, and we were on the first one. The cloisters garden is well landscaped with a 400 year old cedar in the center and you can choose to eat in the garden if you wish.
The hotel room is 2 blocks off the main square so is very convenient for exploring the old city and great for shopping. There is a small square in front of the hotel where you can find reasonably priced food.
The service was excellent. Staff at the main desk was very friendly.
Exquisite luxury hotel that used to be a monastery and has been renovated to house 128 rooms. From the front door entrance throughout this hotel it’s beautiful that combines the old and new. The stone work on the walls, the artwork, icons, gardens, restaurants, rooms, chapel, stores are all so special. Has a mystical feeling in the place. Our room was huge with a wonderful huge bathroom providing slippers and robe and delightful upscale toiletry items.
Breakfast was amazing with a huge variety in the buffet as well as choices from the menu. The service was impeccable. We also had dinner in the dining room and I found the menu limited, expensive and not delicious. I was disappointed. $31.00 for a fettuccini pesto vegetable dish is expensive and it wasn’t that great. The service was very very slow. We were not happy with our meal. That’s the only thing I have that’s negative about the hotel. Would definitely stay here again.