Palacio del Inka, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Cusco
What We Love
- Fresh flowers in the bathrooms
- The colored lights and music that are part of the uniquely relaxing spa experience
- The free oxygen treatments, which help alleviate the headaches that can come with the high altitude
What To Know
- There’s no air conditioning
- Guests can take a pisco sour class at the bar every night—something to impress your friends with at home
- Free WiFi
- Free WiFi
Built inside an enormous, 500-year-old colonial mansion, the Palacio is now one of the city’s destination hotels—and a perfect reprieve after your journey to Machu Picchu. When you come back to Cusco, footsore and tired, you’ll relish the Luxury Collection beds, extensive spa (with heated lounge chairs and a hydrotherapy pool), and cushy red-leather armchairs in the dimly lit Rumi Bar, where bartenders prepare refreshing pisco sours. The hotel’s got atmosphere in spades, from preserved colonial details like stone arches and courtyards to the dark red carpets, artfully stained wood, and collection of ceramics and paintings. The Inti Raymi restaurant leans heavily on Andean ingredients (you’ll be feted with some of the hundreds of different Peruvian potatoes and can try guinea pig if that’s your thing) while the outdoor tables invite guests to linger over the extensive buffet breakfast when the sun is shining. The restaurant opens at 4:30 a.m.—a nice bonus for those looking to get an early start on their trek to Machu Picchu.
In the Area
If you’re in Cusco, you’re interested in Incan history, and the hotel is just across the street from Koricancha, the Incan temple to the sun. It’s worth checking out, even if, since most people visit Cusco on the way to or from Machu Picchu, you might have had your fill of ruins. The Plaza de Armas, Cusco’s main square, is a five-minute walk and the Sacred Garden, a lush green space, is even closer. For gifts and souvenirs, stop by the Center for Traditional Textiles, which supports indigenous weavers and sells stunning fabrics. The Iglesia de Santo Domingo, beautifully lit by candles in the evening, is right next door to the hotel and dates back to 1534.
How to Get There
We stayed 4 nights at Palacio del Inka in late June and really enjoyed the property along with the city of Cusco. The first part of our trip was at there sister property in Urubamba (Tambo del Inka) and we did a taxi transfer to Cusco from the Sacred Valley and saw Sacsayhuaman along with three other smaller sites above the city. I would highly recommend that you finish your stay here given the altitude of Cusco.
The property is very unique that it is built on top of an Inka temple and was also a colonial house that is over 500 years old. It is in a crowded part of town next to the Sun Temple but the staff helped us with our bags and quickly checked us into a junior suite. Very nice room with a view of the red rooftops of Cusco with a separate living room. The hotel has a 5pm tour sharing the history of the property and there is a 6PM Pisco Sour lesson that cannot be missed. If you are a Starwood Gold or Platinum the hotel has some nice extras like drink coupons each night for a Pisco Sour and a discount in the bar. The breakfast is very good and extensive. The restaurant is in a colonial courtyard and they had a harp player in the morning which was a very nice touch. We used the spa for the hydrotherapy circuit and really enjoyed it along with having world cup soccer on a large screen in the bar. Too bad Peru did not make it further but the excitement was amazing.
Finally, we did two tours through the hotel and both were incredible and very informative. The first was a city tour seeing the Cathedrals, San Pedro market, Inka Museum and the streets of the city. The second tour was the Southern Valley and it was also amazing. Everything was really well done and the guide and driver were both friendly and very knowledgeable. Thanks again for a wonderful stay.
We stayed here on our first and last night in the region and couldn't have been happier. It is a very historic building in the heart of Cusco and an easy walk to sights and restaurants. It's very luxurious and the staff couldn't be nicer. Daily breakfast was included and there were plenty of options for all.
This is truly the place where you can feel the spirit of the Inkas. The ambiance and the decor makes you feel the spiritual energy of the ancient times. The rooms are furnished in similar style and the bedding is superb!
We stayed 2 nights in this fantastic hotel and one of the best things was the free ‘How to make a Pisco Sour lesson’ which happens every day at 6pm.
The head bar man Darwin told us all about the origins of Pisco, grape varieties and variants of Pisco.
Then we were shown how to make the perfect Pisco Sour and even given a little taster of the finished article. Perfection.
Really interesting and Darwin did a great job in both Spanish and English. So much so that we went on to try the Pisco tasting session which was also fantastic.
Followed by dinner at La Cicciolina the evening couldn’t have been better. Thanks Darwin for a great experience. We’ll be back.
The Palacio del Inka is a 5-star hotel under the Starwood Brand’s Luxury Collection that is situated in the historic centre of Cusco. The building that houses the Hotel dates back 5 Centuries, when it was constructed as a mansion for the Spanish Conquistador and Ex-Governor of Peru Francisco Pizzaro. The hotel has undergone refurbishment in the past years, keeping its original Incan structures and features intact (visible in the walls and flooring).
Upon entering the hotel, we were greeted by an elaborate, vibrantly coloured lobby bedecked with antique furniture where genuine ancient relics are displayed like that of a museum. The glass roof over the lobby allows natural light to permeate the hotel, illuminating their stunning displays.
The Staff are warm, welcoming, friendly and helpful. They went above and beyond in ensuring we had a pleasant experience throughout our stay, far exceeding our expectations. One of the staff that stood out in particular was Badir, from the Concierge desk. Chock full of personality, he came by to say Hi as we checked in; he had recognized my boyfriend’s name from the unusual request we made when booking our accommodation – that we be greeted by a fluffy baby Alpaca upon our arrival. Once we checked in, he led us straight to the Courtyard, where a 5-month old baby Alpaca named Uruppi was “waiting” for us. Apparently, Uruppi and his owner (a Quechuan lady clad in traditional Quechuan attire) are in the hotel Courtyard every day from 7am – 3pm, where guests can interact with Uruppi and purchase wares (scarves, ponchos, blankets and clothing made from Alpaca wool) sold by his owner.
The rooms are equipped with antique furnishings and are fit for royalty! Our room, which was a Junior suite, was located above the Courtyard – overlooking the courtyard from the interior of the hotel, and the Quoricancha (Cusco’s Temple of the Sun) right outside our window.
Facilities in the hotel – Business Centre that operates 24/7, Spa (open from 10am – 10pm), 2 stores, and a travel desk (Venturia) that organizes day trips upon request (you may arrange for them to charge it to your room, or payment can be made to them directly). There is a bar which also serves food and conducts complementary Pisco workshops at 6pm daily and restaurant that serves amazing Peruvian cuisine (yep, we had dinner there every night). The breakfast buffet, that is usually included with your stay offers a wide array of food to choose from.
There’s an amazing store at the entrance of the Hotel called Kuna (you can find outlets everywhere in Cusco, and even in the airport) that sells ponchos, shawls, scarves and coats made from 100% Alpaca and Vicuna wool. You can’t get such premium clothing anywhere else. The lady who works the afternoon shift (till closing time at 10pm) is lovely! She’s very helpful and doesn’t pressure you to buy anything just for the sake of it. She even went through lengths of walking quite the distance to their outlet in the middle of the historic district to get the items we were looking for in certain colours. The quality and designs of the clothing at Kuna are top class!
The only thing that bugged me was that the hotel was freezing! I guess they couldn’t do much in terms of heating for preservation purposes, given that the building was approximately 500 years old. Other than that, our stay at Palacio del Inka was truly a delight! A 5-star hotel in every sense worth every penny spent! There is even a guy dressed as an Incan warrior walking around the hotel - you may take pictures with him in exchange for a small tip. The hotel also conducts tours around the building daily at 5pm.
I felt like an Incan Princess staying in a castle, greeted by the loveliest, warmest most welcoming people I've ever met. I kid you not - every single person who passes you (or rather, whom you pass) in any hallway in the Hotel smiles and greets you.