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
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.
Wonderful experience at this hotel, all people in hotel are very helpful especially for people who has high altitude sickness. Serving people with special tea to ease out sickness feels. Breakfast was also very good, although we did not dine in to dinner... very large bar and comfort place for watching FIFA world cup!
The 5 star reviews below are all true! This is the most stunning SPG property we’ve ever stayed. This beats all 3 of the St Regis that we’ve stayed! Hector is an awesome guy. He was very attentive. The hotel breakfast is also nothing less than spectacular.
Be sure and book your Machu Picchu tour through the hotel using Venturia. Ask for Marialuz to be your guide. You won’t be disappointed.
It was an amazing experience staying in this hotel, the service was fast and well organized. Int h morning I had a nice chat with one of the staff Hector, he was friendly and chatty, he was one of the main reasons that increased my liking for this hotel.
Wonderful experience at this hotel! We had such excellent service from everyone but someone who really stood out to us was Hector, one of the servers in the hotel restaurant. I think that Hector was probably the best server we have ever had. He anticipated our every need and wish and served with a level of dignity and professionalism that is very special and without ever being intrusive. He made us feel that we were the most important people in the world at that moment. It's obvious that the hotel places a high value on excellent service and we look forward to returning.