It’s taken years of meticulous restoration but now the Belmond Palacio Nazarenas (owned by Belmond, formerly known as Orient Express) is opening its huge wooden doors to guests. The hotel is conveniently close to Cusco's central square but also next to the arty quarter of San Blas.
Formerly a 16th century convent, this luxurious hotel retains all the atmosphere of its colonial past, along with subtle manifestations of contemporary comforts and technology. No expense has been spared on its sumptuous furnishings but the décor is not excessively elaborate: there’s a real homely feel to the place.
There are 55 suites, beautifully appointed with wrought-iron bedsteads and polished wooden floors. In addition to the usual full range of amenities, you’ll find a stereo sound system, pre-loaded iPad, espresso machine, and underfloor heating in the bathroom. On request, all guestrooms can even be suffused with oxygen to combat the effects of altitude.
There are excellent facilities lodged within the seven cloistered terraces, including Cusco’s first outdoor heated swimming pool, a lounge in the former chapel, a boutique and a business centre. The patios are landscaped with flowers and herbs watered by fountains and Inca-style stone channels.
The spa specialises in bespoke treatments inspired by traditional Inca remedies. There’s also an elegant bistro-style restaurant specialising in contemporary Andean cuisine.