Belmond Hotel Monasterio
Calle Palacio 136, Plazoleta Nazarenas, Cusco
This national monument—dating back to 1592—is now a Belmond hotel, meaning that there’s nothing to it that really resembles its former life as a monastery. Opulent fabrics, plenty of art, and stone walls make this a lavish stay, though the whole idea of a visit to the area is to get out. Besides visiting Machu Picchu, the hotel can arrange any number of activities, from white water rafting to cooking classes. (Peru is a hotbed of culinary activity, after all.)
Belmond Palacio Nazarenas
Plaza Nazarenas 144, Cusco
This brand-spanking new, Belmond-owned hotel in Cusco can proudly say it has the only outdoor swimming pool in all the land (heated, of course) and, with the building having been so beautifully restored from the Colonial palace and convent it once was, you can relax in luxury. Private butlers are available at the touch of a button through each room's souped-up iPad. Those suffering from altitude sickness (Cusco soars a head-spinning 11,152 feet above sea level) can request their rooms be pumped with extra oxygen or gently scented with Andean flowers and herbs which are believed to wield healing powers. The property is walking distance to the main square of the city, which is rife with up-and-coming restaurants, museums, and inviting little shops.
Inkaterra La Casona
Plaza Las Nazarenas 113, Cusco
If you're looking for a serene spot to gather your thoughts before climbing Machu Picchu, hiking Sacred Valley, or from which to explore historic Cusco, look no further than Inkaterra La Casona (it's built on ancient Inca training grounds, after all). It's a Relais & Châteaux hotel (the first in Peru), so even though it’s housed in a 16th century mansion, the five-star amenities—heated floors, an eco-conscious Yaku spa—are plentiful. The 11 guest rooms are strategically placed overlooking a private courtyard and done up in traditional Peruvian style (Colonial furnishings, handwoven tapestries). The house restaurant serves up traditional Peruvian delicacies and delicious breads. For breakfast, the eggs Benedict are made to order and the staff will gladly pack a to-go picnic if a day of sightseeing is on the agenda.
Sol y Luna
Fundo Huincho lote A-5, Urubamba, Cusco
Right in the middle of the breathtaking Sacred Valley of the Incas lies the Sol y Luna lodge, a collection of color-happy luxury casitas spread out over beautiful gardens peppered with exquisite flowerbeds. We’re told this is the ideal base from which to go riding (on Peruvian Paso horses from the hotel's own stables), river rafting, trekking, or just simply wandering around the endless Inca ruins and villages dotted about. The Killa Wasi restaurant specializes in authentic Peruvian cuisine reimagined by Executive Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffin using only the freshest, tastiest locally sourced ingredients.
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