Incan Heritage at Palacio del Inka, a Luxury Collection Hotel in Cusco, Peru

Arriving at Cusco at night after a whole day of flying, I had reserved an Uber from the airport and the trip from the airport to the hotel in the old town of Cusco costs just PEN12.75 (~$3.80). I was able to negotiate a rate with the driver for him to drive us to the Tambo del Inka property in Urubamba as well on a flat rate.

Hotel lobby
Palacio del Inka lobby

The hotel being a historical property did not have a traditional porch. Instead there was an archway entrance on cobblestone pathways so there was a bit of a difficulty for guests with rolling luggages. Just right by the entrance of the hotel is an area for the concierge and a couple of desk that is manned by tour operators in the day.

Concierge and tour desk
Concierge and tour desk

Inside the hotel, guests are then directed to the check-in counter located past the entrance with its own glass covered atrium. However it was dark when we arrived past sunset.

Reception desk
Reception desk

While I went to check-in, my wife was able to get some coca tea from the stand beside the reception desk. Most hotels in Cusco region provides coca tea for travelers not accustomed to the altitude. Check-in at Lima always takes some time as the staff will request for all the occupant’s passports and/or ID cards before processing the stay. A valid credit card is then swiped for incidentals. Some locals in Peru might not be fluent in English, but the front desk staff here are easy to converse to in English.

Coca tea
Coca tea stand

In the evenings, the lobby is quite busy so it was a brief explanation of the benefits for Platinum guests along with mentioning where breakfast is served. She also pointed the concierge and tour desks in case I wanted to book a trip to Machu Picchu. Along with the room keys, she handed me drink vouchers, spa discount vouchers and a letter detailing benefits for Platinum members.

Lobby lounge
Lobby lounge

Room No: 477 Category: Deluxe Suite with 2 Twin Beds

Since it was late and we wanted to rest, we brought our luggages with us so we can freshen up quickly once we get to our room. For a short hotel, it was fortunate that elevators were installed and our room was not far from the elevators that was close to the reception desk.

Room floor plan
Room floor plan

The front desk staff checking us in mentioned about the suite upgrades as part of the Platinum benefits and a living room greeted us on entry. There is a lounge chair with an armchair in the living space around a low coffee table. A flat screen TV hangs on the wall.

Suite entrance
Suite entrance

Beside the entrance, there was a small powder room with its own toilet.

Powder room
Powder room

At the end of the living room, there is a work desk but it was cluttered with the thick folder outlining the hotel’s facilities. The other half of the space was taken up by a large Philips speaker and a capsule espresso machine by Britt. That basically renders little use of the desk for anything else but I doubt many travelers come to Cusco to do business.

Britt espresso machine
Britt espresso machine
Philips speaker dock
Philips speaker dock

Next to the desk there was a circular table that looks out of place and should probably be a dining table except there was no extra chairs. There was an ice bucket on top of this circular table. At the end was the minibar cabinet with glasses placed on the top.

Desk and minibar
Desk and minibar
Minibar in the room
Minibar in the room

Moving to the bedroom proper which is separated by a door, there was 2 generous sized beds inside the room that could easily sleep a young family of 2 adults with 2 kids. This could certainly count for a family suite and definitely rare to find a suite with 2 double beds.

Two double beds in the suite
Two double beds in the suite

In between the beds, there was a small bedside table with 2 bottles of water placed there. Guests could easily request for additional bottled waters without additional charges. Power outlets were convenient to access for charging devices from the bedside table as well.

Bottled water in the bedside table
Bottled water in the bedside table

At the end of the bedroom, there was a small bench that could be used as a luggage stand or additional room seating. The positioning of 2 large beds in the bedroom meant there was little space for any other furniture and the flat-screen TV was wall mounted with no console underneath it.

Small bench at the end
Small bench at the end

Next to the bedroom, there was a walk-in closet with space to store your luggage and valuables. A standard in-room safe is found here with umbrellas and a luggage stand. There was bathrobes, slippers and additional pillows inside the closet as well.

Closet with safe
Closet with safe

Connected to the closet was the bathroom. For a suite, the bathroom was standard in size and feels a bit small. There was only a single sink with the shower area being located over the bathtub. A standard rain shower head found in most North American hotel chains is placed above the tub, while a Euro-style swivelling glass partition keeps the water out of the floors. It was functional but not the nicest to use in a luxury hotel.

Bathroom interior
Bathroom interior

Even the space for the toilet is limited as the bathroom door would swing over to cover it when the door is opened. Fortunately, there is an extra toilet over in the powder room.

Toilet and bathrobe
Toilet with bathrobe hung on the door

Bath amenities placed on the countertop was by Gilchrist & Soames, which is the first time I saw it in a Luxury Collection hotel.

Bath amenities
Bath amenities

A small piece of chocolate is placed by each bed after turndown service in the evening, something I expect of any hotel that states itself as luxury oriented.

Turndown service
Turndown chocolates

While the suite was nice, there seems to be a lack of windows and the only windows in the suite was small. The suite has views of the hotel’s smaller Casona courtyard so it is quiet and peaceful even in the day.

Courtyard view
Casona courtyard view

In the day, guests could see the hills in the north where the statue of Jesus Christ is located at.

View from the room
View from the room

Breakfast at Inti Raymi Restaurant

Destination fee charged by the hotel includes breakfast and daily coca teas so I was able to get the free breakfast and the bonus points. Breakfast is served at the Inti Raymi restaurant located beside the larger Cuatro Bustos courtyard. Guests could get a seat by the courtyard or even on the tables outside in the courtyard but it was a cold morning so we chose the interior seating.

Restaurant by the courtyard
Restaurant by the courtyard

What makes the breakfast great was that in addition to the buffet, guests could order items like French toast, omelettes and other eggs prepared to your liking. This was listed on the menu presented by the server.

From the menu
Breakfast menu
French toast
French toast

On the buffet spread, there was the usual continental selections of milk, yogurt, granolas and quinoas. Gluten free pastries were available beside the yogurts and quinoas.

Yogurt and quinoa
Yogurt and quinoa

There was a section filled with a good variety of cold cuts and cheeses. Beside it was a basket of great croissants.

Ham and cheese
Ham and cheese
Fluffy croissants
Fluffy croissants

Toast was available along with a selection of pastries.

Bread with onion, tomato and cream cheese

In the hot food section, there was two kinds of pancakes – standard and quinoa with various fruit compotes to add on the sides. Strawberry sauce or syrup was provided as the toppings.

Pancakes with compotes
Pancakes with assorted fruit compotes

Other dishes includes the regular scrambled egg, bacon and sausages that we commonly find in breakfast buffets, with mixed vegetables and potatoes.

Bacon and sausages
Bacon and sausages
Potatoes and vegetables
Potatoes and vegetables

A local dish was rotated on the buffet and one of them was Pastel de Acelga. Packet of energy bars are found on the buffet island as well, making it convenient for diners to grab a couple for their hikes or trips around the city later in the day.

Pastel de Acelga
Pastel de Acelga
Energy bar
Energy bar

At the end of the buffet section, there is the salad bar with guacamoles, various chilli sauces and more specialty salads. Tamale, a South American cuisine was served on one of the day we had breakfast. Sliced salmon was available at the side of the salad bar too.

DIY salad bar
Salad bar
Tamale and condiments
Tamale and condiments

For beverages, there was a range of smoothies and fruit juices in addition to coffee that guests can order from the menu. Tea bags and fresh herbal teas from the coca leaves are supplied on the buffet for diners to brew their own favourite.

Smoothies and infused water
Smoothies and infused water
Juice selection
Juice selection

Fresh and cut fruits were to be found on the buffet, and there was a small bowl of algarrobina syrup that is meant as toppings for the fruits.

Fruits on the buffet
Fruits on the buffet

The whole buffet spread was very good with plenty of selection and I liked being able to pre-order eggs cooked to my liking. In addition, the buffet had plenty of condiments and toppings along with some local dishes that separates it from the standard hotel breakfast buffet.

Buffet selection
Buffet selection

During the morning we had breakfast, the hotel has an arrangement with some locals to sell their wares in the courtyard next to the restaurant. There was a musician playing the harp for guests seated in the inside section. It was definitely a hotel breakfast to remember.

Inside Inti Raymi Restaurant
Inside Inti Raymi Restaurant

Spa and Fitness Facility

There was a fitness centre at the end of the courtyard which I did not get to explore since it was in a small room but I did check out the spa that was located next to the reception. While the fitness centre has no supervision and is open 24 hours, the spa operates from 10am to 10pm and using the thermal baths requires a fee even for hotel guests.

Heated pool in the spa
Thermal baths and jacuzzi

There was a small plunge pool and a jacuzzi with several chairs for relaxation but I cannot fathom why guests have to pay for such a mediocre facility.

Relaxation room
Relaxation room in the spa

Other Facilities

As a heritage property, the hotel actually hosts a guided tour every evening with one of the hotel’s staff explaining some of the highlights of the artworks in the hotel along with the historical significance of this mansion that has a prominent location in the oldest part of town.

Hotel corridor
Hotel corridor
Palace staircase
Palace staircase

At the end of the tour, a local dressed as an Inca warrior will conduct some rites and traditional blessings, with tour participants welcome to provide tips.

Inca warrior tour guide
Inca warrior tour guide

There was other activities to participate in like a pisco sour making demonstration where participants can then try out some pisco sours by the bar. For my stay the rate was $275 which includes a destination fee of $25. The destination fee includes the hotel guided tour, complimentary pisco sours, a free audio guide app for San Blas and Cathedral of Cusco, credit for the spa, access to the press reader for digital newspapers and unlimited local calls. At this rate, it was definitely on the upper end of the scale for a lodging in Cusco since there are definitely plenty of local lodging for less than half this price. However for a special occasion and to be able to experience a stay in a historical mansion, I think it would be worth it.

Local market at the Cuatro Bustos courtyard
Local market at the Cuatro Bustos courtyard
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s