Palacio Nazarenas: Cuzco's Dazzling New Hotel
The ambitious new Palacio Nazarenas was finally unveiled last week after four years of intensive excavation in the ancient Peruvian city of Cuzco. Housed in a former 16th century Carmelite convent, the all-suite property with whitewashed adobe walls and hand-carved timber balconies occupies a small cobblestone plaza near Plaza de Armas and the San Blas quarter. The exhaustive process produced a profusion of artifacts and historic finds, part of the reason archeologists were brought on board to assist with the project. The hotel is festooned in unearthed discoveries like original Incan sandals, an 18th century antique statue of Archangel Gabriel, and Spanish colonial murals and friezes restored to their original forms using flour dough.
Every corner of the hotel holds a piece of historical significance but Palacio Nazarenas is also awash in New World exuberance. The 55 chic suites have views of Sacsayhuamán and are oxygenated to combat the thin 11,000-foot air. The interiors are accented with Persian rugs, exposed stone walls, and heated Peruvian marble bathrooms. Sybaritic touches include bath pillows filled with dried white sage and rosemary from the garden (where they also grow vegetables for the restaurant Senzo). The pampering is on point too. Six private rooms at the Hypnôze spa have glass floors exposing original Inca stonework and treatments incorporate local ingredients like pink Andean salt and blue corn. The city’s first outdoor pool is tucked inside a cloistered courtyard with a cadre of personal butlers mixing cocktails.
The newest addition to Orient Express's grandiose collection is also the perfect jump-off point for taking their Hiram Bingham train to Machu Picchu, 3 hours away. Rates start at $595 a night.
Nate Storey is an Editorial Assistant at Travel + Leisure.
Photos courtesy of Orient Express