Travel: Do Not Disturb


Luxe 11-suite sustainable retreat in historic Cusco


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Tucked away in the corner of the regal Plaza Nas Nazarenas, this hotel’s building may be unassuming, but knock on the door and enter a chic refuge for weary day trekkers and others in the historic town of Cusco. INKATERRA La Casona was Peru’s first Relais & Châteaux property.

The Hotel
Other than a logo, there’s little indication that there is a hotel here – and they like it that way. Open to only guests of the hotel, it really does feel like you are staying in a type of Peruvian Downton Abbey, with a Mr Carson-esque type always on hand to predict your every need. The house itself has been home over the years to many noteworthy men: conquistadors of Peru and the Amazon, and even Simon Bolivar, who was known for his part in South America’s liberation from Spain. Sustainable hotel brand INKATERRA bought the house in 1999 and it opened as a hotel in 2008.

The Vibe
Super chilled, grand colonial casa. We didn’t see anyone while we were here as most people are exploring by day and have dinner in their rooms at night. The central open-air courtyard adds a sense of calm, and the square format that’s typical here feels like it has great feng shui. Music plays softly throughout and whenever you need something, someone magically appears without making a fuss. This truly feels luxe.

The Rooms
When the rooms are this nice it’s hard to leave. Highlights include underfloor heating, standalone tubs, fireplaces (staff light fires on request, any time of day), hot water bottles at night, own-brand natural products, and space, both in the bedroom and bathrooms – these habitaciones are huge by hotel standards.

The décor was a mixture of reclaimed pieces like ancient columns framing the bed and stone double sink structures with modern touches like marble shower rooms. There are many design touches here that we’ll try to RND (rip off and duplicate) at home.

Restaurants/ Bars
The restaurant has a few tables, and the bar is a living room that serves drinks. Breakfast is a highlight, with local ingredients used for dishes like quinoa pancakes with chocolate, eggs with hot peppers, Andean cheese on cornbread, and tamales with yellow peppers and Yucay paria cheese.

The privacy here. You truly feel like you have the house to yourself. And the assistance – our bags didn’t arrive, and they arranged to have a driver take us to the airport (thrice), and to a local mall to get replacement items. There are well-known stores in the square, but they, thankfully, took us elsewhere so we didn’t pay the tourist tax, which was very much appreciated.

Anything Else
There’s a room they use for spa treatments such as Oxygen Therapy (which helps with altitude sickness) and Foot Therapy for tired legs, as well as local offerings like coca leaves readings and a pay the earth Pachamama ceremony. The hotel also has great neighbours: both Belmonds (Monasterio and Palacio Nazarenas) share the same square and they’re open to the public, so pop in for a peek.

INKATERRA La Casona is a member of Relais & Châteaux.

Originally published on
22nd February 2024


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