Within Peru, people are getting more interested in luxury travel. Nowhere can you feel this more than in the Cusco region. This noble city is full of spots that offer five-star accommodations, while at the same time giving visitors the chance to learn about natural products, visit beautiful natural spaces, and ancient architecture. Where are the best places to go where you can experience this? Read more to find out.
No matter how many times you’ve passed through Cusco and its lovely surroundings, there is always more to see. Behind every boulder is a hidden history. Today, there’s a new story, brief but intense, while luxury travel continues to evolve. This industry traditionally caters to those who search for an experience that distances them from the contexts of real life, such as poverty, but these days things are changing. The change is driven by peoples’ search for simplicity and good taste, rather than by embracing the distorted excesses often associated with high-end tourism.
Fine dining in Cusco
Traditional Cusqinian cuisine is evolving to meet the expectations of the contemporary world. Many chefs do this by creating recipes with refined, modern preparation. Examples include celebrated Peruvian chef Gaston Acurio’s Chicha Restaurant, and La Bodega de La Chola of Casa Cartagena. In addition to these two chefs, there are other well-known Lima chefs such as Virgilio Martínez. Martinez has opened a place named Senzo, which is located at Las Nazarenas Hotel. It has an innovative menu. Their recipes use ingredients that are primarily locally sourced and organic. Martinez offers a delicately crafted tasting menu that caters to meat eaters and vegetarians alike. They also have a regular menu that is full of dishes that are ideal for dining in high altitudes.
Another good restaurant for visitors is Calle del Medio (street in the middle). This relaxed, informal spot also uses a wide variety of local produce for its dishes. A complete menu of pisco-based cocktails and flavored brandies also is available, allowing diners to branch out from the iconic Pisco Sour into more local preparations.
For those who seek excellence in food, check out El Hada (the fairy). This restaurant defines luxury by focusing on their high-quality ingredients. This small cafetería-style spot serves the best coffee, pastries, sweets and ice creams in all of Peru. The lemon sherbet cone is not to be missed.
Plaza Nazarenas is surrounded by what once were Cusco’s most elegant homes, and today are some of the finest hotels and shops in the city. The Casona Inkaterra is located in a mansion formerly owned by the Almagro Family. This lovely spot has a warm and elegant local decor and has marble soaking tubs in each bathroom. Visitors can also enjoy a daily, five o’clock tea. The Casa Cartagena (Cartagena House), once inhabited by Don Fernando Cartagena y Santa Cruz, has been beautifully restored. Its rooms are decorated in a witty and eclectic style.
The Hotel Monasterio (Monastery Hotel) is a perfectly preserved, cluster of colonial buildings that have been turned into a lovely, luxury hotel. Guests stay in elegantly appointed rooms that once were home to colonial priests and monks. Plaza Nazarenas, a former convent, still has the ancient Inca walls upon which the convent was built. An original colonial patio and fountain add to the elegant charm. Here the rooms are extra large and the patios full of lush greens and flowers. The area by the pool stands adjacent to a large bar and restaurant area, designed to integrate the surrounding seamlessly.
Other local hotels that offer luxury linens and fine service include the newly opened, and surprisingly elegant Marriott Hotel; Casa Andina, a higher-end, local chain that regularly delivers a good travel experience; the impressive Aranwa Hotel and the Andean Wings boutique hotel which specializes in a more mystic experience, offering sessions with reputable local shamans. Almost all of the top hotels either have spas on site or can call in top level massage therapists. The latest in Cusco is the El Mercado Tunqui Hotel, which offers luxurious informality with all the comforts of home. The restaurant prepares freshly prepared food with a menu that changes daily.
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