Palacio Del Inka, Peru
Palacio del Inka is a 5-star, luxurious, historical gem in the heart of Cusco, Peru.
The kick-off point for a multitude of adventures, the most famous being Rainbow Mountain (above) and Machu Picchu.
Cusco - the town shaped as a puma to signify being the heart of the heart, or the centre of the centre in Andean culture is an extremely special spot.
Palacio, a Luxury Collection hotel, is positioned in what I believe to be the best location in the entire town. Next to the sacred Temple of The Sun and built retaining original Incan walls, this hotel is filled with history and culture, combined with 5-star luxury.
The staff are extremely attentive, professional and sweet - a delight to be around. Never overbearing, yet always nearby when you need something... anything. The rooms are extremely large and filled with tonnes of history. The original wood and stone lines the halls and makes for a very special vibe.
There's an energy here that can't be described. Something about sleeping in a room that was once an Incan king's bedroom just gives me goosebumps
Our incredible room had super soft sheets and a deliciously comfy king-sized bed, traditional detailing such as original doors, wooden walls, ceiling details and every amenity you could possibly need whilst adjusting the altitude (oxygen tank anyone? * actually available from reception!).
Closing the grand curtains via brass pulleys at night felt like we were actually in a castle turning in for the night and I almost expected to turn around and see that bedroom light was actually coming from lit candles.
The buffet breakfast was out of this world! It sprawls along two sides of a large grand room and includes everything from continental to modern. Including superfoods powders like Incan chia (a great source of protein and omegas) and maca (great for energy and brain function). I spent about 2 hours daily devouring the buffet and making up little concoctions of powders to put on top of the plentiful array of cereals on offer. Not for the faint-hearted or for those who prefer to skip breakfast - this is a feast.
Finally, the spa. Thermal healing inside the ancient walls of the Palacio is magical. We were treated to a hydrotherapy session which included a sauna (scented with eucalyptus and stars on the roof), steam room and a series of hydro stations focusing on various body parts to end in a bubbling spa. Bliss. The perfect thing to do whilst you're 'going slow' to adjust to Cusco's high altitude.
It can be a bit of a shock to the system so take it easy and expect to be tired and maybe have a lingering headache (we did!), we found it hard to walk up the street for two days so it's imperative you have a gorgeous place to stay so you feel comfortable and can rest out the acclimatisation in luxury.
This is 5-star. The space, the location, the history and the wonderful staff that fill this hotel.
The concierge had great restaurant recommendations including my two favourites: Mr Soup (perhaps the best soup of all-time!) and Morena (a contemporary twist on Peruvian classics)! Must try these guys out. Fresh, tasty and fabulously Peruvian.
Stay at Palacia Del Inka