The Monaterio was our 3rd Orient Express Hotel during our recent trip to Peru and although a beautiful building, I wish the service was just a bit more like their Rio Sagrado and Sanctuary Lodge properties....although maybe they were going for the more formal standoff-ish service.
As you know, the property was once a monastery and the building and grounds are truly gorgeous. We were told that a lot of the art is original and it contributes beautifully to the decor. The breakfast room is gorgeous overlooking the courtyard. Our room was upgraded to a junior suite that included a living area and an upstairs loft. We were very pleased to receive the upgrade as it gave us more room to spread out. Room itself was beautiful. There was one window overlooking the street which was quite loud early in the morning. But we went went with the flow and just got up early! I would suggest an oxygen enhanced room since we really felt the altitude here even though we'd already been in the highlands for 5 nights prior.
Breakfast spread was expansive with both cold and hot items. The gregorian chant music fit the decor and there was a guitar player out in the courtyard. On all 3 mornings we had to wait a little longer than one would expect for someone to approach our table and offer us coffee. The staff was not as talkative and warm as either of our previous hotels, but they were professional and nice.
I did have excellent service from Adrianna at customer service via email prior to the trip to arrange a city tour. she was very prompt in responding to my questions and helped us change our tour time once we arrived. Our city guide and tour was excellent and I'd highly recommend it. We went outside of the city and then to various locations within the city. 4 hours went so fast but it gave us an overview of places we wanted to go back and visit.
Cusco itself was a great city. We were lucky enough to be there with parades leading up to the summer solstice festival. Each day there were parades with groups of school children in tradition clothing performing dances to traditional music. It was fantastic to watch. The square was filled with local families cheering on their children. I couldn't watch enough!
Interesting thing we notice in Cusco was tons of dogs, unleashed wandering everywhere! Driving through the city we had to see well over 60 dogs just hanging out in the park, in front of homes, trotting down the street. All breeds of dogs! They do not bother you at all, its just funny to see all the loose dogs!
Two fantastic restaurants we'd recommend were the Inka Grill and Ima Sumaq (both recommended by John at the Sanctuary Lodge). Both food and service were great! Lots of local cuisine to choose from.
I think we were spoiled by the superb service at Rio Sagrado and the excellent service at the Sanctuary Lodge ...... because without having those fantastic experiences first, Hotel Monasterio would probably have been rated higher for us. I would still recommend the hotel Monasterio, but I'd like to suggest perhaps the staff open up and share more of their personality and energy with guests.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Right beside the lively Cusco central square is Belmond Hotel Monasterio, a former monastery and national monument dating from 1592. This delightful retreat combines centuries-old charm with luxury hotel service, inspired restaurants and boutique rooms and suites-all clustered around a tranquil central courtyard. The ideal hotel from which to discover the delights of Cusco, its doors open to a vibrant scene of old and modern architecture, markets, galleries and restaurants serving 'new Andean' cuisine. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Monasterio Hotel Cusco
- Hotel Monasterio