After the completion of a $15 million renovation in mid-2013, the Palacio del Inka in Cusco, Peru slipped into the Luxury Collection category in Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ portfolio. Located in the heart of Cusco directly across the preserved ruins of the Koricancha, or Temple of the Sun, the 203-room hotel stands as an original relic of the Incan civilization with later design implementations by 16th century Spanish Conquistadors. Since this time, architectural and interior design firm Caparra Entelman & Asociados, local artisans and craftsmen have also left their marks.
Keeping in synch with its colonial past, the Palacio del Inka’s 13-foot ceilings hold the secrets of the ancient walls that are still part of the structure. Rich textiles, custom-designed wooden doors, desks, and chests, collide with vintage paintings and mirrors, a telltale sign of the building’s rich and complicated heritage.
The hotel spa’s dark green interior and gold patina doors are reminiscent of traditional Cusco houses, creating a safe haven for reflection and relaxation. It is within these walls that the Incan love for gold is preserved through a signature spa treatment of Qoricancha, or the wrapping of the body in 24-karat gold.
Outdoors, the cultural blitz seeps into a courtyard patio strewn with candle-filled hanging lanterns that connect the Inti Raymi restaurant, and its delicious array of international and indigenous cuisines, to the welcoming velvet curtains and iron chandeliers of the Rumi Bar. Five carefully restored event spaces beaming in natural light hold a seating capacity for 400 guests.
“Once reserved for backpackers, Cusco has become a ‘must’ for a new generation of luxury travelers, and we are thrilled to unlock the destination for our global guests, as only The Luxury Collection can,” said Paul James, global brand leader, The Luxury Collection, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts and W Hotels Worldwide.
There are so many local experiences to be had in Cusco including a trip to the beautiful Cusco Cathedral, the Baroque-styled mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cusco, and the Stone of the Twelve Angles, which symbolizes the mystic aura that is so deeply embedded in the region while standing as a testament to Incan stonemasons and architects. Of course, the Cusco adventure is taken to another level with a journey to Machu Picchu, the relatively intact “Lost City of the Incas.”
With regard to Palacio del Inka’s redesign, James said, “We are thrilled to welcome Palacio del Inka, a hotel that is at once a portal to the rich cultural heritage of Cusco and a gateway to experience the city’s diverse art, design and cuisine.”