I received an invitation to check out the newly renovated Libertador Palacio del Inka in Cusco for my last night in town. When you’re trading a 14-person dorm room to a room by yourself, it’s already Über-luxurious (this was my first time having a room to myself since my honeymoon for one at the W Bali back in August). Throw in a 5-star hotel, friendly and welcoming staff, some of the most delicious food ever, a fluffy bathrobe and a fabulous (huge) room with a plush king sized bed and it might be heaven on earth! For a 30-hour period, I felt like a princess. Living in my very own castle.
The Libertador Palacio del Inka is located facing the Koricancha (Temple of the Sun) in the center of Cusco, just a few minutes walk from the main plaza. My hostess, Beatriz (cannot say enough wonderful things about this kind, amazing woman!!!), gave me a behind the scenes tour of the hotel, including a look at the finishing touches of the renovations yet to be unveiled.
The Libertador Palacio del Inka is the perfect blend of colonial style with ancient elements of the Inca Empire intertwined. The building itself used to be an Incan palace. The hotel is warm and homey with an authentic feel of the local Cusco culture. All of the artwork and the decorative paintings in the rooms are handmade/hand painted by local Cusco artists. It really felt like I lived there; truly, my very own castle!
The restaurant at the hotel, Inti Raymi, has a wide selection of local Peruvian and international cuisines. I ate two very extraordinary lunches here and let my server, Alfredo, make all the recommendations for me. He made fabulous choices!
The first lunch was chicken noodle soup (probably the best I’ve ever had!!), followed by vegetable ravioli in a cream sauce. It was delicious! The following day for lunch (my flight got delayed, so I really benefitted on this one), I let Alfredo do all the choosing for me and I started with an amuse-bouche of trout with an olive sauce, followed by the chicken noodle soup (my request) and for the main course, alpaca with potatoes and asparagus. The main course was paired with a lovely Malbec, as Alfredo said alpaca goes very well with red wine (you don’t have to work very hard to convince me to enjoy a glass of red with my meal!!).
Following lunch, I was STUFFED from all the amazing food, but they brought out three tasty homemade chocolates (I can’t say no to chocolate); the white one tasted like birthday cake. They were all amazing. Oh, and the breakfast buffet continued my love/hate relationship with buffets. Quite good!
For my dinner during my stay, Beatriz has kindly set up a tasting menu for me from the chef. The food was phenomenal, the company was fantastic and the meal was completed with probably one of the best Pisco Sours in all of Peru! The food at the Libertador Palacio del Inka is some of the best food in Cusco, hands down!
My other special treat during my stay was an afternoon at the glorious Palacio del Inka spa. I spent two amazing hours at the spa enjoying the hydrotherapy thermal circuit, which included: sauna, therapeutic shower, steam room, pool & Jacuzzi with hydromassage and capped off with a glass of fresh orange juice in the relaxation room. It really was the cherry on top of a wonderful stay!!
I can’t thank the kind folks at the Libertador Palacio del Inka enough. I already loved Cusco, but my stay here made me love it all that much more and I’ve never felt more like a princess! Plus, it was the start of my birthday week and from here on out, I think all birthday weeks should start at fabulous 5-Star hotels!! If you’re in Cusco, this is THE place to stay; even for a one-night backpacker splurge!!